With a library of over 4,700 proprietary characters, Marvel Enterprises, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel's operations are focused in three areas: entertainment (Marvel Studios) and licensing, comic book publishing and toys (Toy Biz). Marvel facilitates the creation of entertainment projects, including feature films, DVD/home video, video games and television based on its characters and also licenses its characters for use in a wide range of consumer products and services including apparel, collectibles, snack foods and promotions. Marvel's characters and plot lines are created by its comic book division which continues to expand its leadership position in the U.S. and worldwide while also serving as an invaluable source of intellectual property.
Jessica Jones, a former costumed super hero, is now the owner and sole employee of Alias Investigations, a small private eye firm. A tough-as-nails investigator, Jessica finds herself working on typical seedy cases -- missing persons, cheating spouses and more -- but often with a superhuman twist!
And there came a day unlike any other, when Earth's Mightiest Heroes were united against a common threat! On that day The Avengers were born - to fight foes that no single hero could withstand! Captain America! Iron Man! Thor! Although their ranks may change, one fact remains constant: The Avengers will always assemble to protect the world from any threat imaginable!
Stalking criminal prey through the concrete jungles of New York City, Narcotics Officer Kasper Cole confronts an ancient African tradition as the mantel of Wakandas fearsome warrior-king is thrust upon him. But can a cynical New York cop grow in wisdom, spirituality and prowess enough to survive the gauntlet of ascension? Can Kasper Cole ever truly become... the Black Panther?!
In 1940, as America prepared for war, a frail young man volunteered for an experiment that transformed him into the premiere physical specimen - the American Super Soldier! Steve Rogers then battled the Nazis until a freak mishap placed him in suspended animation for decades. When he awakened, Rogers was truly a man out of time; though no less committed to fighting the evils of this perilous new era!
He is Genis, son of legendary intergalactic hero Mar-Vell! Linked by destiny to professional super hero sidekick Rick Jones through the atom-exchanging Nega-Bands, he is driven by cosmic awareness to seek out and eliminate those forces that threaten the universe!
A Good Samaritan act stole young Matt Murdock's sight, but also enhanced his remaining senses to superhuman level! After becoming a lawyer -- and suffering the murder of his father -- Matt now uses his powers to protect the innocent in New York City's Hell's Kitchen as Daredevil, the man without fear!
A brilliant scientist - his best friend - the woman he loves - and her fiery-tempered kid brother! Together they braved the unknown terrors of outer space, and were changed by cosmic rays into something more than merely human! Mr. Fantastic! The Thing! The Invisible Woman! The Human Torch! Leading lives both of an ordinary family and as famous celebrities - they are mankind's premiere explorers - and the world will never be the same again!
Caught in the heart of a nuclear explosion, victim of gamma radiation gone wild, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner now finds himself transformed in times of stress into the dark personification of his repressed rage and fury -- the most powerful man-like creature to ever walk the Earth!
When billionaire industrialist Tony Stark dons sophisticated steel-mesh armor of his own design, he becomes a living high-tech weapon - the world's greatest human fighting machine!
Once he was an ex-Marine just trying to start a new life with his loving family. But when his wife and children were murdered by the mob, Frank Castle dedicated his life to ending theirs! Now the one-man-army known as the Punisher has declared war on the guilty and he won't stop until they're all dead!
Bitten by an irradiated spider, high-school student Peter Parker developed amazing arachnid-like powers! And when a criminal killed his beloved Uncle Ben, a grief-stricken Peter vowed to use his amazing abilities to protect his fellow man, for he had learned an invaluable lesson: With great power, there must also come great responsibility!
When our nation beckons, who will answer The Call? Meet three everyday heroes - a firefighter stationed across the street from where the World Trade Towers once stood, a police officer and an EMT worker - ordinary citizens who risked their lives daily to help others, but who found themselves suddenly facing the unfamiliar world of the supernatural. Together saved Manhattan from certain doom, but what happens to these heroes when their experiences change them ... when they become something more than human? Are their newfound supernatural abilities a blessing or a curse? Find out when all-new heroes step forward to answer The Call!
