Marvel is one of the biggest names in comic books, and over a seventy-seven year history, they’ve gone from a minor publisher to a household name. Marvel has definitely had some ups and downs along the way, before reaching powerhouse status today with comics, movies, TV series and vast amounts of merchandise.
Here are madcap facts about the world’s most famous comics publisher.
1 Marvel Helped Create the Transformers Universe
Marvel aren’t just responsible for your love of Spider-Man and Wolverine—they also developed the Transformer names Optimus Prime and Megatron.
Toy manufacturer Hasbro approached then Marvel Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter and writers Denny O’Neil and Bob Budiansky in the 1980s. Hasbro had bought the robots that disguised themselves as cars and planes from Japanese company Takara and needed to repackage them. O’Neil came up with Optimus Prime and Budiansky created Megatron, while Jim Shooter developed an eight page treatment that chartered the relationship between the Decepticons and the Autobots, explained their back-story, and gave a brief breakdown of several robot’s personality traits and moral alignments.
2 Mark Ruffalo's Hulk Was the First Big-Screen Hulk Created by Motion Capture
Mark Ruffalo's performance as the Hulk in The Avengers was the first time the Hulk role was portrayed via motion capture. On the TV show, two different actors (Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno) played Banner and Hulk, respectively. In the big-screen versions, The Hulk and The Incredible Hulk, the green guy was key-frame animated. The CGI Hulk body in The Avengers was modeled after bodybuilder Steve Romm, while the Hulk's face was modeled after Ruffalo
3 Joss Whedon Didn't Like Iron Man's Tinkerbell Pose
Director Joss Whedon reportedly didn't like Iron Man's "Tinkerbell" pose from the previous movies, so he insisted that his suit come equipped with a jet pack in The Avengers. This allowed Iron Man's hands to move freely and to strike some fun cowboy poses.
4 The Monitors on the Helicarrier Bridge Were Supposed to Resemble a S.H.I.E.L.D. Logo
According to Joss Whedon, the monitors on the bridge of the Helicarrier bridge were supposed be arranged in a way to resemble the wings of the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo. The eagle head can be seen at the foot of the conference round table toward the end of the film when repairs are being done.
5 Real Military Police Were Used in the Attack of New York City
In a movie that relies on a ton of CGI, any addition that can add a sense of realism is welcome. That is probably why the crew hired 25 members of the Ohio-based 391st military police force battalion for the attack on New York City.
6 Samuel L. Jackson Is the Second Actor to Play the Same Comic Superhero in Five Movies
Samuel L. Jackson, who plays S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Nick Fury, is the second actor to play the same comic superhero in five movies. Who got there first? Hugh Jackman set the record first by playing Wolverine in all the X-Men movies and the Wolverine solo flicks.
7 Hawkeye Had a Detailed Backstory
Joss Whedon had a detailed backstory for Hawkeye, but none of it was able to be referenced due to time constraints. During the early planning stages, Hawkeye was envisioned as a circus performer trained by supervillains who manipulated him into fighting the team.
8 Ant-Man Was Supposed to Be in The Avengers
Originally, Ant-Man was supposed to appear in The Avengers, but director Joss Whedon said he was cut from the script because there were too many characters. Ant-Man finally crawled into theaters on July 17, 2015.
9 Stark Tower Stands Where the MetLife Building Should Be
The Stark Tower stands where the MetLife Building is located in New York City. The bottom third of Stark Tower retains the shape of the MetLife Building, but the rest of the floors have been digitally redesigned.
10 Hulk Actors Mark Ruffalo and Edward Norton Are Buds
Edward Norton was originally supposed to reprise his role as Bruce Banner in The Avengers, but negotiations between him and Marvel Studios broke down. Ruffalo said it was an honor to take over the role from his friend. "Ed has bequeathed this part to me," said Ruffalo. "I look at it as my generation's Hamlet."