Tonight on ABC in America you can partake in an exciting journey through the 75 year history of the Marvel Universe, from its humble beginnings as Timely Comics in 1939 to the birth of The Marvel Age in the 1960s, and finally the cinematic blockbusters of today, in the original TV documentary special Marvel: 75 Years, From Pulp to Pop!, hosted by Emily VanCamp.
This special takes a look at Marvel’s roots, beginning in 1939 as Timely Comics with Martin Goodman and Stan Lee emerging as key figures in Marvel’s history in the 1940s along with the creation of Captain America, the impact of World War II and the decline of super hero stories and the subsequent downfall of the comic book industry in the 1950s.
After a decade of decline, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the modern super hero team in 1961 with the Fantastic Four, helping to bring back superhero stories and ushering in “The Marvel Age,” which saw the creation of the Hulk, Iron Man, The X-Men and Spider-Man. A shift in the character paradigm in the 1970s also brought culturally relevant characters such as the Black Panther, Falcon, Black Widow, Luke Cage and Ms. Marvel to the forefront . But the mid-1990s were not so kind to Marvel as the company fell into bankruptcy. However, a new batch of creative visionaries brought about a modern day renaissance, revitalizing publishing.
Soon after Marvel saw its characters and stories take over the silver screen, and Marvel Studios was born, leading into today’s successes on the big screen and television.