The world is changing. Crime is becoming super-crime. Terrorism is becoming super-terrorism. With the backing of the U.S. government, General Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. have assembled a team of super-powered protectors: Captain America, the Super Soldier thawed out from World War II; Iron Man, the personal weapons system of billionaire Tony Stark; Giant Man, able to grow to 60 feet tall; the Wasp, able to shrink and fly; and Thor, the hammer-wielding warrior who claims to be the Norse god of thunder! They are The Ultimates, the superhuman task force created to safeguard mankind!
From immortal Asgard he hails - the mightiest warrior of all mythology! Wielder of the mystic uru hammer, Mjolnir, he is the Norse god of thunder, master of the lightning and storm!
Once they were the world's latest, greatest team of super heroes -- hailed and revered by an adoring public. Then, their darkest secret came to light. In reality, they were the Masters of Evil. Now, the Thunderbolts have achieved the impossible: redemption and an official pardon for past crimes!
In the shadow of World War II, the U.S. government worked feverishly to create an army of Super Soldiers, chemically-enhanced warriors that would crush the Axis powers. Everyone now knows that Steve Rogers was selected be the first -- and only -- Super Soldier. But in 1940 there was a man who had many of the same qualities as Rogers, save for one: the color of his skin. Now, in the tradition of ORIGIN, Marvel reveals the untold history of Captain America!
X-MenBorn with strange powers, the mutants known as the X-Men use their awesome abilities to protect a world that hates and fears them!
DC Comics is one of the largest and most diverse publishers of comics and comics-related products today. Collectively, with our mature readers line, Vertigo, and cutting-edge action line, WildStorm, DC is the only publisher that offers a complete line of comics for every age group and literary taste. DC is also one of the industry's most prolific publishers, producing more than eighty comics titles every month and close to one thousand titles per year. DC is also one of the oldest comics companies, with a continuous publishing history that spans over sixty years.
A Brief History
Beginning in 1935, the fledgling company that was to become DC Comics produced a series of comics industry milestones. The company launched a brand new industry by publishing NEW FUN COMICS, the very first comic book that consisted entirely of previously unpublished material. Several years later DETECTIVE COMICS #1 became the first comic book devoted to a single theme. In 1938, DC again made history with ACTION COMICS, featuring the debut of SUPERMAN, thereby giving birth to the super hero genre. Shortly thereafter, another milestone character, BATMAN, was introduced in the pages of DETECTIVE COMICS. The popularity of the super hero resulted in the introduction of many fantastic characters in the 40s. Amazingly, many of these are still popular today, such as The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, as well as the first super-team, the Justice Society of America (JSA), which was followed years later by the Justice League of America (JLA).
Throughout the 1940s, '50s and '60s comics became a widely popular medium and comicbook characters found their way into most other mainstream media. DC Comics characters such as Superman and Batman were featured in cartoons, radio, movies and live action TV shows. These characters also appeared on hundreds of licensed products, from peanut butter to pajamas and countless toys.
Beginning in the 1970s, reflective of a changing social climate, the comics medium became a vehicle for more serious and complex themes and stories. Several DC Comics publications were at the forefront of this development, touching on issues such as drug abuse, pollution and racism. The series most notable at this time for employing these themes was a series called GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW, by the award-winning writer/artist team of Denny ONeil and Neal Adams.
In 1972, writer/artist team Len Wein and Berni Wrightson used SWAMP THING to reinvigorated the horror genre and, in the early 80s, writer Alan Moore used this series to take comics to the next level by exploring psychological horror.
In 1986, WATCHMEN, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons took a fresh and disturbing look at the super hero genre and has since become one of the best-selling comics of all time and claimed by most as one of the best comic stories ever done.
