Brush up on some essential reads after your audience with the King.

Enjoy 1,000s of issues featuring Black Panther, Shuri, and all of the Marvel Universe. For a limited time, get MARVEL UNLIMITED for $5 a month and unlock over 20,000 digital comics to read any time, any place. Use code “PANTHER” at checkout. Offer valid until 2/28/18 11:59pm ET on annual memberships only.

You’ve just seen Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” and now want to learn everything you can about the young king of Wakanda. The character of Black Panther has been around since 1966 and has gone through many adventures over the years, from a variety of comic book iterations to a young adult novel. T’Challa is a leader and hero, through and through.

Here are a few things to read to get you up to speed on the Black Panther and his storied history within the Marvel universe now that you’ve visited Wakanda courtesy of “Black Panther.”

FANTASTIC FOUR #52 – #53
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby 

Fantastic Four (1961) #52

Fantastic Four (1961) #52

  • Published: July 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Let’s start at the beginning. Making his first appearance in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #52, Marvel’s first family were gifted a technologically-advanced aircraft from the people of Wakanda. Upon visiting the mysterious African nation, they meet T’Challa, the leader of Wakanda, and who later reveals himself to be the Black Panther.

In the continuation of the story, FANTASTIC FOUR #53 is when we find out that things in Wakanda are not quite as they seem and the country is rich with a rare metal known as Vibranium. The villain from Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” also gets his origin story in this issue — it’s revealed that in Ulysses Klaw’s drive to steal the Vibranium to make weapons, he killed the Black Panther’s father. In turn, T’Challa used one of the weapons which caused Klaw’s pistol to explode in his hand.

BLACK PANTHER (1998)
Christopher Priest, Mark Texeira, Vince Evans, and Joe Jusko 

Black Panther (1998) #1

Black Panther (1998) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Christopher Priest’s run on Black Panther reinvented the character for the modern era. Laying the groundwork for Black Panther’s big screen debut, the comic introduced Everett Ross and explored the complex world of the Dora Milaje, as well putting a spotlight on T’Challa’s political responsibilities to both the world and Wakanda.

BLACK PANTHER (2005)
Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr. 

Black Panther (2005) #1

Black Panther (2005) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Screenwriter Reginald Hudlin took a super heroic approach to Black Panther, including a fight with a World War II-Captain America, leaving Steve Rogers defeated. Hudlin’s run is notable for introducing Shuri, T’Challa’s tech-genius sister. The character has become a fan favorite—thanks to Letitia Wright’s on-screen portrayal—and in Hudlin’s stories, Shuri gets her time to shine when she inevitably takes over as not only as Black Panther but the Queen of Wakanda.

BLACK PANTHER (2016)
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze, Chris Sprouse, and Laura Martin 

Black Panther (2016) #1

Black Panther (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates’ BLACK PANTHER sets the world of Wakanda on the verge of a breakdown. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, as this story is set right after “Captain America: Civil War,” with T’Challa dealing with the death of his father, T’Chaka. The complications of being thrust into the responsibilities of the throne lie heavy with T’Challa, as Black Panther learns what it is to make decisions that affect the future.

BLACK PANTHER: THE YOUNG PRINCE
Ronald L. Smith

For new young fans of Black Panther, they can follow new adventures—set before T’Challa becomes king—in the young adult read, BLACK PANTHER: THE YOUNG PRINCE. This book written by Coretta Scott King award-winning author Ronald L. Smith, sets up T’Challa in a new world, faced with new decisions. T’Challa’s morals are tested, as well as his friendships, all setting him up for his role to someday be king.

Look for Black Panther again soon on the big screen when Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” comes out this May!

For even more Black Panther, follow @theblackpanther on Twitter and like Black Panther’s official Facebook page for all the latest news and updates!

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As Kraven the Hunter sets his sites on Captain America, we paint a target on his first appearance!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Mark Waid and Chris Samnee are not taking it easy on Steve Rogers. As the Home of the Brave story launched its third part in CAPTAIN AMERICA #697, the shield-slinger found himself in the crosshairs of the most dangerous hunter in the Marvel Universe, Sergei Kravinoff.

He debuted way back in 1964’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15 simply as Kraven, the Hunter on that issue’s cover. The story itself, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, began with Spider-Man rousting a bunch of mobsters. One of them escaped his flytrap and turned out to be none other than the Chameleon! 

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #15

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #15

  • Published: August 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
What is Marvel Unlimited?

To keep Spidey out of his business, Chameleon contacted his old friend — and eventually revealed as his second cousin — Kraven the Hunter! A known celebrity, his presence in New York City caused enough of a stir that J. Jonah Jameson covered the story himself and asked for Peter Parker to shoot the event.

After showing his prowess with animals by subduing escaped snakes and gorillas, Kraven flat-out told JJJ that he arrived in the Big Apple for one purpose: to hunt Spider-Man.

From there, the Hunter secretly met up with the Chameleon. While there, he explained how he’d gotten his advanced powers: “I possess undreamed-of strength and speed, which I obtained by drinking a secret potion, stolen from the witch-doctor of a hidden African tribe!”

Kraven shifted from reading about Spider-Man to watching him in the act as he took on a group of thugs hired for this exact purpose by Chameleon. Immediately after, the two came to their first round of blows with the Hunter displaying a far superior fighting style. Kraven won the fight by using a potion on the wall-crawler and then letting him escape to enhance this game of cat and mouse.

The next day, Peter felt better but still had the shakes from Kraven’s poison. Later on, Spidey put a tracer on his new enemy, but wound up following him right into Central Park. Or so he thought!

He actually tracked Chameleon dressed as Kraven while the real Hunter skulked behind them. The wall-crawler got snared in a net trap, but used his strength to break free. He had more trouble with the wrist and leg cuffs that developed a powerful magnetic attraction to each other. Even shackled like that, Spidey managed to knock Chameleon out, dodge a variety of other attacks, and ultimately, entrap Sergei in a huge web. At the end of the issue, our hero watched as the two villains got on a boat for deportation setting the seeds for his newfound hatred of the super human community.

FLASH FORWARD

Kraven’s most well-known for going up against our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but this attempt on Captain America’s life is not the first time he’s branched out. Heck, it’s not even the only time he’s appeared in the same issue as Cap! In fact, in his second appearance ever — TALES OF SUSPENSE #58 — Kraven teamed up with Chameleon again and stumbled right into Iron Man who took the Hunter out. Kraven didn’t partake in the title battle between Iron Man and Captain America, though. Instead Chameleon played with Iron Man’s mind so that he would attack the Sentinel of Liberty while under the impression that the identity-stealing villain had taken over the real Cap’s body.

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In theaters February 16.

Explore the origins of Black Panther and Wakanda in a brand new featurette for Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” arriving in theaters February 16.

In the featurette above, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, the legendary Stan Lee, director Ryan Coogler and actor Chadwick Boseman give you a special look at the Wakandan King’s comic book origins on the page to his journey on screen in the upcoming “Black Panther.”

“One of the things that was so satisfying about ‘Civil War’ was, of course, the Black Panther,” shared Feige. “People came out of that movie going, ‘I want to know more about that character.’”

Feige added, “Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created Black Panther in the early ’60s and he’s been a staple of Marvel Comics for 50-plus years.”

“He has to look out for an entire nation — that’s a responsibility that the other super heroes don’t commonly have,” shared Boseman.

See more of the behind-the-scenes moments as well as thoughts from Coogler and Lee above!

“Black Panther” hits theaters February 16! While you await the King, follow @theblackpanther on Twitter and like Black Panther’s official Facebook page!

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The audio and visual additions to the Marvel-released comic includes narration by Stan Lee.

Released by Marvel this past summer, the Black Eyed Peas’ graphic novel MASTERS OF THE SUN – THE ZOMBIE CHRONICLES is now getting its own Augmented Reality app this Friday, which helps tell the story in an entirely new way.

The app features narration by none other than legendary Marvel icon Stan Lee and a score co-produced by both BEP member will.i.am and Academy Award winning composer, Hans Zimmer (“The Dark Knight,” “The Lion King”).

“Teaming up with Marvel is an impossible dream come true for Black Eyed Peas,” will.i.am told Marvel.com. “Marvel has been an amazing partner for MASTERS OF THE SUN – THE ZOMBIE CHRONICLES, including supporting us at Comic Cons across the country, and arranging for us to spend time with the legendary Stan Lee in the recording studio to narrate the new Augmented Reality/AR version that will come to life using the new MASTERS OF THE SUN app, available on Black Friday.”

https://www.facebook.com/blackeyedpeas/videos/10156024311448083

Developed internally and in partnership with pioneering mixed reality company, Trigger Global, who are known for their work alongside iconic brands from Lego to McDonalds, MASTER OF THE SUN’s augmented reality app brings the graphic novel to life with an innovative multimedia experience blending voice acting, sound effects and full score. Each page includes animated text or graphics that come to life just by holding the mobile device over each page of the graphic novel providing users nearly 90 minutes of content.

Marvel.com had the chance to preview the app and it’s a very impressive and cool experience. The animated graphics are notably vibrant, strong and eye-catching, and a high profile voice cast helps brings the story to life, including Lee, Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Common, Jason Isaacs, Rosario Dawson, Ice T, Michael Rapaport, Snoop Dogg and many more.

Black Eyed Peas Present: Masters of the Sun - The Zombie Chronicles (Trade Paperback)

Black Eyed Peas Present: Masters of the Sun - The Zombie Chronicles (Trade Paperback)

  • Published: July 19, 2017
  • Rating: Parental Advisory

Said Stan Lee, of the AR app, “This is so exciting, I wish I was about 70 years younger so I could grow up with this because what this is going to look like in another couple of generations… I can’t even imagine.”

The MASTERS OF THE SUN Augmented Reality app will set the stage for a virtual reality edition of the story in development in partnership with VR innovator Oculus.

Set for release on both iOS and Android mobile platforms, the MASTERS OF THE SUN Augmented Reality app will retail for $1.99 and is available as of Friday, November 24. The standalone graphic novel of “MASTERS OF THE SUN – THE ZOMBIE CHRONICLES, released last summer, is currently available for purchase.

The voice cast for the Augmented Reality version includes:

  • Narrator – Stan Lee
  • Master Sun –  Rakim
  • Polo –  Jaden Smith
  • Saleem – Jamie Foxx
  • Malik – Charlamagne Tha God
  • Lady Nix –  Queen Latifah
  • Big Ap –  Common
  • Apep –   Jason Isaacs
  • Emeritis – Mary J Blige
  • Agent Hughes – Rosario Dawson
  • Secret Agent – Ice T
  • DJ Eddie Flip – Slick Rick
  • Sonny – Raekwon  Jay Jay – Redman
  • Zulu X – KRS One
  • Jimmy Guapo – Michael Rapaport
  • Tyrone –  Snoop Dogg
  • Amun Ra – John DiMaggio
  • Amari Jones – Flavor Flav
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The Avengers undergo a metamorphosis courtesy of Jack and Stan Lee!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Right off the bat, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made it a point to keep AVENGERS readers on their toes by first introducing Hulk as a member of the team and then having him leave one issue later. With the fourth installment, they brought in another hero by the name of Captain America after finding him floating in a huge ice cube in the ocean. However, with 1965’s AVENGERS #16 they pulled off one of the greatest team transitions in history as all of the remaining original Earth’s Mightiest Heroes took off and the Sentinel of Liberty carried on—with a bunch of people assumed to be criminals by the general public!

The story began like many others with Thor, Iron Man, Wasp and Giant Man facing off against the Masters of Evil in the streets, weighing their options on whether they should jump immediately into the fray or hang back to keep the onlookers safe. The Melter, Enchantress, Executioner, and Black Knight cared not for the safety of others and attacked the heroes. In the process, the two Asgardians decided to cut and run, leaving Melter and Black Knight to the Avengers’ mercy.

Meanwhile, Captain America and Rick Jones cleaned up the previous issue’s adventure that led to the apparent death of Baron Zemo. Back at Avengers Mansion, Iron Man, Wasp, and Giant Man sat down to discuss the concerns of the day. Janet Van Dyne came right out and suggested that they all step back from the team and take a break. That conversation got put on hold when they saw smoke rising in their headquarters. The crew soon found its source: Hawkeye! The masked archer quickly stated his desire not to fight with the Avengers, but instead alongside them! Clint Barton got the nod after shooting off the ropes that he himself had tied Jarvis up with.

Avengers (1963) #16

Avengers (1963) #16

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The remaining Avengers did their best to catch Hawkeye up to speed while also attempting to bolster their ranks. Namor passed on the opportunity, but the publicity garnered the attention of former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants members Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver who decided to make their way to America. After publicly announcing their newest member in the now-Avenging Archer, Earth’s Mightiest met with the Maximoffs while Captain America and Rick continued their long journey home and Thor remained in Asgard. By the time Cap finally got back to the mansion, he found himself looking at a room half-filled with strangers.

Understandably surprised by all of the changes, Steve Rogers decided to stick around and lead this new group that would soon become known as Cap’s Kooky Quartet! More importantly, these three would go on to become among the most beloved and important Avengers of all time and it all came from a huge shake-up that could have been as disastrous as it was successful.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Thor must team with Sif to battle Ulik, the trolls and an extra-dimensional being called Orikal!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

One of the great things about the partnership between Stan Lee and Jack Kirby is that the duo didn’t take the easy or obvious way through a story. Take THOR #137139 from 1967, for example. Most of the story revolved around the trolls scheming to take over Asgard while Ulik distracted Thor. That might seem fairly straightforward, but then we came to realize that the trolls had an extra-dimensional super powered robot-like being on their side called Orikal!  

Thor (1966) #137

Thor (1966) #137

  • Published: February 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

When last we saw Thor in KIRBY 100, he and Jane Foster had broken up but he’d been reintroduced to Sif who had grown up since last he saw her. The two showed off their warrior skills to one another, but that came to an end when a band of trolls attacked and made off with Sif!

Enraged, Thor gave chase, even entering the Under-Kingdom Of The Trolls, only to come face to face with a new, but legendary enemy: Ulik! While those two titans battled, the trolls gassed Sif and sent her to Earth so that Thor would follow and turn into Don Blake, giving them a chance to steal Mjolnir.

As Thor and Ulik battled, the Odinson realized quickly that his opponent’s might nearly matched his own! In fact, the troll eventually gained the upper hand and went to land a potential killing blow when he disappeared.

Thor played right into the trolls’ plans as he transported himself to Midgard right as the other trolls attacked Asgard. He even changed into Don Blake to more easily blend in. Since the trolls knew Thor’s alter ego, they tracked Blake and used a molecular disperser to snatch him from below the very streets of New York!

The trolls even managed to grab the walking stick, but couldn’t change it until Don tricked them into changing himself into Thor! That lead to another fight with Ulik. When Thor gained a moment’s rest, he stumbled across Sif’s prison. Distracted, he put his hammer down for a few moments, but enough time for the trolls to capture it in the Orb of Orikal. They ran off with the weapon leaving Thor to turn back into Don Blake as he did after not touching Mjolnir for 60 seconds.

Distraught over both losing his hammer and not being able to get back to Asgard to help his fellow Asgardians, Thor resorted to a dire plan: he intended to jump in front of a train after changing into Blake in hopes that his spirit would return home! However, Sif reminded him that she had power of her home and transported them both to Asgard, which also meant that Thor would not change back into Blake.

They made it just in time too because the trolls used the weapons provided to them by Orikal that not only helped them invade the shining city, but also steal energy away from Odin himself!

Instead of joining the main battle, Thor and Sif took on Ulik once again before entering the flaming prison that the head troll kept Orikal captive in. The Asgardians agreed to free Orikal from his fiery prison as long as he offered to leave their dimension forever! With their secret weapon – and weapon-maker – out of the picture, the trolls surrendered to plot their next invasion!

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Leader and Hulk continue the longstanding argument about the superiority of intellect & strength!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Great villains often show the darker potential of the heroes they face off against on a regular basis. In the case of The Leader – who reappeared in this week’s SHE-HULK #159 – he represented the brain side while Hulk clearly leaned towards brawn.

With his return, it’s a great time to look back at this character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and his rise to power starting in 1964! The man simply known as The Leader debuted in TALES TO ASTONISH #62 as a masked figure sending The Chameleon to the base that Bruce Banner worked at to steal his military secrets. 

