The Odinson and a mindless Hulk throw down in NYC!

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

Thor and Hulk have always had a tumultuous relationship.

In the short time they served on the Avengers together, the two didn’t get along too well…though, since then, they’ve adopted a healthy—though sometimes begrudging—respect for each other.

We can’t wait to see what happens when these two titans meet each other in “Thor: Ragnarok,” but until then, let’s scope out one of their most epic battles—in 1984’s INCREDIBLE HULK #300 by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema.

Incredible Hulk (1962) #300

Incredible Hulk (1962) #300

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At the time, Bruce Banner thought he’d done away with the Hulk’s rage-filled personality. However, when Nightmare decided to torment Doctor Strange, the green guy came back as Banner decided to change into the Jade Giant to stop the villain’s dark schemes.

The issue began with The Hulk rampaging across New York City. In response, the U.S. government deemed it appropriate to use any means to take him down—including the use of chemical fire bombs dropped by S.H.I.E.L.D. ships.

The chaos forced a few local New York heroes to respond to the situation as well—Daredevil saved a child from the reverberating danger, Spider-Man caught a couple of plummeting pilots as they fell from the sky, and Doctor Strange escaped Nightmare to search for an alternate dimension in which The Hulk might be contained.

Meanwhile, The Human Torch, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the Avengers tried to handle the problem with a more confrontational approach. While none stood a chance against The Hulk, Thor stood tall and matched the might of the Giant. Despite summoning lightning and hurling Mjolnir in the battle, Thor realized that the only way to finally stop The Hulk would be the most drastic measure of all—to kill him.

The battle raged, and the two combatants flung fists and nearby cars as the fight seemed like it’d never end. As the war of attrition seemed most hopeless, however, Doctor Strange reemerged to enact his other-dimensional contingency—and sent The Hulk to another space and time.

Ragnarok and Roll

For an equally epic—though more recent—Thor and Hulk throw down, check out the 2011 event Fear Itself, in which Bruce Banner’s alter ego picked up one a personality-warping hammer and transformed into Nul: Breaker of Worlds. And joining The Hulk with an evil new ego was The Thing—who became Angrir: Breaker of Souls. In FEAR ITSELF #5, Nul and Angrir confronted Thor in a hammer-shattering encounter for the ages.

Next time: the Asgardians face Rangarok once again in Mike Avon Oeming and Andrea Di Vito’s THOR #80#85!

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Jane Foster finally travels to Asgard in another Kirby classic!

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.

Meeting your betrothed’s dad can be a nerve-wracking and tricky situation. Now imagine you’re getting hitched to a guy who happens to be a Norse god with none other than the All-Father, Odin, for a dad! That’s the strange life Jane Foster found herself living as THOR #136 launched in 1967 thanks to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. At that point, Odin had finally approved of Thor’s relationship with Foster and she knew all about Don Blake’s secret identity, so the time seemed right to visit his homeland.

Upon their arrival on the Rainbow Bridge, the lovers saw the Calvary of Asgard running off to battle trolls and then one of the captured enemies brought back for interrogation. Jane met Heimdall and Odin, saw the Asgardian war room, and then received garb worthy of a god and the ability of flight from the All-Father! Foster then took off into the skies and enjoyed her new powers for just a few moments before doubting that they might remain consistent. As she plummeted, Thor flew to save her, but wondered why she lost faith in Odin so quickly.

All of this turned out to be the road to Thor and Jane marrying which would include her evolution into a goddess herself! As another test of Jane Foster, the All-Father requested the presence of The Unknown and sent Jane in after the mysterious being. Paralyzed by fear, Foster called for Thor’s help, which he quickly provided his beloved, seemingly sending the creature away. Convinced that Jane had not proved herself prepared for godhood, Odin reminded them that The Unknown fed on fear, an emotion that no immortal on Asgard could hold in their breast. Speaking for herself, Jane said that she wanted no part in godhood and left for Midgard alone!