That same year, Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley redefined Batman and attained world-wide attention with their BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.
In 1988, the publication of SANDMAN #1, a radical defection from the traditional super hero genre, paved the way for the subsequent launch of Vertigo, a line devoted to more literary themes and mature subject matter.
DC began the 1990s with the launch of two groundbreaking imprints Vertigo and Milestone. Vertigo was created as a venue for material of a more mature and sophisticated nature that did not fit easily with the traditionally superhero-dominated mainstream comics. Milestone was the first line of comics starring multicultural heroes and made its debut with the titles ICON, HARDWARE, and STATIC, the last of which endures as the current animated hit series STATIC SHOCK. To further expand the breadth of our publishing line, in 1998 DC acquired WildStorm Productions, a leading independent comics publisher whose books displayed a refreshingly modern take on action/adventure superheroes.
The '90s also saw such landmark events as the "Death" of Superman, his subsequent return and marriage to long-time flame Lois Lane, and the issuance by the US Postal Service of a Superman stamp the first ever honoring a comic book character.
DC continues into the new millennium with its rich history and a constantly expanding universe of characters, titles, products and more. By spending some time at our website, reviewing the many listings and sample art from our publications (including some complete stories), checking out in-depth character information in our Secret Files and Origins section or exploring our minisites that focus on our specific series and titles, youll get a better sense of the amazing and imaginative world of comics!
Real name: Arthur Curry Orin
Occupation: Waterbearer of the Secret Sea, exiled King of Atlantis
Base of Operations: Atlantis
Marital Status: Married
Height: 6' 1"
Eyes: Sea blue
First Appearance: MORE FUN COMICS #73 (November, 1941)
Born of royal and sorcerous Atlantean blood, the infant Prince Orin was abandoned on Mercy Reef for having blond hair, which according to Atlantean myth signifies the Curse of Kordax. The child, left for dead, was rescued and raised by the dolphin Porm until finding his way into the care of Arthur Curry, a lighthouse keeper.
Coming of age, Orin - by then having taken the human name Arthur Curry in honor of his adoptive father - discovered he possessed tremendous strength and speed and the ability to communicate telepathically with all marine life.
As Aquaman, Orin helped found the Justice League of America. Discovering his royal heritage, he reclaimed his birthright as King of Atlantis, eventually taking Mera - the deposed queen of another dimension - as his bride. The tumultuous nature of that relationship, which included the death of their child, was only worsened by the events of the Imperiex War, during which Aquaman sacrificed himself and his people, trapping them thousands of years in the past.
The Atlanteans were enslaved by their sorcerous ancestors for more than fifteen years before Aquaman - aided by the JLA - returned them to the present. To effect the rescue, Aquaman was forced to re-sink ancient Atlantis. For this, he was deposed as king and once more banished from the seas.
Barely alive, the outcast King of the Seas was visited by the Lady of the Lake. She restored his health and appointed him "Waterbearer" - a role whose full depth Orin has only begun to explore.
Real name: Bruce Wayne
Occupation: Industrialist, Philanthropist
Base of Operations: Gotham City
Marital Status: Single
Height: 6' 2"
First Appearance: DETECTIVE COMICS #27 (May, 1939)
Though regarded by many Gothamites as an "urban legend" built on superstition and fear of the city's darkened streets, Bruce Wayne knows all too well that the Batman is a cold, hard reality of his own fabrication. Since his parents' death in Gotham's dreaded "Crime Alley," Wayne has spent his life in pursuit of physical and mental perfection in order to wage unrelenting war on crime. Watching over Gotham's streets from its gargoyles and parapets, the Dark Knight is the city's last best hope against evil. And it is this obsession that drives the Batman, for Wayne has vowed that no innocent should suffer the pain he has endured.
