The Marvel Universe is an alternate set of existing populated universes which has its own series of superpowered beings.
Some denizens of the DC Universe have encountered beings from, or have traveled to, these Marvel universes. The Justice League met The Avengers from the Marvel universe during an adventure involving Krona.
The primary Marvel universe is sometimes designated as the Earth-616 universe by its own natives. During one instance, the primary Marvel universe was combined briefly with New Earth to form the Amalgam Universe, in which superpowered beings from each universe were merged into beings with characteristics from both (e.g., Super-Soldier, a merger of Superman's cells and Captain America).
History: The following is a bulleted list of historical events that took place between the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe.
Earth-616 has all the features of our reality: same countries, same personalities (politicians, movie stars, etc.), same historical events (World War II, 9/11, etc.), and so on. However, it also contains new ones, such as countries like Wakanda or Genosha, and organizations like the espionage agency, S.H.I.E.L.D. and its enemy, HYDRA.
The tradition of using costumed secret identities to fight (or commit) evil had long existed in this world (for example, with the medieval Black Knight) but it came into prominence during the days of the American 'Wild West' with heroes such as the Phantom Rider. During the 20th Century, the tradition was reinvigorated, first by Captain America in the 40s (not the first costumed hero of the time, but the most influential) and then by Spider-Man in modern times.
Earth-616's major heroes (the ones who get involved in most of the important events) are the Amazing Spider-Man, the Invincible Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, the Mighty Thor, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s director, Nick Fury, and Captain America. The Avengers and the X-Men are also major players, although the memberships of both groups have often changed. The Avengers have included most of Earth-616's major heroes as members at one time or another. The X-Men contains some of mutants, such as Wolverine, brought together by Professor Professor X). Dr. Strange has often formed an ad hoc team of heroes called The Defenders to help him deal with major menaces to the world, often including the Hulk, the Submariner and/or the Silver Surfer, as well as other heroes.
Of course, as one would expect in a universe with superheroes, there would inevitably have to be crime and evil, and this universe is by far no exception. Arguably the most dastardly and dreaded villain in Earth-616 by far would have to be Victor Von Doom, the dreaded Doctor Doom, archenemy of the Fantastic Four. He has the record of most heroes fought, having fought nearly every hero on Earth. Other major villains include Magnus, the mutant master of magnetism known as Magneto and the mutant overlord Apocalypse, archenemies of the X-Men, corrupt businessman Norman Osborn, the megalomaniacal Green Goblin, Doctor Otto Octavius, a.k.a Doctor Octopus, and Eddie Brock, once the venomous Venom, all of whom are the top archenemies of Spider-Man, Victor Creed, Sabretooth, archenemy of Wolverine, Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, archenemy of Daredevil, Samuel Sterns, the Leader, and Emil Blonsky, the gamma-irradiated monster the Abomination, archenemies of the incredible Hulk, the Dreaded Dormammu and Baron Mordo, archenemies of Doctor Strange, the Nazi Fascist Red Skull, archenemy of Captain America, the trickster god Loki, archenemy of Thor, the Mandarin, archenemy of Iron Man, Kang the Conqueror and Ultron, archenemies of the Avengers, and Mephisto, archenemy of Ghost Rider and the Silver Surfer.
A degree of paranoid fear against mutants exists due to stories of mutants being a race or even a species (Homo superior or Homo sapiens superior) that is evolving and is meant to replace normal humans. This has caused organizations to form to deal with the problem, who can be divided into three camps: those who seek peaceful coexistence between mutants and normal humans (the X-Men and their affiliated groups), those who seek to control or eliminate humans to give mutants safety or dominance (Magneto and his followers, as well as other mutants such as Apocalypse), and those who seek to regulate or eliminate mutants in favor of humans. The latter often use the robots known as Sentinels as weapons.
