If you like Marvel comics, or the movies and television shows that have spun off of Marvel comics, the 1960s are a supremely awesome time to explore. Superhero comics had gone out of vogue decades earlier, with only a few stalwart heroes from DC comics, such as Superman and Batman, existing in a universe of Western, Science Fiction, and Horror comics. Marvel published titles such as Journey into Mystery and Tales to Astonish, which featured some new alien or high tech menace every month threatening the safety of the United States. Maybe one thing Marvel doesn't want us to remember from the 1960s is the lack of marquee comic characters in the first part of the decade.
All of this changed in late 1962 when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (possibly the greatest comic duo in history) created the Fantastic Four. The superhero comic at Marvel was back in a big way, and within 12 months Marvel began populating its new superhero universe with a rapid fire succession of iconic characters. The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Daredevil, The X-Men, Iron Man, and so forth, all created in such a short period of time makes one marvel (see what I did there) how Stan Lee did it, pumping out book after book and, seen with the benefit of hindsight, redefining a form of art and entertainment that only gets more and more important every year. This was a true renaissance, but although Stan is a great writer, and he assembled a wonderful team of artists and other writers to help maintain the Marvel world, not everything from the 1960s was good. A lot of downright strange ideas were quietly discarded by the company, but if you have access to some of these early Marvel stories, these bad decisions are still readily visible.
10 Mr. Fantastic Was A Misogynist
The Fantastic Four was touted as the World's Greatest Super Team, and while the three men were pretty super with their outlandish abilities, Susan Storm's power was literally to remain unseen and unheard. The battles of Fantastic Four generally followed a pattern where the men would fight some menace while Sue hid and then at the last minute flipped a lever or fired a gun that helped turn the tide of battle for the men. It wasn't until a few years later that the Invisible Woman developed her force field power that allowed the character to move from her sexist role into one more equal to the men, but this stride in egalitarianism was often undercut by the way Mr. Fantastic constantly treated Sue as inferior. He loved her clearly, but there were many instances of Mr. F berating Sue for letting her female emotions cloud the situation or being too feminine when she needed to be stronger.
9 Professor X Was Inappropriate
8 Peter Parker Was Kind Of A Jerk
7 The Incredible Hulk Was Supposed To Be Grey
6 Irving Forbush
If you go to a comic store right now and pick up a copy of, say, the Avengers, you will read a story about bravery and danger in the face of adversity because the current focus of comics is on plot and art work. This is what modern readers are used to, but in the 1960s Stan Lee chose to focus as well on the storytelling element itself, reminding us we were reading a comic as we actually read it. The magazines produced by Marvel in the 1960s were as much about Stan telling the story as they were about the actual events in the story, which led to Irving Forbush, a fictional employee of Marvel that Stan Lee constantly harassed in the margins of his narrative.
5 X-Men's Slim Summers?
4 Donald Blake or Thor?
3 Adding To The 1940's Golden Age
2 Namor Was A Bum
1 Tony Stark's Actual Transformation Into Iron Man
In the popular Iron Man movies, Tony is captured by a terrorist organization in the Middle East who appear to be some sort of Islamic fundamentalist group and must develop his lauded fusion reactor to power his suit and keep his heart beating. But in the 1960's, the United States had a deep regard for the Middle East and sympathized with their struggles against the Soviet Union. Plus Stan Lee's grasp on science was not the best (an issue of Journey into Mystery had Thor create anti matter particles with his hammer and then literally blow them on an object to bring it in sync with reality) so Fusion was out. The real story is Tony was captured by the Vietnamese during the Vietnam war and powered his suit with super magnets.
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