When the Venom-fueled Bane destroyed Arkham Asylum and unleashed its inhabitants on an unwary Gotham, Bruce Wayne learned that his obsession might be more than he can endure. Driving himself past the point of exhaustion to capture Arkham's most dangerous inmates, Batman led himself right into the clutches of Bane, who had deduced his identity and invaded the sanctity of Wayne Manor and the Batcave. There, surrounded by all the trophies and weapons of his crusade, Bruce Wayne was defeated, his back broken and his spirit destroyed. Crippled and wheelchair-bound, the humbled Wayne left Jean Paul Valley his costume and began an arduous quest to regain his strength and will to fight, including calling upon the beautiful but deadly Lady Shiva to retrain him in the fighting skills he had spent years mastering.
Upon learning that Valley had become a darker, more violent vision of Batman, Wayne returned to Gotham to forcibly reclaim the mantle of the Dark Knight. Shortly thereafter, Bruce Wayne departed Gotham once again, leaving the city's custodianship in the hands of his former partner Dick Grayson for a brief time. When Wayne finally did return, it was for good, adopting a darker look and stronger arsenal to reflect the changes in his body and mind Bane's attack had wrought upon him. Since that time, he has returned to the Gotham night and attempted to rebuild his life as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, in addition to reaffirming his relationships with Tim Drake, Dick Grayson and Alfred. In the aftermath of Bruce Wayne's flight from the law as an accused murderer, Batman and his crime fighting crew have become a stronger fighting unit than ever.
Birds of Prey
Real name: Selina Kyle
Occupation: Classy independent woman
Base of Operations: Gotham City
Marital Status: Single
Height: 5' 7"
First Appearance: (as the Cat) BATMAN #1 (Spring, 1940), (as Catwoman) BATMAN #2 (Summer, 1940), (as the modern Selina Kyle) BATMAN #404 (February, 1987)
The oldest of two sisters from a fractured family, Selina Kyle had one of the toughest childhoods one could imagine. After her mother's suicide, she and her sister Maggie were sent to the Youth Authority, where Selina began to see how hard the world could really be. After escaping from Juvenile Hall at age 13, she lived on the streets as a runaway and began to learn the art of being a thief, something at which she excelled. Inspired by seeing Batman in action in his early days, Selina adopted the persona of Catwoman as a way to exploit those she saw exploiting so many others. When her success as Catwoman made her wealthy, she entered Gotham's social elite, dining and dancing with the same people from whom she was stealing. It was during her time as a member of Gotham high society that Selina briefly dated Bruce Wayne.
Recently, Selina returned to the East End of Gotham to reevaluate what she wanted from her life as Catwoman, and decided she had strayed from her original path. While she still sees herself as someone who lives outside the law, now she also speaks for society's cast-offs. Someone has to care about the people who fall through the cracks.
Real name: Oliver Queen
Base of Operations: Star City
Marital Status: Single
Height: 5' 11"
First Appearance: (historic) MORE FUN COMICS #73 (November, 1941); (modern) ADVENTURE COMICS #250 (July, 1958)
A sudden lurch on a South Seas cruise knocked billionaire Oliver Queen overboard where he eventually washed up on Starfish Island. Inspired by his Robinson Crusoe-like situation, he fashioned a bow to fend for himself in order to survive. After escaping the island, Oliver returned to Star City where he captured a two-bit crook at a costume ball who said he "would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for that green, arrow guy."
With a nickname coined by the press, Green Arrow and his sidekick Speedy made it their mission to protect Star City. Green Arrow joined the Justice League of America and soon fell in love with member Black Canary. In the ensuing year after losing his fortune, Ollie traveled the country with Green Lantern Hal Jordan while his left-behind ward dabbled with drugs that caused the two to go their separate ways.
Green Arrow fashioned himself over the years into a modern-day Robin Hood that has been on both sides of the law while seeking his own brand of justice with a bow. On one such case, while stopping a militant group called the Eden Corps, Oliver Queen was killed in an airplane explosion over Metropolis. After Queen's death, Connor Hawke, the son whom he had barely known, picked up the bow and continued the good fight as the second Green Arrow.