Most of the superhumans owe their powers to the Celestials, cosmic entities who visited Earth one million years ago and experimented on our prehistoric ancestors (a process they also carried out on several other planets). This resulted in the creation of two hidden races, the godlike Eternals and the genetically unstable Deviants, in addition to giving some humans an "x-factor" in their genes, which sometimes activates naturally, resulting in sometimes superpowered, sometimes disfigured individuals called mutants. Others require other factors (such as radiation) for their powers to come forth. With the exception of psionic abilities, these powers are usually random; rarely do two people have the exact same set of powers. It is not clear why the Celestials did this, although it is known that they continue to observe humanity's evolution. The majority of the public is unaware of what may cause superhuman powers.
Other possible origins for superhuman powers include: magic, genetic manipulation or bionic implants. Some heroes and villains have no powers at all but depend instead on hand-to-hand combat training or advanced technological equipment. Technology is slightly more advanced than in our world; this is due to unique individuals of genius intelligence, such as Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic) of the Fantastic Four, Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man, Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk, and Doctor Doom. However, most of the really advanced devices (such as powered armor and death rays) are too expensive for the common citizen, and are usually in the hands of government organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D., or powerful criminal organizations like the Maggia,A.I.M., and Hydra. One major company producing these devices is Stark International, owned by Anthony Stark (Iron Man)but there are others. Advanced technology has also been given to humans by hidden races, aliens, or time travelers like Kang the Conqueror, who is known to have influenced the robotics industry in the past.
In addition to mutants, Eternals and Deviants, several other intelligent races have existed secretly on Earth. These include: The Inhumans, another genetically unstable race (like the Deviants, but in their case its due to their use of a substance called 'Terrigen') that was created by a Kree experiment long ago; The Subterraneans, a race of humanoids adapted to living below the surface, created by the Deviants (some subterraneans were transformed into 'Lava Men' by a demon); and Homo mermanus, a humanoid race of water-breathers that lives in Earth's oceans. Most of these races have advanced technology but existed hidden from humanity until recent times. More variants of humanity can be found in the Savage Land (see places, below.)
There are hundreds of intelligent alien races. Earth has interacted with many of them due to the fact that a major "hyperspace warp" happens to exist in our solar system. The three major space empires are:
The three are often in direct or indirect conflict, which occasionally involve Earth people; in particular, the Kree and Skrulls are ancient enemies, and the Kree-Skrull War has involved humans on several occasions.
Another prominent alien race is the Watchers, immortal and wise beings who watch over the Marvel Universe and have taken a sacred vow not to intervene in events, though the Watcher assigned to Earth, Uatu, has violated this oath on several occasions.
The Elders of the Universe are ancient aliens who have often had great impact on many worlds, for billions of years, acting alone or as a group.
Many other races exist, and have formed an “Intergalactic Council” to have their say on matters that affect them all, such as interference from Earth humans in their affairs.
Also abundant are legendary creatures such as gods, demons and vampires. The ‘gods’ of most polytheistic pantheons are actually powerful, immortal human-like races from other dimensions who visited Earth in ancient times, and became the basis of many legends (obviously not all such legends can be true, since they contradict scientific facts, as well as each other.) Besides mythological gods, many deities made up by Marvel writers exist as well, such as the Dark Gods, enemies of the Asgardians. Note that many persons and beings have falsely pretended to be gods or demons during history; in particular, none of the ones claiming to be figures from Judeo-Christian beliefs (such as Satan, God, or the Angels) have turned out to be the real article
Similarly, demons are evil magical beings who take affairs in the matters of the universe, one of the most notorious being Mephisto. Others include Nightmare, D'Spayre, N'Astirah, Dormammu, and Shuma-Gorath.
Most of the current generation of gods have been revealed to be the descendants of the Elder Goddess Gaea. The two most prominent pantheons are the Asgardians (of whom Thor is a member) and the Olympians (of whom Hercules is a member). The lords of the various pantheons sometimes gather in groups known as the Council of Godheads and Council of Skyfathers.
