Which Marvel superhero is the most realistic

The booklets, which were sold millions of times, were once considered harmful to young people.

"Hulk wants Freddie Prinze Junior," shouts the green giant furiously with jealousy in the comic book "The Ultimate", one of the most interesting of the current Marvel series. Hulk's fiancée met the Hollywood star for dinner. Meanwhile, teen idol and Marvel fan Prinze Jr. gets into conversation with nice regularity for his dream role as Captain America. Nothing is planned here yet. In contrast to the sequels to Spider-Man and the X-Men, the 2004 screen debuts of the Fantastic Four and Iron Man. For decades, Marvel was considered a box office poison in Hollywood. It wasn't until the successes of X-Men, Spider-Man and Daredevil that the tide turned.

The star of the Marvel Empire shines from the dark days of World War II. The first Marvel booklet in October 1939 presented the Human Torch and Namor, the Submariner, two superheroes who are still very popular today. But it was World War II hero Captain America who helped Marvel Comics break through a year and a half later - nine months before Pearl Harbor. And who was the first Marvel hero to take on the detective comics light figures Superman and Batman. The Captain America magazines sold in the millions. Marvel proved to be similarly foresighted once again when, in 1963, Iron Man fought against communist villains in Vietnam in its first deployment.

Back to the golden age of Marvel: with Captain America, a narrative pattern had been established that the comic book publisher maintained for decades. The Marvel heroes were not born bright supermen. Behind the shield of Captain America hid the weak private Steve Rogers, unfit for the service of the weapon - and only thanks to a mysterious serum matured into a super soldier. Marvel's message to his young readers was clear: this can happen to you too.

By the late 1940s, Marvel's first big days were over, his eccentric superheroes had to take a back seat to more realistic characters - often war stories. At the same time as McCarthy's hunt for communists, the hunt for the colorful booklets began which - as the psychiatrist Frederic Wertham claimed in 1954 in a widely read guidebook - led innocent teenagers to crime and perversion.

Marvel did not recover from the attacks of the moralists until the early sixties, when Stan Lee revolutionized the way the storytelling was told. Lee only drafted rough plot specifications, left the draftsman to divide up the pages - and instead put all his energy into developing the characters. Marvel's annual circulation rose to 50 million issues. Lee's superheroes were torn, unhappy, full of human weaknesses. It was teenagers with teenage problems like Spider-Man Peter Parker. Quasi-families at odds like the Fantastischen Vier. Blind outsiders like the Daredevil and unloved existentialist aliens like the silver surfer. Or completely out of control maniacs like the Incredible Hulk. Its cheap film adaptation at the end of the 70s was considered by fans as one of the few successful Marvel films, despite silly special effects. Now the Marvel community is eagerly awaiting Ang Lee's remake of the Hulk (German release on July 6th). Green Goliath's revenge is sure to be terrible. The comic empire strikes back.