Thor (1966) #136

Thor (1966) #136

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

Angered with his father, Thor lashed out, claiming that all of this had been Odin’s plan from the beginning to get Jane out of his son’s life! The accused denied these claims, put Thor in his place, and then ordered him to the Glade of Crystals to keep an eye out for the still-loose Unknown. Once there he found a Troll summoning the creature!

The Odinson soothed his inner turmoil to some extent by trying to destroy The Unknown. Heart-sick and off his game, our hero nearly fell to his foe, but regained himself thanks to the help of an unseen ally. After vanquishing the beast, Thor got a good look at the one offering assistance and recognized Sif, sister of Heimdall. As it happened, she had romantic feelings towards him dating years back and he seemed quite taken aback by her, all of which proved part of Odin’s master plan to help move his son along.

But what of Jane Foster? Of course, as we now know, Jane Foster would eventually return to Asgard, not as a potential goddess, but as Thor herself!

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, Loki, and Odin fight off the fire demon and the coming of Ragnarok!

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

From issue #337 to #367, the legendary Walt Simonson wrote and drew THOR on his own. In that time, he revolutionized the character, expanded the mythos, and built upon the foundation Stan Lee and Jack Kirby built for the series.

One of Simonson’s best-remembered arcs arrived in THOR issues #340 to #353. Now known as “The Surtur Saga,” the year-long arc took its time to grow before exploding into a grand conclusion that left both Asgard and Midgard shaking in the aftermath.

Thor (1966) #340

Thor (1966) #340

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In the early issues, the only glimpses readers got of the fiery demon called Surtur came in the form of a shadowy individual pounding a sword on an anvil, sending resounding “DOOM” sound effects across the page. But the more Surtur worked, the more evil creatures woke up inside Earth, waiting for a call to action.

As he worked on this sword, which he named Twilight, Surtur sent the likes of Malekith to Midgard. Thor battled the Dark Elf there for the first time, allowing Surtur to rally his troops for their impending attack.

Odin sensed these brewing troubles and tasked the Warriors Three with gathering a force to fight for Asgard—and ordered that his own armor be prepared. A smart choice, as Surtur broke through the dimensional barrier to the realm at the end of THOR #348.

Thor (1966) #348

Thor (1966) #348

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Thor then returned to Asgard alongside Beta Ray Bill and Sif. After discovering that Surtur planned on using Earth as a stepping stone to get to them, all in the Norse force—except Odin and Heimdall—traveled to battle the monster on Midgard, in Manhattan. Joined by the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, Thor and his allies unwittingly played into Surtur’s plan to get to Asgard, kill Odin, and use the Flame of Destruction to bring about Ragnarok—the end of all things.

Suddenly understanding the plan, Thor left his compatriots to fight Surtur’s forces on Asgard, arriving just in time to save his friend Heimdall. Despite this early success, the Odinson failed to stop Surtur from destroying part of the Rainbow Bridge.

Armed with the Scepter Supreme, King Odin joined the fight. He stood firm against the demon, but Surtur’s power grew as he got closer to the Fire of Destruction. Summoning the power of the Cask of Ancient Winters, the flame beast froze Odin before placing Twilight in the Fire of Destruction!

The story reached its climax in the pages of THOR #353, when the previously absent Loki appeared to reveal that Surtur had placed his sword in an illusion, not the real Fire of Destruction. After their allies on Earth regained the Cask, Odin found himself freed and joined his sons in battle.

Thor (1966) #353

Thor (1966) #353

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As the heroes on Midgard defeated Surtur’s demons, distracting their dark leader, Thor threw Mjolnir at Twilight, disengaging the sword’s power. Seeing an opening, Odin grew to Surtur’s size and battled his foe hand-to-hand. As they grappled, Odin ordered Loki and Thor to blast the ground at their feet, sacrificing himself, sending both he and Surtur into Muspelheim.

Quiet fell across Asgard—as the realm stood safe, but without its King.