The gods were forced to stop meddling with humanity (at least openly) a thousand years ago by the Celestials, and most people today believe them to be fictional.
Above all other beings in the Universe are the cosmic entities, beings of unbelievably great levels of power (the weakest can destroy planets) who exist to perform duties that maintain the existence of the universe. Most do not care at all about "lesser beings" such as humans, and as a consequence their acts can occasionally be dangerous to mortals.
When dire threats threaten the universe it is not uncommon for these beings to gather together to discuss the threat, and even act.
Several Dimensions coexist simultaneously without affecting each other directly. There’s a score of such dimensions, ranging from the Earth-like to the totally alien. Some are magical in nature and others are scientific; some are inhabited and others are not. These include realities like the Microverse, Darkforce Dimension, the Mojoverse, and many more.
Another noteworthy is that time "branches out" creating new alternate realities when certain important events happen. Those realities can also spawn realities of their own. There exists hundreds, probably thousands, or even millions of such realities. It is unknown why this happens, though a warp known as the Nexus of All Realities exists in a swamp in the Florida. For the most part this does not matter, as most beings are unaware that this occurs, or even that their universes were recently "born" from another. However, organizations exist that try to monitor or manipulate the various realities. These include the Captain Britain Corps, the Time Variance Authority, and Kang the Conqueror's forces. See Continuities, below.
The following timeline describes the major events of Earth-616. Only major fictional historical events are listed here. Please note that few exact dates have been given for these events, so approximations are used instead. Note also that a sliding timescale applies to Earth-616, so that events involving it inhabitants can only be determined as having happened a certain number of years before whatever the current date is.
The Big Bang (approximately 13.7 Billion years ago, according to current data): Prior to the formation of the current universe, another universe existed which was destroyed when the Dweller in Darkness fractured the M'Kraan Crystal, hoping to feast upon the fear that the impending doom would bring to the universe's population. The Phoenix Force, however, reached out to touch every living mind and united them in peace, foiling the Dweller's plan. In spite of this, the destruction of the universe could not be stopped, but Eternity, the sentience of the universe, selected one being - the last living man in that universe, Galan of Taa - to survive and live on, merging with him at the point of universal collapse. Then, initiated by the Living Tribunal, this cosmic egg exploded in the Big Bang (see Oscillatory universe), forming the current universe, and from the cosmic crucible, Galen emerged as Galactus, a key cosmic being in the existence of the current universe. Other cosmic beings (including Eternity (reborn) and Death) came into existence at or shortly after the beginning of the universe.
Several intelligent races evolved, but most died out, replaced by new ones as time passed by. Some, however, left behind a single, immortal survivor; these formed a loose brotherhood known as the Elders of the Universe.
One race achieved immortality and great power, but after an attempt to help two other civilizations that ended in their mutual destruction, decided not to interfere anymore, but only to record all events in the universe. They became known as The Watchers. Despite their oath, some have been involved in important events, such as the one appointed as Earth's Watcher, Uatu.
When life started to evolve on Earth (approx. 3 billion years ago) the Elder Gods were born from the planet's natural magical energies. However, most started devouring each other and devolved into demons. One who avoided this fate, Gaea the earth goddess, summoned the Demiurge, the planet's sentient biosphere, and mated with it, creating Atum, the sun god. Atum set about destroying the Elder Gods, but in doing so, he too became corrupted, and was transformed into the Demogorge, eater of gods. A small number of the Elder Gods, such as Chthon and Set, escaped by banishing themselves to other dimensions, and influenced mankind indirectly later on. Chthon left behind the Darkhold, a set of indestructible parchments (later bound into a book) whose black magic caused much evil through history. Only Gaea remained on Earth, where she would guide the evolution of life. Gaea, under many different guises, later become the mother goddess of Earth's second generation of gods. Demogorge then released the energies he had absorbed, returning to his form as Atum; these energies later led to the birth of the later generation of demons, such as Mephisto.
