Marvel has changed the film landscape in the past decade or so – but the comics have been around for much longer. In fact, Marvel has been going for 80 years, along with some of its iconic superheroes. Now, fans can get their hands on some rare copies to celebrate the anniversary.
Heroes the likes of which we have never seen have sprung off the pages of Marvel Comics for decades.
From Captain America to Iron Man to The Incredible Hulk, fans have been delighted, shocked and taken on a rollercoaster ride through the years with these characters.
Now, rare comics, especially reprinted for the anniversary, will be scattered on UK public transport for fans to find and enjoy.
Some of the titles included will feature iconic moments in Marvel history including the moment Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, and when fans are first introduce to T’Challa, AKA Black Panther.
There are also some ground breaking moments featured in the film, such as the moment Northstar comes out as gay in Alpha Flight, and when he marries his long term partner Kyle in the first same-sex marriage seen in mainstream comics.
Other titles include a more recent edition of Captain Marvel, where we meet the first ever Muslim superhero, Kamala Khan, as well as Iron Man, where the issue sheds lighten Tony Stark’s struggle with alcoholism.
Speaking about the anniversary, Mike Stagg of The Walt Disney Company said: “Taking stock at moments like this allows us to recognise just what an amazing 80 years of story-telling we have had the privilege of being part of.
“We are honoured to have had the opportunity to share these with fans around the world, through our comics, merchandise, films, games and TV and have been inspired in all the ways in which our fans have embraced us.
“And yet it feels like we have only just got started, so here’s to another 80 years!”
Marvel has changed the way audiences read comics, as well as how they watch films thanks to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe,) meaning it has had a huge impact on culture.
Comic books lecturer at University of Dundee Professor Chris Murray added: ““Marvel Comics has been a cultural phenomenon for 80 years, introducing us to relatable heroes like Spider-Man and The Hulk who, despite being outsiders, always did the right thing.
“Through its characters like the X-Men and Black Panther it has helped fight prejudice, and has always strived for equality.
“Its epic storytelling long rivalled blockbuster films until its superheroism hit the big screen itself to dominate the cultural landscape like never before.
“The real success of Marvel Comics comes from the fact that those flights of imagination always have one foot rooted in reality, and for 80 years readers have been inspired to imagine and fight for a better world alongside their heroes.”
The initiative aims to introduce new audiences to the origins of the characters and stories that have influenced pop culture and will see hundreds of comics distributed on public transport in London, Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow and Cardiff on Wednesday, October 9.
The grass-roots movement Books on the Underground has also become Comic Books on the Underground for the activity – so fans better get commuting early in order to grab a copy.
What Marvel movies are coming out this year?
Since Spider-Man: Far From Home, the MCU has taken a little bit of a break.
Of course, Kevin Feige and the studio is still making a lot of films, with the next scheduled one to be The New Mutants, which is scheduled for an April 2020 release.
After that is Black Widow, expected for a release just a month later, and The Eternals later that year.
Following that, we have the first Asian superhero to get a solo film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, after which Doctor Strange will return with Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, both of which will air in 2021.
The third Spider-Man film will then come to cinemas in Summer 2021, followed by Thor: Love and Thunder in November and Black Panther 2 in 2022.
After that, most of the upcoming movies are yet to be dated, but we will see the Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel returning to the fold as well as new versions of Fantastic Four and Blade.
Fans can pick up their comic book copies on public transport on October 9
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