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Marvel’s Past, Present, and Future! Plus a Look at Marvel’s Avengers!


LANGSTON BELTON: From Stan Lee’s
legacy to an exclusive debut character profile from
Marvel’s Avengers, we are celebrating 80
years of Marvel history. Hey. I’m the confetti cannon.
Poof. I’m Lorraine. I’m coming out of your cake. I’m Langston. This is an Earth’s Mightiest
Show special celebrating Marvel’s 80th anniversary. A lot has happened here
at Marvel over 80 years, so let’s dive right in. Hey, here is 80 years
of Marvel in 80 seconds. Enjoy. LANGSTON BELTON: 80 years ago,
Marvel started surprisingly small when publisher
Martin Goodman emboldened Timely Comics to
print the very first issue of Marvel Comics # 1. More comics
followed, celebrating war heroes, women
with jobs, westerns, and yes, Super Heroes. Two decades and
many issues later, the company took on the name of
the one and only Marvel Comics. During the 1960s, Super Heroes
boomed, welcoming the Fantastic Four, Spider-man, the
Avengers, and the X-Men, as well as countless
other heroes and villains. As time progressed, so
did Marvel characters from Miss Marvel to Black
Panther and Monica Rambeau. Marvel has always portrayed
the world outside our windows and with it, the
world’s diverse peoples. And as we saw more
of people on earth, we also began to
see the universe expand to include new walks
of life and of the cosmos. As the Marvel universe grew,
so too did Marvel fandom. And with it, Super
Heroes began to appear on screens large, small,
and everything in between. In fact, Super Heroes
are practically everywhere you can imagine. Marvel has grown from
a single comic book to a worldwide
phenomenon, but how? Quite simply, because of you– you who shared our passion. After all, Marvel
fans of yesterday have become the people
who comprise Marvel today. And fans of today will
become Marvel’s future. Marvel’s 80th anniversary is
a celebration of your spirit, of your heroism, and
yes, your universe. That was a packed 80
seconds, because so much has happened in our history. But it does mean a
lot to me, because we were just Marvel fans before
we started working here. And that continues today. It’s true. Yeah. And the fans of today
get to be the creators of tomorrow, inspired by
the stories of the past. So time is– It’s a big wheel. It’s fun. It’s a big old wheel. But when we’re
looking at the past, you really can’t help but look
forward to Marvel’s future. And this next piece includes
one of Marvel history’s most storied characters. Yes, who just happened
to be coming in the future to the new game,
Marvel’s Avengers. So without any
further ado, here is the exclusive
debut of the Captain America character
profile from the upcoming game, Marvel’s Avengers. Oh, yes. I cannot wait for
this game, Lorraine. It looks like it’s
going to be epic. Oh, well, if you’re
excited, then you should definitely stay tuned to
the official Marvel’s Avengers channels for more character
profiles in the coming weeks. Yes. Listen– and you can check out
Captain America in Marvel’s Avengers coming May 15th
2020 to Playstation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC. Oh, and speaking of
Marvel’s storied history, Captain America was
actually created in 1941 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby,
and it’s actually Jack Kirby’s 102nd birthday this week. Yes. All right. So to celebrate
the king of comics, we are taking a look back
at the legend’s legacy here at Marvel comics with resident
historian and executive editor Tom Brevoort. I think Jack Kirby
is the pinnacle. He’s the most important
creative force that comics have ever seen and
are likely to ever see again. Jack Kirby is one of the
foundational creators of the Marvel
universe, starting back in the very, very early 1960s. Jack– along with Stan
Lee, and Steve Ditko, and a number of other folks–
created pretty much all of the characters and all of
the stuff that we think of today as the Marvel universe– Thor, Iron Man, the
Avengers, the Fantastic Four, dozens and dozens of
characters and concepts that came out of Kirby’s
drawing table in his basement and Stan working in
the editorial offices. Kirby’s art stylings–
approach to art changed comics not once, but
a couple of different times. In the 1940s, doing Captain
America in particular, the way he would
depict action, the way he would break up
a page using odd shaped almost like
puzzle piece panels that kind of fit together. Everybody in the
field started aping Kirby’s approach to this stuff. A Kirby crackle is a term that
was given to a particular way that Jack would, in
a stylized fashion, depict this sort
of cosmic energy. It’s made up of essentially
all these overlapping dots that give it this crackle. And what Kirby is actually
illustrating there is not the dots, it’s the
negative space– the negative space that
he’s not drawing in is really what the crackle is. And it was a little bit
of the language of comics that he just invented
kind of on the fly. It became kind of a
signature of his work. As he grew as an artist, and
became more sophisticated, and did different
things, he had an impact on the rest of the field. In the late 1960s, the