Ragnarok and Roll

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby chronicled some of the background to this story in the “Tales of Asgard” back-ups featured in the first “Thor Lore” stories! Surtur debuted in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #97, appearing in a panel that read, “At the world’s end sat Surtur, the demon of fire, who waited, with his flaming sword, for the end of the world, when he might go forth to destroy gods and men alike!”

In issue #99, Odin battled Surtur, trapping the demon in Earth’s core. The prophetess Volla then showed Thor and his compatriots what Ragnarok would look like and the part Surtur would play in bringing it about.

In honor of the battle between Thor and the Jade Giant in “Thor: Ragnaraok,” we’ll check out INCREDIBLE HULK #300 next week!

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Catch Thor in theaters November 2!

We’re almost one month out from the premiere of Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnaok” and director Taika Waititi is excited to unveil his vision. Speaking with Marvel.com on a set visit, Waititi talked about taking on the challenge of bringing Ragnarok to life, Thor’s new formidable adversary, and how the Son of Odin is similar to a 1980’s icon. I suppose you could say Thor’s a reasonable guy who’s just experienced some very unreasonable things.

Fans have been waiting for “Ragnarok” and Waititi is ready to show it to them, “A lot of people are excited by the idea of what Ragnarok means. But to me it means the stripping down of the establishment of what’s already there, and then building it up in a new way.”

“I said this before, if the movie’s called Thor, then Thor should be the best character,” said Waititi. Expanding his thoughts on the God of Thunder, “My main focus was making him cool, and funny when he needs to be, heroic when he needs to be.”

Thor’s changed and it turns out he’s picked up a sense of humor from an old friend, “Thor spent two years hanging out with [Tony Stark]. So, he knows a little bit more about irony and sarcasm now. He’s got a little bit of Earth humor. He’s like a rich kid from outer space who’s spent some time slumming it for a bit, you know? So he’s instantly become a bit more interesting but he’s still in different parts of the Cosmos, and still learning as he goes.”

For Waititi, Thor’s personality was similar to that of well-known 1980’s protagonist, “In my mind, I had imagined Thor being a bit like Jack Burton,” said Waititi. The similarities between Big Trouble in Little China’s lead played by Kurt Russell feels like a leap, but Waititi explains, “He’s a great hero who’s making his way through the adventure.”

As far as Thor’s foe, Cate Blanchett’s Hela is a worthy opponent. “Cate is the first female villain, and for me, the most interesting villain because she is multidimensional. She’s layered. She’s troubled. She’s really funny. So I think it’s gonna be really satisfying to people.” Waititi explains Hela’s prowess, “Her character has amazing powers, she wears the cowl, she has the antlers, and she looks amazing in the concept art and stuff. Thor in the films has never fought anyone tougher than this lady.”

Similar to his previous films, Waititi wants to strike a balance between comedy and drama, “That’s always been my focus with this whole thing, to make it really entertaining, and poignant, and profound when it needs to be, but and also adventurous and funny.”

“We’ll improvise some stuff. I’ll be next to actors and yell suggestions at them all the time, and just coming from that place where I’m with my friends I’m used to doing that—yelling at each other for outtakes—it’s a bit messy.”

Waititi’s so called messiness leads to a cohesive film thanks to creative editing, “But I think, from that messiness comes really great kinda spur of the moment stuff. The balance is always found for me on the editing. So with most takes, I would do stuff that’s way over the top, and then bring it down, and get something exactly what’s on the page, and then something that’s a nice sort of middle balance where the tone is a little bit more natural.”

Having worked on smaller films, the jump to a large vehicle like “Thor: Ragnarok” can be a challenge. Waititi puts it in perspective, “You know, at the end of the day when you call ‘Action’…the lens is pointed at two or three people. You’re looking down at the little rectangle. And so for me the experience is completely the same, other than we have to do a lot more effects and all that stuff, but that’s all part of it. I don’t get annoyed by how long that stuff takes because I’ve seen all these other films, and you take the time to get that stuff right.”

“This film is so crazy, so eclectic,” Waititi enthused. “There’s so many amazing characters, like a new style of Banner that we’ve never seen before; Hela, Loki’s in there, obviously, then Grand Master. It really is the craziest of the Marvel films. In a good way.”

“Thor: Ragnarok” makes its big screen debut in November. Get your tickets now for “Thor: Ragnarok” and stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow @ThorOfficial on Twitter and like Thor’s official Facebook page for the latest “Thor: Raganaok” news!

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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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Jack Kirby helps bring the God of Thunder down to Earth!

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.

We all know that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby changed the world when FANTASTIC FOUR #1 debuted in 1961 by kick starting the Silver Age of super hero comics. However, the full shift back to costumed gladiators didn’t come right away. When Thor debuted the next year, Kirby had, as usual, a number of books out that month including three horror anthologies and a RAWHIDE KID! No offense to STRANGE TALES #99 or TALES TO ASTONISH #34, but it’s pretty easy to see that JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83 stands as Jack’s most important comic that month!

“The King” had been contributing stories, mostly of the monstrous variety written by Lee, to JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY since 1959’s issue #52 and would stick around through to that series’ completion and on into the THOR ongoing that launched with #126.

Back to that first appearance, though, Stan and Jack started with a near-splash page of this new character wielding his hammer and claiming immortality before jumping back and showing Dr. Donald Blake vacationing in Norway. Unbeknownst to anyone, a group of aliens seemingly made out of stone landed nearby, witnessed only by a fisherman whom no one believed. No one except Blake who overheard the story and investigated the next day. To his surprise, the fisherman’s story proved a reality! He would have snuck away, but he stepped on a snapping stick and made a break for it, hiding in a nearby cave.

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #83

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #83

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Before long, Blake witnessed the opening of a huge stone door and decided to scope out the newly opened room. Inside he discovered a stick that he used to move another obstructing rock. When it didn’t budge, Don slammed the boulder with the stick. A flurry of lightning zapped the meek doctor, seemingly disintegrating the man, but instead turning him into Thor!

Shocked to find himself transformed, Blake looked down to read the inscription on the mystic hammer: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of…Thor.” With that, he easily freed himself from the cave and discovered some of the intricacies of his new abilities like how letting go of the hammer for a time resulted in him turning back into his mortal form. He then threw the mighty mallet and saw it return to him. He even brought about a huge thunderstorm with the yet-to-be-named Mjolnir!

While Blake played around, the Stone Men continued their plans for taking over the Earth, which partially revolved around projecting images of giant dragons into the sky to confuse approaching jet fighters. Witnessing the destruction caused when the planes hit a force field, Thor flew into action and easily bested the Stone Men at every turn, using his hammer to take out their weapons and even destroying their Mechano-Monster with a swing of Mjolnir!

Seeing that Earth played home to denizens such as Thor, the Stone Men retreated, hopped back in their spaceships and took off for other planets to conquer more easily. Not wanting to become an “international curiosity,” Blake turned back into his normal self and wandered off before the military could question him.

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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The Asgardian Avenger will be aboard the Disney Magic!

The premiere of Marvel Day at Sea is just around the corner! Marvel fans will want to join us as we count down to this epic celebration on select cruises aboard the Disney Magic.

In the coming weeks, we’re featuring some of the mighty Marvel Super Heroes you can meet onboard during the daylong event, giving you insights into who they are and how you can get some face time with them.

Today, we’re making way for the god of thunder… Thor!

Hailing from the mythical realm of Asgard, Thor wields one of the greatest weapons ever made, the enchanted hammer Mjolnir. Thor is smart, compassionate and self-assured, and he will never, ever stop fighting for a worthwhile cause. Often at odds with his half-brother Loki, Thor is a self-proclaimed protector of Earth and a founding member of the Avengers.

During Marvel Day at Sea, you may have a heroic encounter with Thor as he wields his powerful hammer Mjölnir around the ship or see him in another epic battle with his brother Loki in the nighttime deck show.  In Marvel’s Avengers Academy, young guests can come face-to-face with the mighty Thor to discover what it takes to become a true hero. In a special youth activity, Thor teaches kids the path to becoming worthy through strength, knowledge and compassion.

Stay tuned to meet more Super Heroes assembling for Marvel Day at Sea, which premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

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Tickets for 'Thor: Ragnarok' are now on sale!

This November, the mighty Thor returns and takes on his biggest, baddest fight ever in Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Raganok,” coming to theaters November 3!

We spoke with actor Chris Hemsworth on the set of the film, where he talked about this new adventure and what Thor’s missing magical mane means for the son of Asgard.

“Thor: Ragnarok”  puts Thor in different worlds, encountering a diverse cast of characters which changes the dynamics.  A departure from the previous films, here Thor is on a search for answers. “He’s on this sort of a personal journey of his own discovery, to find answers for himself.  Removing Thor from his environment and his world where he dominated a lot of the fight scenes, and putting him in a situation where all of sudden he’s fairly equal with everybody.” Hemsworth noted, “This being called Ragnarok, everyone knows what that means.  Obviously it’s gonna affect the larger universe.”

All that soul-searching doesn’t mean the story is far from upbeat, director Taika Waititi lends his unique style to set the tone of the film. “I was a big fan of Taika’s work and in all of his films, he strikes this beautiful balance of humor and heart.” Hemsworth explains, “You know, it’s all grounded in a reality we can kind of relate to, but it’s fun and enjoyable. I’ve never improvised so much with this character which has been really exciting. Taika will just yell suggestions while rolling – try this, try that and so on. And I think it’s really come to change the game for myself or for the film.”

Hemsworth—an Aussie himself—compared Thor’s original onscreen debut story to another famed Australian, Crocodile Dundee. Hemsworth feels the fish out of water element lends humor to the new film, “The situations he finds himself in are very much removed from any kind of Asgardian, ethereal time he had before. There is this greater awareness now obviously. There’s a maturity to him.”

With the release of new “Thor: Ragnarok” posters, one might notice an obvious absence from the stills…where’s the hammer? “I think it says a lot about the journey he’s going on and where he is at that point in the film.  So, can’t tell you exactly where the hammer is,” Hemsworth quipped.

Chris Hemsworth stars as Thor in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Along with the missing Mjonir, Thor’s iconic golden locks are also gone but Hemsworth teased that it’s all a part of the plan, “All of the conflict and the disharmony of the world he’s in, his physical appearance is altered due to that.” Hemsworth offers this explanation, “It’s paralleled by his journey, and who he is in the world and how he thinks he fits in-this is a new version of him.”

In “Thor: Ragnarok,” The God of Thunder finally gets some one on one time with his co-worker Hulk. Speaking about the rough and tumble pairing, Hemsworth liked the idea, “Early on I was saying, let’s do something like Butch and Sundance and tear ‘em up and go on a road trip.” Now that’s sounds like an entertaining idea for a follow up movie.

Get your tickets now for “Thor: Ragnarok” and stay tuned for even more action in the coming days and weeks!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for the latest on “Thor: Ragnarok,” and follow @ThorOfficial on Twitter and like Thor’s official Facebook page!

 

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Program includes animated shorts, chapter books and expanded line of merchandise debuting this Fall!

Little True Belivers, this one’s for you! Starting this Fall, we’re gearing up for the brand new school year with “Marvel Super Hero Adventures” – a multi-platform content program targeting Marvel’s youngest fans through animation and publishing. Through stories that touch upon aspirational themes of friendship, helping others, and heroism, preschool kids and young readers will have a gateway into the Marvel Universe. This new program will be supported by new offerings across comic books, graphic novels and merchandise including toys, lifestyle and apparel.

Marvel Animation will launch a season of 10 short-form episodes for the pre-school audience. The 3.5 minute animated episodes will feature Spidey in an epic team-up with other inspiring and brave Marvel heroes like Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Wasp, Ms. Marvel and more. Platforms and launch date for this short-form series will be announced at a later date.