This wasn't Oliver's end, however, as Hal Jordan (during his time as Parallax) used godlike powers to bring his old friend back from the dead. Unfortunately, the reanimated hero was an empty vessel with no soul, whose memories were replicated from his earlier days when he had a stronger liberal conscience. Ollie's more experienced soul remained in a Heaven-like place for a time, until it was reunited with his body in order to defeat an evil warlock named Stanley Dover. Now, the original Green Arrow is back in action with a rare second chance at life to make up for previous mistakes with his loved ones, all while renewing his vows to be a defender of the downtrodden.
Real name: John Stewart
Base of Operations: New York City
Marital Status: Widower
Height: 6' 1"
First Appearance: GREEN LANTERN (second series) #87 (January, 1972)
John Stewart was selected to act as alternate Green Lantern of space sector 2814 should Hal Jordan become incapacitated. Idealistic, John championed the oppressed, eventually given full status in the Green Lantern Corps by the Guardians of the Universe. Sadly, John's career would be rife with tragedy, including the death of his wife Katma Tui at the hands of Star Sapphire, and the destruction of the planet Xanshi, a result of John's overconfidence.
As part of his self imposed penance John accepted the commission to unite alien cities stolen by a mad Guardian, which became Oa's "Mosaic." After the Corps disbanded, John began a tenure as leader of the Darkstars galactic peacekeeping force until he was crippled while defending the planet Rann. In a final act of friendship, Hal Jordan visited John and healed his injuries before sacrificing himself to heal Earth's sun. Today, John has founded Shining Light Architecture, and advises Kyle as best he can.
Real name: Carter Hall
Base of Operations: St. Roch, Louisiana
Marital Status: Single
Height: 6' 1"
First Appearance: FLASH COMICS #1 (January 1940)
Hawkman has lived a thousand lives, and in each one has waged a battle against evil. His soul began its journey in Ancient Egypt as Prince Khufu of the 15th Dynasty. Too early in their lives, Khufu and his great love, Chay-Ara, were murdered by a sorcerer named Hath-Set. Due to his exposure to a strange golden element (Thanagarian Nth Metal) that he discovered in the wreckage of an alien spacecraft, Khufu and Chay-Ara were reincarnated again and again, each time unaware of their previous lives.
In the 1940s, Khufu lived as Carter Hall. It was here that he first adopted the guise of Hawkman, a founding member of the legendary Justice Society of America. This career continued for decades, until he and his partner Hawkgirl (a reborn Chay-Ara) were swept up in a temporal anomaly and seemingly vanished from existence. Carter's soul answered to a higher calling, and he freed himself from the anomaly, reclaiming his heroic identity as Hawkman. He now possesses the memories of all his previous incarnations.
Hawkman utilizes Nth Metal as a component of his wings and boots, which enable him to fly at terrific speeds and with great agility. The metal also allows its user to lift incredible weights and to withstand temperature extremes. The Nth Metal has several other properties that Carter has yet to tap into.
Carter Hall is striving to balance his innate warrior's anger with the princely wisdom of his ancient beginnings. He is blinded by his love for Kendra Saunders, the most recent incarnation of his beloved Chay-Ara, and will soon learn the consequences of this blindness.
Justice League of America
Real name: Eel O'Brian
Occupation: Full-time superhero (and loving it)
Base of Operations: Gotham City
Marital Status: Swingin' Single - speaking of which, what's your sign?
Height: Varies, mostly 6' 1"
Eyes: Groovy Goggles
Hair: Basic Black
First Appearance: POLICE COMICS #1(August, 1941)
If the JLA can be likened to some modern-day pantheon of myth, Plastic Man is their freewheeling, shapeshifting, trickster god. As playful and carefree as he is creative and versatile, he is a hero for the sheer thrill of the challenge as much as anything else. However, beneath his manic exterior lies a dedication to doing the job thoroughly (though mostly for the fun of rubbing his success in his opponent's and teammates' faces) that makes him a hero not to be taken nearly as lightly as he seems to take his exploits.