Tales to Astonish (1959) #62

Tales to Astonish (1959) #62

  • Published: December 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Steve Ditko
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

In the following issue, we learned not only that this man sported an enlarged head but also green skin! He also very helpfully revealed his origin! A simple laborer at a chemical research plant happened to pass a Gamma Ray Cylinder as it exploded. Though seemingly unhurt at first, the man gained an intense thirst for knowledge and an uncanny ability to retain what he read. More shockingly, though, he eventually developed a larger cranium and his skin turned an emerald color!

At first, The Leader didn’t even know about the Hulk, but wanted Banner’s secrets. However, when he sent a Humanoid to do his bidding, the Hulk popped up to defeat it. During this time, Banner did his best to keep his double life as the Hulk a secret from his boss, General Thunderbolt Ross.

Enthralled by the appearance of a fellow green-skinned human with abilities far beyond mortal men, The Leader intended to partner up with the Hulk at first, or else destroy him!

Though The Leader would attempt to use even more Humanoids to steal the secrets and grab the Hulk, he didn’t take into account the fact that Hulk would turn into Banner if he got too agitated. After that happened without the Leader seeing, Banner made a break for it, turned back into the Hulk and wound up swimming far out into the ocean where a Russian sub picked him up.

The Leader worked with the Russians at that time, but decided to sit back and wait until Banner and Hulk broke back through the Iron Curtain. That happened in TALES TO ASTONISH #68 – now drawn by Jack Kirby – wherein Leader attempted to steal Banner’s Absorbatron with the help of cell-sized Humanoids that could grow to much larger sizes.  

Tales to Astonish (1959) #68

Tales to Astonish (1959) #68

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The two gamma-powered individuals finally met face-to-face in #69 when the Humanoids brought a knocked-out Hulk to the Leader’s lab. Upon finally waking up, the Hulk destroyed Leader’s lab. Not long after, Hulk seemed to actually consider the Leader’s offer of partnering up and they did after a fashion as Leader sent Hulk to get the Ultimate Machine from the Watcher. The Jade Giant succeeded, but the immense amount of galactic knowledge absorbed by The Leader seemed to kill him! 

Tales to Astonish (1959) #69

Tales to Astonish (1959) #69

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Of course, good villains never stay dead and the big brain returned to hassle Hulk and other heroes on more than one occasion. Considered one of Hulk’s main villains, Leader – now also known as Samuel Sterns – made the jump to other media ranging from cartoons and video games to the big screen!

Flash Forward

Curious about how The Leader recovered from his apparent brain drain? Well, readers found out for themselves in the pages of INCREDIBLE HULK #115. In that issue by Stan Lee and Herb Trimpe, Leader said that he’d taken precautions before using the Ultimate Machine. He’d set it up so that, if his heart stopped beating, a specially-designed Humanoid would use a Revivor Beam to bring him back! He then spent his time planning his revenge on his nemesis!

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Jack Kirby and Stan Lee reunite on a seminal Silver Surfer story!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby worked together to create one of the finest collections of characters ever assembled. Sometimes these creations came from bouncing ideas off of each other before actually working on the comic while others sprouted from different places of origin. Take The Silver Surfer for example. Everyone knows he first appeared ahead of his master Galactus in the pages of the classic FANTASTIC FOUR #48, but the genesis of the character proves an even more interesting story. In his intro to MARVEL MASTERWORKS VOLUME FOUR, Lee remembered how they nailed down the concept of Galactus and then recounted seeing Silver Surfer for the first time.

“After the story had been hammered out, when Jack Kirby delivered the artwork, I noticed some panels featuring a strange-looking guy on a flying surfboard,” Lee wrote. “’Who’s he?’ I asked, not recalling any mention of such a character in our previous discussions. Jack simply said that he felt that anyone as powerful as Galactus should have his own personal herald who searched the skies looking for planets for his master to devour. Well, needless to say, the idea grabbed me. But even more than that, I loved the way the Surfer had been drawn. Something about him looked so pure, so guileless, so noble that I felt I couldn’t let him speak like any other typical comic book character. His personality had to be as special as his demeanor. And so, I decided to let the Silver Surfer become the voice of Marvel’s conscience. He mouthed all the philosophical thoughts and observations that I myself had always harbored and dwelled upon. Within a short time he, more than any other of our creations, came to symbolize all that was good and true about life and the human condition.”