About one million years ago, the Celestials arrived on Earth and experimented on the ancestors of humanity. This experimentation created two new races, the Eternals and Deviants. The Celestials also used the Earth as a womb or egg to birth a new Celestial. They gave some humans the ability to develop super powers (thus providing the potential for the existence of mutants and other superhumans later on) that would manifest themselves around the time that the Celestial was supposed to be born. They did this with the intent of these superhumans protecting the Earth/egg from damage to ensure the Celestials birth. However, the humans, with the help of Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four discovered this plan and ended it. Around this same time Set had created a new race, the Serpent-Men, to be his agents on Earth. They approached the Celestials, but were rejected for experimentation. The Serpent Men then became jealous of the humans and vowed themselves enemies of the human race.
The Skrulls discovered the Kree and the vegetated race, the Cotati, who shared the same home world, and gave them a test to see which of them were worthy of sharing their technology: whichever race created the better achievement would get it. The Kree created a city in Earth's Moon (in a 'Blue Area' that contained an Earth-like atmosphere and gravity) for this purpose. The Cotati created an ecosystem. The Kree lost the contest, so they killed the Skrull envoys and stole their technology. They abandoned the city, which would later become a base for Uatu. A century later, the Skrulls discovered what the Kree had done, but by that time, they had become a powerful space empire themselves. The two races have hated each other since and have been fighting wars almost constantly.
The Eternals underwent a series of civil wars. Some of them went on to colonize the planet Uranus and Saturn's moon, Titan. As a result, they missed being irradiated by an accidental explosion triggered by an experiment which turned all of the Eternals on Earth fully immortal. Their enemies, the Deviants, also developed advanced technology and created new races (such as the Subterraneans) and huge monsters that would lay dormant until modern times.
The Kree discovered the Eternals and decided to try to create their own superhuman race out of Earth's humans. The result of this experiment would become the race known as the Inhumans.
The first powerful human civilization developed in the continent of Atlantis. One of its first notable kings was King Kull, who helped to exterminate the Serpent Men. Later, Atlantis developed a highly technologically advanced civilization. They engaged in a war with the Deviants, who ruled the continent of Lemuria. The Atlanteans used weapons that drew upon their continent's geothermal energies, debilitating its geological foundations. When the Celestials returned to Earth, the Deviants tried to attack them, which resulted in the Celestials retaliating with an explosion so powerful it wrought havoc worldwide, sank Lemuria, and caused the unstable Atlantis to sink as well. Some Atlanteans managed to survive; some apparently adapted themselves to life underwater via unknown means; this process turned their skin blue and made them able to only breathe water, not air. These Atlanteans became the first Homo mermani.
Just prior to the sinking of the two continents, the Darkhold was used to create vampires, the first of which was Varnae. Around the same time, Set's worshipers created the Serpent Crown, a magical artifact of great power that allowed Set to influence its users.
As a result of the cataclysm caused by the Celestials, technology was lost to the human race for millennia, and they reverted to barbarism. During this period, the Hyborian Age, Conan, a descendant of Kull, became an unintentional champion of humanity, and later became king of the land of Aquilonia. One of the sorcerers of this era, Kulan Gath, eventually manifested in the present, along his enemy, Red Sonja. Most of the civilizations of the time eventually became ancestors to actual historical civilizations, like Egypt. (Note: Marvel no longer has the rights to use Kull, Conan or Sonja, but they haven't been officially erased from the continuity; they are just no longer cited by name. Gath, being a character created by Marvel, can still be used.)
The second generation of gods appeared before mankind and were worshiped by pagan civilizations. Most of the legends involving them are true in the Marvel Universe, though not exactly in the form recorded in mythology. Similarly, the second generation of demons began to prey on humanity. Some pretended to be legendary infernal beings such as Satan.
