A crash course in Marvel comics: Empire seems to have superpowers all of its own
The Wolverine hits UK screens this weekend – it's the latest in a long line of successful superhero films based on Marvel comic books...
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Saturday 27 July 2013
Timely Comics, renamed Atlas Comics in the 50s, is founded in New York. Its first publication, Marvel Comics #1, features the Human Torch
Atlas Comics becomes Marvel Comics, and in the space of a few years Stan Lee creates Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor and the Fantastic Four
Black Panther, the mysterious leader of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, becomes the first black superhero. He has superhuman senses
Howard the Duck, the first film adaptation of a Marvel comic to reach the big screen, is a critical and box- office flop
Hugh Jackman makes his first appearance as Wolverine in X-Men. The film's success rejuvenates industry interest in comic-book films
Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow
Spotting the potential for movies and franchises, Disney buys Marvel Entertainment for £2.5bn – it now owns 5,000 comic-book characters
Director Joss Whedon's The Avengers earns £1bn at the global box office to become the third-biggest film in history – behind Avatar and Titanic
The Marvel movie machine continues at full pelt. Iron Man 3 and The Wolverine arrive in cinemas, to be followed by Thor 2 later this year
Profile: The wolf man
By Tim Walker
Thanks to the increasing power of the Asian box office, Hollywood is suddenly keen on setting its biggest blockbusters there. But when 20th Century Fox wanted Japanese flavours for The Wolverine, it found them in a classic comic written three decades ago.
Wolverine initially appeared on the page in 1974, but the character's first solo outing was a four-issue 1982 run by artist Frank Miller and British-born writer Chris Claremont, in which the flawed, clawed hero travelled to Japan to tackle ninjas, yakuza and samurai.
During his X-Men tenure, from 1975 to 1991, Claremont, aged 62, who grew up reading Dan Dare, made it the defining comic of its era. His first issue of a 1991 re-boot, X-Men #1, was the bestselling single comic book ever. Claremont created characters including Rogue and Mystique, and wrote the graphic novel on which X-Men 2 was based – not to mention the series Days of Future Past, which is the basis for the next X-Men movie instalment, due out next year.
How to: Gain superpowers
By Liam O'Brien
Superman and the X-Men were born with supernatural powers. But others had to work for it. Here's how they acquired their incredible gifts...
Daredevil, Spider-Man and the Hulk all gained superpowers as a result of exposure to radiation. We don't recommend bathing in your local nuclear plant's designated waste disposal, but you could get lucky and be bitten by a radioactive spider.
Bruce Wayne is worth $6.9bn, meaning there are never any financial constraints for alter ego Batman's pursuit of justice. Once you have a similar fortune, you too could chase down criminals with the latest gadgets.
Arrogant he may be, but Iron Man's Tony Stark has the brains to back it up. The CEO of Stark Industries was clever enough to make a powerful suit of armour for himself when he needed to escape a super-villain. So use your head.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils