Marvel Comics is a publisher of American comic books and related media. Marvel was started in 1939 by Martin Goodman under a number of corporations and imprints but now known as Timely Comics, and by 1951 had generally become known as Atlas Comics. The Marvel era began in 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and many others.
Marvel counts among its characters such well-known superheroes as Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Captain America, the Wasp, Wolverine, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Blade, Daredevil and the Punisher. Superhero teams exist such as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and the Guardians of the Galaxy as well as supervillains including Doctor Doom, Magneto, Thanos, Ultron, Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Red Skull, Loki, Venom, Dormammu, Galactus, and Kingpin.