The man who would become Kang the Conqueror traveled back in time to ancient Egypt. He took control of Egypt and ruled as "Pharaoh Rama-Tut" until deposed by the time traveling Fantastic Four. The West Coast Avengers and Doctor Strange were also present via time travel, and they influenced the course of the Fantastic Four's battle with Rama-Tut in their fellow heroes' favor. The immortal mutant En Sabah Nur, who would later become known as Apocalypse, was also present; he had been a slave in Rama-Tut's court, but was freed when his powers manifested themselves. At the time, he was unsuccessfully attempting to woo a member of the royal family named Nephra; when she rejected him, he in turn rejected humanity.
At least a thousand years ago, the Celestials returned to Earth and forced the gods to stop intervening in the development of human civilization.
The wizard Merlin helped King Arthur to establish the kingdom of Camelot, and mentored the Black Knight (Sir Percy of Scandia) to oppose the evil influence of Arthur's illegitimate son, the knight Mordred. In the end, Mordred and Morgan le Fay brought down Camelot, but were killed themselves in the process. (All of these people would later manifest, in various ways, in the present.) Iron Man and Doctor Doom were present at that time, following a battle and the treason of an employee of Doom. Iron Man allied himself with Arthur, and Doom with Morgan, but the two time travelers were eventually forced to work together to return to the present.
At some point prior to the fall of Camelot, Modred the Mystic (no relation to Mordred) was approached by Merlin (or an impostor) to study magic in Camelot. Modred was instead corrupted by the power of the Darkhold, and would lose his soul and his love but would gain near-immortality and a mastery of magic. He would battle Chthon and the Darkholders through the modern day, but would bear a deadly vendetta against Merlin and his allies.
The Transylvanian prince Vlad Tepes, better known as Dracula, was mortally wounded in battle with the legions of the Turkish warlord Turac. Turac hoped to heal Dracula and set him up as a puppet ruler, so he brought him to the gypsy healer Lianda. Lianda was actually a vampire in the service of Varnae; she transformed Dracula into a vampire, but was killed. Turac killed Dracula's wife Maria, prompting Dracula to fully embrace his vampiric power. Dracula bit Turac and ordered the warlord to return to Turkey to kill his own family, then killed Varnae's servant Nimrod for the title of "Lord of the Vampires". Dracula was then forced to drink Varnae's life's blood, giving him the ancient vampire's full power.
Dracula later waged a bloody war against the gypsies as revenge for Lianda's actions. One of those who he killed was the son of the witch Gretchin, who was, unknown to Dracula, caring for Dracula's exiled daughter Lilith. Gretchin cursed Lilith to become a vampire who would hunt Dracula until he was destroyed forever.
Dracula traveled to the New World, where he was drawn to a girl in Salem, Massachusetts. When the girl was killed by a jealous Puritan, Dracula used hypnosis on the slave Tituba, initiating the chain of events that would lead to the Salem witch trials. Several heroes from the modern day, including Spider-Man, were transported to the time of the trials by the time-traveling Dark Rider, but were unable to stop the Dark Rider in time to attempt to prevent the hanging of the trials' victims.
Events occurred that inspired Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, although the Earth-616'sversion of Frankenstein's Monster is a generally heroic rather than the somewhat amoral character of the novel.
Many adventurers and criminals were active in North America's "Wild West", some of whom used costumed identities, such as the Two-Gun Kid, the original Ghost Rider (later renamed the Phantom Rider and succeeded by three other men), Kid Colt, the Outlaw Kid, the Apache Kid, and the Red Wolf. Other non-masked gunfighters of the era included the Rawhide Kid, the Gunhawks, the unrelated Gunhawk, and Caleb Hammer. All of these gunslingers, save for the Rawhide Kid, the Red Wolf, and the Gunhawk Reno Jones are known to have been murdered or killed in battle by the century's end. Most of them died in a blaze of glory in 1885, defending the town of Wonderment, Montana from the land-grabbing Nightriders. That said, the Two-Gun Kid is known to have used time travel to visit the present from a time before his death on at least two separate occasions; on the first such occasion, he joined the super-heroic Avengers. The ghost of Carter Slade (one of the last Phantom Riders) would later possess his modern-day ancestor, Lincoln Slade, who became the Phantom Rider.
