There’s something special with Marvel. It has an almost bewitching ability to keep and grow its audience. The key to success lies probably in the characters of Marvel’s universe.
Marvel Comics is by no means a new phenomenon. Its roots lead back to 1939 when it was founded as Timely Comics. Later, in the 1960s it became Marvel. Since then, the iconic Marvel characters have become favorites among comics and film enthusiasts alike.
Marvel’s increased popularity of today could be traced back to the turn of the millennium when a series of films were launched. The Marvel franchise has made a great impact. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel after which the success continued with increase financial power to boost marketing efforts. Today, there are even a whole bunch of Marvel casino slots available online like Thor, The Incredible Hulk and Elektra.
The number of Marvel characters is impressive. Honesty, nobody really knows the total number. Marvel Comic’s library contains more than 7,000 characters. According to some, there might be over 50,000 characters if counting all mutants, villains and temporary superheroes.
It’s impossible to tell who’s the best character of the Marvel universe. It’s in a superhero’s nature to be complex and Marvel’s universe is truly abundant with nuances. True stereotypes are actually quite rare.
True, there are many “classic” full-strength superheroes in Marvel’s repertoire. There’s Hulk and his cousin She-Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Captain Marvel. To name a few. These are rather forceful characters, but they also have other qualities. Strengths and weaknesses.
Brutal strength can be quite boring and foreseeable after a while. In Marvel’s universe superheroes with “smart” strength are much more common and it’s obviously not a coincidence. Marvel’s nuanced library of characters has kept readers’ attention for half of a century.
Black Widow (out in theatres in April) is a former Russian spy who’s now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. Yes, Natasha Romanoff has impressive fighting skills. But her muscles are not in focus here. She’s smart. What makes her really different from many superheroes is her honesty about who she is. She’s not a dual character, she’s Natasha Romanoff.
David Harbour who plays Red Guardian (the Soviet equivalent to Captain America) in the same film has said his character is the best in the whole Marvel (cinematic) universe. He has described him as multi-layered, not only being forceful. He wants to be funny and liked. He wants to be a big shot, but he’s not. The complexity makes such characters adorable.
Ant-Man who shrinks into the molecule world is smart strength by all means. The Runaways, a group of teenagers with superpowers who think their parents are evil, was also a smart move by Marvel. Hawkeye is a regular arrow-shooting guy with no real superpowers. His helpful to others, but also dependent on other heroes’ superpowers.
Odd Marvel characters
There are also some rather odd Marvel characters that do not match the superhero stereotype at all. In this category we find Squirrel Girl. She’s pretty much like any college girl but has been gifted with the powers of a squirrel. Odd? Yes, but she’s hugely popular among fans.
Deadpool is another obvious candidate for the “odd category”. He’s rude, he’s violent, filthy and incredibly funny. He’s almost an anti-hero but has long been a secret favorite among many Marvel fans. The film adaptation is superb.
The Guardians of the Galaxy is also a rather unusual bunch of superheroes. The tree-character Groot is an unexpected element to be found aboard of a spaceship. Rocket Raccoon perhaps even more so (yes, it’s a racoon). Gamora and Drax are more “classic” but not entirely. Then there’s Star Lord / Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) who does not even have any superhero powers. It’s his character and humor that binds the team together. That’s perhaps typically Marvel.