Silver Surfer (1968) #18

Silver Surfer (1968) #18

  • Published: September 01, 1970
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: January 01, 2000
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The Surfer kicked around FANTASTIC FOUR for a while after his debut, but earned his own series in 1968 by Lee and artist John Buscema, who would draw every issue of the title except the finale, #18, which saw Kirby return to the character he helped create. The story kicked off with our hero zipping around a series of powered individuals  looking to attack him. Aireo, Stallior, Timberius, and Leonus did so at the behest of their Inhuman leader Maximus the Magnificent—alternately known as the Mad.

Upon returning to their master, the Inhumans heard Maximus’ plan to get the Surfer mad at all of their kind instead of his group specifically. The ploy worked, as Norrid Radd flew to Attilan wondering why its denizens had attacked him. Quickly Black Bolt went to meet the visitor, but Medusa and Karnak set upon him as an intruder and knocked him unconscious! Waking up, Surfer lashed out against his captors. At that same time, Maximus attacked his brother’s people, sending Attilan into a panic. After wrestling his board away from Lockjaw, Silver Surfer flew off only to be attacked by more Inhumans.

Sick of the battle in every way, The Silver Surfer zoomed out of there to get some quiet and think. Instead of cooling off, though, he found himself overtaken by his anger. All this time of playing conscience to a world that didn’t seem to want him had taken its toll and he swore to be “the deadliest one of all!” However, with the cancellation of the book after this issue, readers never quite got to see that version of the character. Still, it would have been wild to see a Jack Kirby-drawn series with the man formerly known as Norrin Radd going crazy on the Earth!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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One of Marvel’s founding fathers shares some words of love and support.

Stan Lee, co-creator of many of the Marvel Universe’s most beloved characters and stories, reaffirms the principles of hope, heroism, and positivity that helped lay the foundation of the Marvel Universe.

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Lee and Kirby detail the history of Thor, Loki, and Odin!

As the clock ticks down to “Thor: Ragnarok,” spend your time wisely by reading these stories plucked from the Marvel Unlimited archives!

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby conjured up a fascinating mix of sci-fi, fantasy, and super hero elements when they debuted Thor in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83 back in 1962. As the series progressed—eventually becoming THOR with issue #126—they built a compelling lore based on both existing mythology and their own wild imaginations. And before long, readers knew all about Asgard, the Rainbow Bridge, Midgard, trolls, giants, and dozens of other cosmic beings.

Thor (1966) #126

Thor (1966) #126

  • Published: March 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Thor continued his modern day adventures in both his own book and in AVENGERS, but Lee and Kirby also took time to establish even more history in their “Tales of Asgard” installments. Originally published as back-up stories in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY and THOR, the “Tales of Asgard” came together in a 2009 six issue reprint series called THOR: TALES OF ASGARD BY STAN LEE AND JACK KIRBY—complete with brand-new colors by Matt Milla.

These adventures dug deep exploring Asgardian mythology, including the birth of Ymir the Frost Giant and the first appearance of Aesir Buri as he emerged mystically from the ice. Buri fathered Borr, who later sired Odin, whose adventures filled many pages.

The “Tales of Asgard” back-ups also explored the early relationship between Thor and Loki; the now-common dynamic of Thor mistakenly trusting his less-than-honest half-brother goes back a long time.

These shorter offerings—which would eventually turn into multi-issue epics themselves—also revealed the history of other characters like Heimdall, the Warriors Three, Balder the Brave, and even Loki.

Ragnarok and Roll

The concept of the gods seeing their twilight has existed for ages, but Stan and Jack tackled it in THOR #127. The prophetess Volla explained to Thor, Loki, Odin, and other warriors that chaos would reign in Asgard, that Loki would join the enemy, and that the Bifrost Bridge would be destroyed. The seer continued conveying her vision into the next issue, where they witnessed the death of gods—and their rebirth eons in the future. When the visions ceased, Loki protested the role predicted for him, but Odin still had him locked up in an effort to avoid Ragnarok…for a time.

Thor (1966) #127

Thor (1966) #127

  • Published: April 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Next week, the Odinson and his allies face off against the fiery fury of a god in The Surtur Saga!

 

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