Secrets Marvel doesn't want you to know

The people behind Marvel Comics might create superheroes, but they themselves are just people. And normal people are as scummy as Norman Osborn, as greedy as J Jonah Jameson, and as devious as Obadiah Stane. This means that Marvel has secrets, some of which are so messed up that if Captain America heard about them, he'd be getting his shield on.

Doctor Strange was originally super racist

Hey, wasn't Brandywine Crumblecake awesome in Doctor Strange? Wasn't it great how he … pulled magic whips out? And got yelled at by a cape? No, we're not making up random things, that actually happens in the movie. Those weird scenes are certainly preferable to what they could've done — picked basically anything from old Strange comics, which were racist as all get-out.

See, Doctor Strange was originally created as a "mystic," which in Marvel's mind, meant he needed to be Asian. He looked like, and was inspired by, Asian stereotypes. However, back then he was only appearing in small stories — nothing big or stunning. But then, Marvel readers wrote in asking to see more, so Marvel decided he could be the star of his own comic. Once they turned him white. Which they did. So, apparently, all that controversy around whether Doctor Strange was racist or not just means it's a faithful adaptation. (Not) good to know.

Their laughably terrible, modern homophobic comic called Rawhide Kid

Imagine you know nothing about comics or gay people, and yet Marvel hires you to write a cowboy comic about a gay superhero. What to do? How about making him as overtly, flamboyantly, stereotypically, carboard-cutoutly, cartoonishly gay? That's what Marvel did!

Welcome to the Rawhide Kid the star of an older Marvel comic about a gunshooter. Years later, Marvel decided to bring him back and make him The Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather. One part has ol' Rawhide remarking, and feel free to speak as swishily as possible when reading this back to yourself: "Oh nooooo. Is this going to be one of those macho tough guy test things?Uch. These are sooooo BOring." To which someone replies, "I'm telling ya, Cisco, this guy acts like some kinda damn daisyboy." Rawhide also says, "I'm magnificent and you know it." Get it? He's gay, guys. He's gay, he's so gay, so so so so so so so so…

The death of Romance

Believe it or not, there was a time when Marvel didn't just put out comics about big muscleheads beating up other big muscleheads. For a long time, Marvel put out all different types of comics, including Romance comics. They stopped doing this a long time ago, but in the 2000s, they thought that it might be a good idea to bring them back.

So, did Marvel grab someone known for writing romances for their, you know, ROMANCE section? Maybe a woman who had made a name for herself with harlequin fiction? No? OK, someone who at least knew how to write romantic comics, right? We could keep going, but we'll just cut to the chase — Marvel hired Mark Millar. The Kick-Ass guy. That's who was chosen to bring romance back, and oh boy did it fail.

His comic was called Trouble, and even the cover was bad. It featured two scantily clad preteen looking girls, who were supposed to be representative of two characters in the book, who spend most of their time hooking up. Eventually, you find out one of them is Aunt May … and she's actually Peter Parker's mother. It was, uh, not a great book. In fact it was so bad that it sunk the romance division, and Marvel hasn't mentioned it since. Aunt May deserves better anyway.


Some miniseries are so bad they ruin entire lines, others are so bad that … nothing happens to them because the creator is a prominent Marvel guy and buries it in the hopes no one will ever find it and talk about it.

Marville is a comic book written by one of Marvel's presidents (who, thankfully, isn't in that position anymore). It reads like a comic written by a thirteen-year old with one hand, wink nudge. Each cover features — for absolutely no reason — some of the most terribly drawn, semi-nude women ever. The women are not in the book, and have no point except to be terribly drawn and make terrible men lust after them.

The plot revolves around Ted Turner, AOL, and a kid named KalAOL, and also … nothing? It has nothing. Well, there is an extensive list of inside references that you wouldn't know unless you're the type of comic dork who knows who Joe Quesada and Paul Levitz are. It also features a character lambasting Iron Man for almost saying the N-word, but it's treated with a winking, aren't-the-PC-police ridiculous tone. The book ends with a deep discussion on God, who presumably would really prefer to left out of this.

Toys make the money, not the comics

Spider-Man is the most profitable superhero in the world, but not from his comics. In one year alone, Spider-Man products (as in, not the comics or movies) made Marvel about 1.3 billion dollars. Spidey toys, blankets, shoes, glasses, bug repellant — that's where the real money comes from. That's also why the MCU is so so important to Marvel. Because while the movies certainly make money, that's not as important as how they increase brand recognition and enable Marvel to sell more licenses to more characters.