Debuting in September will be a series of early-reader chapter books joining the existing line of popular Marvel Super Hero Adventures activity books and storybooks from Marvel Press. The first chapter book, “Deck the Malls!,” written by MacKenzie Cadenhead and Sean Ryan, illustrated by Derek Laufman, features Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen in a fully illustrated adventured with a bonus one-page comic. Three more chapter books and an expanding publishing program will continue through 2018 and beyond.

The Super Hero Adventures merchandise is led by a toy collaboration with Hasbro, featuring new character tie-ins and play experiences inspired by Marvel Animation. They’re a perfect way for preschoolers to celebrate their young passion for Marvel in their daily lives. Further merchandise rollouts include wide offerings across toys and apparel with supportive collaborations from Mad Engine, Jay Fanco, GBG, Jakks Pacific and others–all representative of the major categories for Marvel preschoolers. Additional Marvel Super Hero Adventures products will debut throughout October during Marvel Mania, Marvel’s celebratory campaign spanning marquee retailers including Walmart, Target, Toys R Us and more.

Parents and fans around the world can share the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure program with young fans as it expands even more in Spring 2018.

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Two of the Fantastic Four tie the knot, Hulk fights Thor, plus more!

In celebration of Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday, we’re reviewing the man’s legendary creations with a year-by-year examination of his unparalleled career at Marvel Comics. Read on and witness the work that made him comic book royalty.

Even a casual Marvel reader in 1965 might’ve believed that Jack Kirby worked on every single issue of every single title the House of Ideas published that year. The truth of it stands as something less than that, but Marvel editor and writer Stan Lee knew a good thing and ensured Jack’s presence across the line in varied ways, and with a concentration where the Kirby touch would bring comic book gold.

First and foremost, Lee and Kirby’s flagship book remained Jack’s true focus at the midpoint of the 1960s. In FANTASTIC FOUR #32, after a battle with the strange android Dragon Man, Reed Richards received the answer he’d hoped for from his marriage proposal to Sue Storm, setting up one of the true monumental moments in comic history: the wedding of Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Girl in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3 that summer.

Not to rest on their laurels, Stan and Jack also introduced the Frightful Four in FANTASTIC FOUR #36, brought Daredevil in for a guest-spot in FANTASTIC FOUR #39, and following Gorgon’s introduction in FANTASTIC FOUR #44, unveiled their next big idea, the incredible Inhumans, in FANTASTIC FOUR #45 to round out the year.

Over in Thor’s universe, Jack illustrated one of the greatest clashes of comics, the Thor-Hulk match fans clamored for, in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112, as well as designing a villain for the ages, Absorbing Man, for JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #114. In addition, Jack’s images of the robotic Destroyer impressed fans in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #118, but perhaps the real stand-out moment of the year in Thor’s world came in the introduction of Greek demi-god Hercules into the ongoing drama in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1.

Jack’s penciling duties for 1965 also extended into Captain America’s solo series in TALES OF SUSPENSE. For the first part of the year he produced covers and simple layouts for others to follow, but for his and Stan’s powerful team-up between Cap and Nick Fury in TALES OF SUSPENSE #78, he provided full interior art. From there, the duo planted dynamite under Cap’s world with the return of The Red Skull in TALES OF SUSPENSE #79, and the amazing Cosmic Cube saga beginning in TALES OF SUSPENSE #80.

Speaking of Nick Fury, Jack’s visions of technological wonders expanded exponentially when he and Stan promoted the sergeant into their newest concept, S.H.I.E.L.D., in the landmark STRANGE TALES #135. For the next several issues of the mag, Jack would do layouts and covers, helping guide his former World War II star into the Swingin’ Sixties.

Jack relinquished penciling chores on AVENGERS in 1965, but also helped out with layouts and covers, same as with SGT. FURY and TALES TO ASTONISH. Over in UNCANNY X-MEN he worked to illustrate the memorable meeting of the young mutants and the Avengers to fruition in X-MEN #9, and introduce the savage Ka-Zar in X-MEN #10.

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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