In 1890, the events that inspired Bram Stoker's novel Dracula occurred, although Dracula survived the conclusion by transforming into mist when stabbed by Abraham van Helsing and his vampire hunters. Around the same time, Nathaniel Essex, a contemporary of Darwin, was transformed by Apocalypse, becoming Mister Sinister. His obsession for genetics led him to create numerous monstrous post-humans via surgery and genetic engineering.
Soon after, Dracula and Apocalypse fought one another in London. Apocalypse returned to suspended animation, where he would remain until the modern era, and Dracula was staked by van Helsing. Dracula was revived by none other than the Frankenstein's monster, and after the two fought, Dracula returned to and killed van Helsing. Van Helsing was survived by at least one child, and his granddaughter Rachel would fight Dracula in the modern era.
James Howlett, who would later call himself "Logan" and then "Wolverine", was born in the end of the 19th century.
The first group of costumed heroes of this century were the Freedom's Five, a group of international heroes who gathered to fight the Germans during World War I. One of their number was the first hero to be called Union Jack; his brother was the German agent called Baron Blood, who had been transformed into a vampire by Dracula. Another member of the Five was the Phantom Eagle, whose ghost would be laid to rest in the modern era with the assistance of Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider. Jack Fury, father of Nick Fury, fought the Red Baron during the Great War.
Several costumed characters appeared in America before the United States entered World War II. The first was the Atlantean half-breed prince Namor the Sub-Mariner, whose dual surface-dweller and Atlantean heritage granted him superhuman strength and flight, and allowed him to breathe both air and water. However, this same heritage made him both a savior and enemy of mankind. Though often portrayed as a hero, he also waged several wars on Earth's above water populations. It was later discovered that Namor needed to have a specific amount of time under water in order to not go temporarily insane.
The second costumed character to arrive prior to WWII was the android Human Torch. These two heroes came into conflict with each other, but later became steadfast allies in the face of the Axis threat. Other heroes of this time included Red Raven, the original Ka-Zar, the Patriot (Jeff Mace), and the Hurricane (actually the Eternal Makkari).
The US Government secretly developed a project to create super soldiers to fight in the war, but it was sabotaged by a Nazi agent and the full formula was lost. An early prototype was used on a platoon of African American soldiers, all but one of whom (Isaiah Bradley) died. Only one soldier, Steve Rogers, was given the full super soldier treatment. Rogers was given the secret identity of Captain America to be a morale-boosting symbol. He would become one of the world's most influential heroes. Meanwhile, Isaiah Bradley was rendered brain-damaged following a near-fatal escape from a Nazi concentration camp after an apparent suicide mission, and Rogers would not learn of his existence for decades.
When America entered the war, Winston Churchill himself arranged for several heroes to form a team called The Invaders, to perform missions against the Axis Powers and their super agents. Several costumed villains had important roles among the Nazis. These include the Red Skull, Baron Zemo, Baron Strucker, Arnim Zola, Agent Axis, Master Man, and others. Most of them would survive to plague the heroes of the modern era.
In 1945, shortly before the Allies captured Berlin, the Red Skull was accidentally placed in a state of suspended animation, and in a separate incident Captain America was frozen in ice and his teenage sidekick Bucky was seemingly killed. Both men were soon secretly replaced by the US government to avoid lowering morale among the Allies. Soon after, the Allies advanced to Berlin, and the Invaders broke into Hitler's bunker. Although history would record it as suicide, Hitler was actually killed in self-defense by the Human Torch. Not long after the war ended, the first replacement Captain America was killed in action and was replaced by a post-war Captain America. The original Captain America and the Red Skull would both be revived in the modern era.