For instance, three years ago, would you have bought a plate with Rocket Racoon and Groot? No, because you didn't know who they were! Now you'll buy anything with them on it! That's how Marvel makes money. But to keep making all of that money, they need to keep a tight grip on what their characters do, both on screen and in the comics. Because if Spidey stops being Spidey, there goes the lucrative Spidey shampoo industry.

Ta-Nehisi Coates asked them not to kill a black character as a plot point, they completely ignored him

Ta-Nehisi Coates is an amazing writer, perhaps best known for his work Between the World and Me, about life as a black man in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. He himself later won the Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Yet he also writes comics for Marvel, despite how they're not exactly known for their black superheroes — there's a whole bunch in the background, but how many can you name off the top of your head? Four, maybe? Not enough of them anyway.

As such, killing any of them off isn't something they'd normally be wont to do. But Marvel wanted to start off Civil War II with a bang, killing someone that would affect the two main characters — Carol Danvers and Tony Stark. So Stark's best friend and Carol's boyfriend, Rhodey — AKA War Machine — was selected to die. Except … well, Ta-Nehisi Coates thought that wasn't a really good idea, presumably because of the whole "not enough main-event black heroes." thing. He literally begged Marvel not to kill off War Machine. Guess what Marvel did? You know what Marvel did.

Civil War II went on to become one of the most disappointing event comics in recent history, not just because they killed War Machine, but that certainly didn't help. Hey, Marvel, quick hint — when a bestselling author who won the Genius Grant tells you what to do in a story, freaking listen.

The family of the co-creator of The Avengers sued them

Back when Marvel started out, it was a bit like the Wild West in that there weren't any rules and it was basically every man (it was basically all men back then) for himself. Back then, Jack Kirby co-created some of Marvel's biggest characters, including The Avengers. But there was just one tiny problem: Marvel didn't care. He didn't get any of the rights or any of the money, so his family sued, because … c'mon, what else are you going to do?

Marvel put up the bad fight for a while but then, thank all the angels, the lawsuit was settled. Both sides seemed more or less happy, and joy was flowing free in all the land. Things changed forever and no more contracts were awful at Marvel ever!

Their contracts are awful

Okay, here's the thing: Marvel likes money. To get it, Marvel needs to have the rights to everything in a comic. Which means that you, the creator, get absolutely nothing.

It's all in the typical employee contract, which basically dictates every idea is Marvel's and Marvel's alone. This even applies to stuff that doesn't exist. There was the guy who created Ghost Rider without signing any rights over, but who later signed a contract — Marvel took him to court for saying he owned Ghost Rider. Thing was, they told him the contract was only for work he created for Marvel after signing the contract, meaning he owned Ghost Rider, and not Marvel, right? Wrong — because he didn't actually write anything Ghost Rider before Marvel (the idea was only in his head), Marvel argued that they owned the character because all actual creation occurred after the contract signing. That's the type of clever, yet evil, legalize that should be met with a Penance Stare.

The Marvel CEO hates female superheroes

There was, a while ago, a hack that revealed a bunch of leaked e-mails between Sony and Marvel. This is where we found out Spider-Man might actually make it into the MCU. But there was also a bunch of other, dirty and seedy, stuff, like the one from Marvel's CEO, Ike Perlmutter, talking about just how terrible of an idea it would be to ever make a movie starring a female superhero, ever again.

His "idea" was based on the fact that Catwoman, Elektra, and Supergirl had done poorly and everybody hated them. Which is true except … we'll see your Elektra and raise you Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Hulk in The Avengers, after his movie failed, and so many more. Does this mean you'll stop making superhero movies starring men too? We're guessing no, and we're guessing this was just Ike's excuse to keep those dang wommens away from his manly drawing books. We don't like Ike.

The Marvel CEO is a super-hidden figure

You know how Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget was never actually seen? Sure, you'd hear his voice or see his claw, but you'd never actually see the man himself? It was a neat way to make him look more ominous and terrifying, a much bigger villain than he would have seemed had he ever been seen by mortal eyes. Ike Perlmutter, Marvel CEO, does the same thing, hiding himself from all cameras for decades on end, like he's a vampire afraid of having his secret exposed.

He's so hidden and shadowy, there are no Getty Image results for him — one website needed a picture of him, so it had his closest friends describe him and then had an artist paint a picture. This dude is hiding like the aliens in Signs. What did he do on school picture day, punch out the photographer? For all most people are concerned, Marvel doesn't HAVE a CEO. Though after reading that email of his, we kinda wish that was true.