10 Random Marvel/Disney Factoids We’ve Assembled
Greetings true believers! The world of Disney has been absolutely bursting with exciting news related to Marvel and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: The Avengers!!! You’ll have to excuse our excessive use of exclamation points, but we simply can’t help ourselves. It’s hard to be understated when talking about characters like Spider-Man, Black Widow, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With the recent opening of Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure, we thought it was the perfect time to explore a few facts that fans may not know about the connected worlds of Marvel and Disney. So, without further ado: Marvel Facts….Assemble!
10. The Birth of Marvel
In 1939, pulp publisher Martin Goodman created the company that would later become Marvel. At the time, it was known as Timely Publications. The first Marvel comic was published in October of 1939 and featured characters like the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. That same year, Goodman hired his 16-year-old Stanley Lieber to work as a general office assistant. Within two years Lieber became editor of the company’s comics line. Lieber had already begun writing for the company when he assumed the position of editor. His pen name? Stan Lee.
9. The Avengers Assemble for the First Time
The Avengers first appeared in September of 1963. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the group was made up of characters the two had previously created. The original lineup consisted of Ant-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Wasp. The lineup has gone through changes over the years. In fact, it underwent a pretty major change almost right away. In issue #2, Ant-Man became Giant-Man and Hulk quit. Captain America didn’t join the team until issue #4.
The first villain the Avengers ever faced together was Thor’s brother Loki. It would be far from the last time the wily Asgardian would cause trouble for the team.
8. Welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Today, the MCU consists of 23 films, with more in the works. Then, there are television shows like Loki, WandaVision, and Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It’s a monumental world that continues to grow, but I hope we’ll never lose sight of the fact that it all began with a narcissistic billionaire: Tony Stark. The first film in the MCU was 2008’s Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. The film was directed by Jon Favreau, who would go on to direct Disney features like The Jungle Book, The Lion King, as well as the Star Wars Disney+ original series The Mandalorian.
As an interesting side note, the second Iron Man movie, released in 2010, features a segment featuring Tony Stark’s father Howard Stark at the Stark Expo. The film, as well as the speech given by Howard Stark seems distinctly similar to the Walt Disney film on Epcot as well as those about Disney’s involvement in the ‘64/’65 Worlds Fair.
7. Marvel Becomes Part of the Disney Family
It would be hard to think of two companies that have impacted the popular imagination more than Disney and Marvel. Each has created countless iconic characters and worlds that have influence multiple generations. So, the coming together of the two could rightly be described as monumental. The Disney company purchased Marvel in 2009 for $4.24 billion, which was approved on December 31.
6. The Avengers take to the Silver Screen
The first MCU film distributed by Disney was 2012’s The Avengers. The movie would eventually gross $1.519, making it (at the time) the third highest earning film ever. As a curiosity, 8 of the 10 highest grossing films of all time are connected directly or indirectly to Disney (1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 2. Avengers: End Game 3. Avatar 4. Black Panther 5. Avengers: Infinity War 8. The Avengers 9. Star Wars: The Last Jedi 10. The Incredibles 2).
5. Marvel Day at Sea
In 2017, Disney introduced Marvel Day at Sea, which it described as, “The largest collection of Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains ever assembled on a cruise ship.” The event took place on the Disney Magic, the first cruise ship owned and operated by Disney Cruise Line. Marvel Day at Sea featured the first appearances of Black Panther and Loki as part of a Disney vacation experience, the first appearance of Iron Man, Star-Lord, Gamora, and Groot on a Disney ship, an interactive Doctor Strange show, a deck show featuring fireworks and stunt, and a dance party that turned the ship’s nightclub into a Ravager’s hideout.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!
The Guardians of the Galaxy, who became part of the MCU in 2014, became part of the Disney Parks experience with the debut of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! in May of 2017. The attraction, located in Disney California Adventure’s Hollywood Land, replaced The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. In it, the Guardians are forced to break out of the Tivan Collection, where they have been imprisoned by The Collector. The escape attempt is lead by Rocket. Guests can experience six different drop sequences, each synced to different visuals and music from the likes of The Jackson 5, Pat Benatar, Parliament, and more.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!
A Guardians of the Galaxy themed dance party with Star-Lord and Gamora appeared at Epcot in the summer of 2018. The celebration featured music from the Awesome Mix Tapes 1 and 2 from the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. A seven-piece alien band was featured as part of the performance, and there was even an appearance by Baby Groot. I defy anyone who claims that they’ve never wanted to shake booty with Groot.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Guests of Epcot at Walt Disney World will soon be able to go on a rollercoaster adventure with the Guardians when Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opens in 2022 The attraction, which replaces the Universe of Energy pavilion, will be one of the world’s longest enclosed rollercoasters. The coaster will take Guests all the way back to the formation of the Universe at the moment of the Big Bang.
1. Avengers Campus
The Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure officially opened on June 4. The new land is jam packed with jaw dropping attractions and character interactions. Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure, lets Guests battle Spider-Bots on an interactive screen attraction. While aboard their WEB Slinger Vehicle, Guests can shoot webs from their wrists just like Spidey in an attempt to stop the Spider-Bots.
Folks who just can’t get enough of Peter Parker can watch him soar through the air as Spider-Man through one of the most stunning animatronics ever created (one of the last projects of legendary roboticist and engineer Grant Imahara). Guests can also visit the Ancient Sanctum of Doctor Strange, eat at the Pym Test Kitchen, interact with characters like the Dora Milaje, or just stare in awe at the stunning Quinjet atop Avengers Headquarters.
There’s so much happening between Marvel and Disney that it makes our heads spin and our hearts race. It seems there’s only one thing to be said when we think of it all: Excelsior!