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Marvel started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the early 1950s had generally become known as Atlas Comics. Marvel's modern incarnation dates from 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and many others. Marvel counts among its characters such well-known properties as Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, the Silver Surfer, Daredevil, and Ghost Rider, such teams as the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and X-Men, and antagonists such as the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Kingpin, Magneto, Doctor Doom, Loki, Thanos, and the Red Skull. Most of Marvel's fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe.
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