size of the original art that comics were drawn on was
reduced for production issues. Jack suddenly could approach
the entire page as a unit, because you could see
the entire page at once. And that meant that
suddenly he would design across the entire
page rather than a portion. Kirby also was fascinated by
using other media in comics. He was always interested
in kind of pushing the boundaries of what
you could do with comics, and one of those was collage. They’re amazing to see, these
bananas vistas that he creates. They were kind of
interesting and fascinating. And it was a way
that Kirby was kind of using other media to expand
on the language of comics. I imagine that if he had
access to the kind of graphics that we have today– Photoshop or whatnot– he
would’ve been all over that. And he’d be doing things
with it that you wouldn’t even believe were possible. Kirby was a storyteller. He came from a
storytellers tradition, a storyteller’s background. And the stories he made, and the
visuals that accompanied them, have just permeated out into
the landscape of the culture. It’s sort of impossible
to quantify Kirby’s impact on the world of
pop culture, partly because it’s not finished yet. The work he created
is continually finding new audiences
and new expression in the world of comics and in
all of the ancillary worlds that grow out of that. Everything that he touched
had some idea in it that still works and that
still speaks to people today. I love getting to talk to Tom. He knows so much. It’s bananas. And honestly, it’s
impressive, because Jack Kirby’s legacy is life changing
to the Marvel universe. It would not be the same
place– comics wouldn’t be the same without Jack Kirby. Yes. Happy birthday Jack. Yeah. And thank you Tom
Brevoort, who is a walking Marvel database. Frightening in some ways. And while we are
celebrating this week, we also can not ignore a great
loss of an iconic creator this year. Yes. The merriest member
of the Marvel Marching Society, Stan Lee. To celebrate Stan
Lee’s great legacy, I had an idea to get together
some of us Marvel staff here at the Marvel New York
offices and have them read one of Stan’s classic Soapboxes. For anyone who doesn’t
know, Stan’s Soapboxes were special letters
to Marvel readers in the backs of your
favorite classic comics where Mr. Stan Lee imparted
his opinions and worldly wisdom as only he could. And so, here is Stan’s Soapbox
read by the people of Marvel. This is Stan’s Soapbox
from November of 1968. Let’s lay it
right on the line– Bigotry and racism are among
the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But unlike a team of
costume super-villains– They can’t be halted
with a punch in the snoot– Or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy
them is to expose them. To reveal them
for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot it is an
unreasoning hater. One who hates blindly– Fanatically– Indiscriminately. If his hangup is black
men, he hates all black men. If a redhead once offended
him, he hates all redheads. If some foreigner
beat him to a job, he’s down on all foreigners. He hates people he’s never
seen, people he’s never known– With equal intensity– With equal venom. Now we’re not trying to
say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But although
anyone has the right to dislike another individual– It’s totally irrational– Patently insane– To condemn an entire race– To despise an entire nation– To vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we
must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if
man is ever to be worthy of his destiny– We must fill our
hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then– Will we be truly
worthy of the concept– That man was created
in the image of God. A god who calls us all– His children. Pax et Justitia. Stan. Stan. Stan. Stan. Stan. Stan. It was such a
pleasure to record that with the Marvel crew. It felt really
special, Lorraine, so thank you for that. I like it when we feel
like we’re part of something. It feels good.
– Yeah. Go back and read more
of Stan’s Soapboxes being printed in
various Marvel comics currently running right now.
– They are so good. They’re so moving, too.
– Oh, yeah. So good. Oh, and a special shout out
to all of the creators who have brought to life so
many characters and story lines, from Steve Ditko and
Joe Simon in our early days all the way up to the
creators of today. Oh, many of whom you can
check out in Marvel Comics 1000 and Marvel Comics 1001. Yes. Both of the new comics
feature 80 pages with 80 epic creative teams. Look out for Marvel
Comics 1000 available now and Marvel Comics 1001
out on September 25th. They’re so good. There’s still so much more to
celebrate from Marvel’s 80th anniversary, as well, so go over
to marvel.com/marvel80 for all kinds of stories,
retrospectives, cool deep dives, and even more
of Marvel’s mighty history. Yes. Check it all out. Tell us what piece
of Marvel history has meant the most
to you in your life and hashtag it
#earthsmightiestshow. Yeah.
We’ll see you next time. I’m Lorraine.
– And I’m Langston. And this is Marvel. Your universe.

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