A young man who would later assume the identity of Erik Lehnsherr was interned in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp alongside his future wife Magda. The pair escaped, married, and had a daughter, Anya. When Anya was killed in an arson attack on their home, Erik used his mutant powers to kill the attackers, frightening away Magda, who was actually pregnant with twins at the time. The twins were born in the "1950s" on Mount Wundagore, and were placed into suspended animation for several decades by the High Evolutionary. They would eventually be given to the Transian gypsy Django Maximoff, who would raise them as his own. Erik would later become the super-villain called Magneto, and his children would become Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Neither Magneto nor his children would learn of this relationship until the modern era.
After the war, most of the Invaders remained active as a group called the All-Winners Squad, though they eventually disbanded and, with Citizen V and several of their allies in the Liberty Legion, formed the core of the new V-Battalion. The Human Torch was rendered inert for decades after the "1950s", and the Sub-Mariner was rendered an amnesiac following the destruction of much of Atlantis by the Set-controlled mesmerist Paul Destine ("Destiny").
During the "mid-1950s", a new Captain America and Bucky appeared. These men were devoted anti-Communists who took the real names of their namesakes as their own. They fought a new Soviet-sponsored Red Skull and various other threats from beyond the Iron Curtain. The experimental super-soldier process that had created them made them mentally unstable, so they were placed in suspended animation until the modern day, where they were revived by the original Captain America. This Captain America would later become the Grand Director of the Secret Empire, while this Bucky would recover and become the superhero Nomad.
Several new heroes were active during the "1950s", including Marvel Boy (Robert "Bob" Grayson), the [[Charles chandler (Earth-616)|3-D Man]], and the goddess Venus. In an alternate reality, some of them formed a short-lived team known as "The Avengers". This reality was wiped out by Immortus before it progressed into the 1960s. That particular grouping may have also existed in the main Marvel Universe, but if so, they were never called "The Avengers".
There was also a team of heroes active some time after World War 2 until 1985, known as the First Line, but their existence was mainly kept secret from the general public. Most of them died battling Skrulls. Another team active during this period was the Monster Hunters, who battled monsters of alien and Deviant origins across the globe. However, their exploits are not well known today because a conspiracy called CONTROL tried to keep the existence of aliens and the supernatural from the general public, and succeeded for many years.
During the Cold War, a joint US/Canadian task force that was later codenamed "Team X" was formed. This group of spies and assassins included the men who would become Wolverine, Sabretooth, Maverick, and others. Subsequently, the Weapon Plus Project, which had supported the creation of the Super Soldier Project that had created Captain America, started a new iteration of its Weapon program. The Tenth Weapon program (Weapon X) resulted in the implantation of adamantium in Wolverine's body and the creation of many false memories in him and the other Team X/Weapon X agents.
About ten years prior to the modern era, six couples were teleported to the lair of the demonic Gibborim, who offered six of the twelve a chance to gain power and immortality should all twelve assist the Gibborim in destroying humanity in the future. All agreed, and became The Pride. When one of the couples discovered that they were pregnant, the other couples decided to follow suit and have one child apiece, with each couple granting their eventual power and immortality to their sole offspring. In the modern era, these children would rebel against their parents and become the Runaways.
This started officially with the public debut of the Fantastic Four. Spider-Man, The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Daredevil and the X-Men soon followed. Some of these heroes joined to form the Avengers. These would become Earth's greatest heroes. For a list of several of the most important events to happen in a period of about 10 years until "today", see Major Events of the Marvel Universe.
Certain places, some of which exist in real-life and some of which are fictional, figure prominently in the Marvel Universe.
Most of the action of Marvel Comics takes place in New York City.
New York City is the site of many places important to superheroes:
New York City is a center of industry, serving as the headquarters of:
Two universities are also especially prominent in the Marvel Universe:
Some items have been created specifically for the Marvel Universe and carry immense powers:
Notable Arts and Entertainment Figures:
Members of the Press:
Notable Political/Media Figures:
For Alternate Universes, Dimensions, and Pocket Universes, see:Multiverse