As a member of the JLA, Plastic Man's upbeat nature and sense of humor serve as much-needed comic relief to the sometimes grim proceedings of JLA meetings and missions. His fortitude and fast thinking may make him a member of great repute -- if he survives the consequences of posing as a pair of whoopee cushions, sneaking onto the Roundtable chairs of Batman and J'onn J'onzz, and asking Orion to pull his finger.
Real name: Kal-El (Kryptonian name)/ Clark Joseph Kent (Earth Name)
Occupation: Reporter and novelist
Base of Operations: Metropolis, USA
Marital Status: Married (Lois Lane)
Height: 6' 3"
First Appearance: ACTION COMICS #1 (June 1938), original version, THE MAN OF STEEL #1 mini-series (June 1986), current version
Rocketed to Earth from the exploding planet Krypton, Superman was raised as an ordinary man and imbued with a sense of moral responsibility by an elderly couple called Jonathan and Martha Kent. He travelled the world for many years as Clark Kent in a bid to gain wisdom and experience with regard to his abilities before settling in Metropolis as a staff reporter at the Daily Planet newspaper. His role as a crusading journalist has alerted him to thousands of emergencies over the years and introduced him to Lois Lane, the city's star reporter. Lois and Clark were rivals at first, but later fell in love and married. He is regarded by many as the most influential figure in Earth history; a symbol of hope other heroes can only aspire towards.
Kid Quantum II
Real name: Wallace Rudolph (Wally) West
Base of Operations: Keystone City, Kansas
Marital Status: Married
Height: 6' 2"
First Appearance: (as Kid Flash) THE FLASH #110 (December,1959-January, 1960); (as Flash) CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #12 (March, 1986)
Unlike his predecessors, Wally West gained his powers at an early age. While visiting the lab of his uncle-to-be, Barry Allen, Wally's life was changed by a what appeared to be a freak accident; a seemingly random bolt of lightning duplicated the event that gave Allen his speed, granting Wally identical powers. Thrilled to be Flash's junior partner, Kid Flash, Wally operated as a member of the Teen Titans and was a super-hero all his young life. Later, he grew up to become the only kid sidekick to ever fulfill the job's inherent promise; when Barry died, it was Wally's responsibility to adopted his costume and identity. Since then, Wally has mastered speed tricks beyond those which Jay and Barry knew. He has also learned that his origin may have been no accident at all; apparently, there is an energy field beyond the lightspeed barrier from which all speedsters draw their power, a "Speed Force" that may have "chosen" Wally for a reason yet to be revealed.
Wonder WomanReal name: Diana
Occupation: Ambassador, teacher, super-hero
Base of Operations: New York City and Themyscira
Marital Status: Single
Height: 5' 11"
First Appearance: (historical) ALL STAR COMICS #8 (Winter, 1941); (current) WONDER WOMAN (2nd series) #1 (February, 1987)
Wonder Woman is Diana, the daughter of Hippolyta and a former princess of the Amazons of Themyscira. She is the reincarnated spirit of a human child who died in her mother's womb almost 30,000 years ago, brought to life by several Greek goddesses to combat the schemes of Ares, God of War. ,
These Greek goddesses, as well as Hermes, the messenger god, funneled the spirit into a clay sculpture crafted by Hippolyta, bringing it to life. Given special powers by each of these Olympians, Diana secretly entered a tournament designed to find the worthiest Amazon, who would go forth and confront the War God's evil. She won and, as Themyscira's champion, defeated Ares before he could bring about a nuclear holocaust.
Dubbed "Wonder Woman" by the press (and named after her mother, who later traveled back in time to World War II, where she used the name and garb of Wonder Woman), Diana became Themyscira's ambassador to the outside world, called "Patriarch's World" by the Amazons.