10 mind-blowing facts about the Marvel Universe

Enjoy the Marvel Super Sale in the BT TV Store and discover these lesser known facts about the prodigious Marvel Universe.

Just about everyone’s heard of Marvel. Whether you’re a hardcore comic nerd or have simply caught a film or two in the last decade.

The Marvel Comic Universe (MCU) has spawned some of the most legendary superheroes of all time and in recent years has scored hit after hit at the box office.

Founded in 1939 by Martin Goodman in New York City, this once fledgling publishing company has gone on to create some of the most beloved characters known to man – including Spider-Man, The Hulk, Black Widow, Wolverine, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy – just to name a few.

The Marvel Super Sale runs from October 23 to November 5 in the BT TV Store.

Marvel’s biggest hits including Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America and The Avengers: Age of Ultron are available to buy and own from only £6.99.

Here are 10 weird but true facts about the Marvel Universe.

1. Michael Jackson tried to buy Marvel Comics

Michael Jackson infamously bought the rights to The Beatles catalogue in 1984. And he didn’t want to stop there, as he also tried to buy the entirety of Marvel Comics in the mid 1990’s.

However, his deal fell through when the going price crept up to $1 billion and MJ was forced to walk away. Why was Michael so interested in buying the famed comic book company? Because he wanted to star in a Spider-Man movie as Spider-Man himself (obviously).

2. There’s a superhero with a hearing aid

Blue Ear is one of Marvel’s more recent comic book heroes. He was created by Marvel Comics in 2014 after they received an email from a concerned mother. Her four-year-old son Anthony Smith refused to wear his hearing aid to school claiming “superheroes don’t wear blue ears.”

Touched by the story Marvel Comics got to work and went about creating a new superhero – Blue Ear – aka Dr. Pedro Perez who is a scientist that works on superhero worthy hearing projects. He also uses the technology he’s developed to enhance his own hearing to superhero levels with various hearing aid-like devices that he uses during his various adventures.

3. There’s a Planned Parenthood Marvel comic book

In 1976 Planned Parenthood partnered up with Marvel Comics to create a Spider-Man comic that warned against unprotected sex. The story tells of a villain The Prodigy who convinces teenagers to have sex unprotected in a bid to snatch their babies and use them as forced laborers on his planet “Intellectia.” But Spider-Man gets wind of this devious plan and is set on putting a stop to it.

4. There’s a cleaning company in the Marvel Universe

What happens after superheroes damage the city and cause a big old mess after fighting off their enemies? Who cleans up the damage? Damage Control does! Damage Control is a construction and clean up company in Marvel Universe and it first appeared in The Sales Pitch comic book story in Marvel Age Annual in 1989. Since then they’ve made numerous comic book reappearances including World War Hulk and Irredeemable Ant-Man and in 2017’s hit movie Spider-Man: Homecoming.

5.  Eminem is a Marvel Universe character

That’s right, Eminem isn’t just a rapper he’s also a superhero. He starred in Eminem/Punisher #1 that was published in 2009. The story goes something like this – The Punisher turns up and lets loose on Eminem and his entourage. Somehow Eminem is able to escape his gunfire, but soon finds himself cornered by The Punisher villain Barracuda who kidnaps Eminem and throws him off a boat. However, the water is frozen over, and Eminem is able to return to shore and free a now imprisoned The Punisher – but he repays Eminem by leaving him stranded in on an iceberg and claims the two of them are now finally “even.” Strange, but highly entertaining.

6. Marvel owns the word “superhero”

Both Marvel Comics and DC Comics have successfully trademarked the word “superhero” this means that no other media publication can use it to market their materials. For example, the hit television series Heroes (2006-2010) was clearly about superheroes but they were never allowed to officially use the word and had to settle with mere heroes instead.

7. Marvel used to own the rights to the word “zombie”

From 1973-1996 Marvel owned the rights to the word “zombie.” However, by the 90’s they realised it was near impossible to properly enforce the use of the word, and it was actually costing them more to defend their ownership than use it. But they didn’t give up completely, as they swiftly next trademarked the word “Marvel Zombies” which small-print includes “No claim made to the exclusive right to use zombies.”

8. Marvel Comics founder Martin Goodman was meant to be on Hindenberg

Spider-man, X-Men and in fact all other Marvel Comics creations almost never were. Martin Goodman, who founded Marvel Comics in 1936 was meant to be on Hindenberg but changed his mind at the very last minute. As we know, Hindenberg was an airship that was destroyed and went up in flames on May 6th, 1937 when it attempted to dock at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey. Of the 97 passengers, 35 were killed.

9. Marvel is the highest grossing movie franchise of all time

To date an incredible $12.6 billion have been made from all the Marvel Comics movies. This makes it the highest grossing film franchise of all time and with several new Marvel movies set to be released in the next few years to come, we don’t see it losing this impressive title anytime soon.

10. The Incredible Hulk wasn’t green

The character was originally grey when he was introduced. He only switched to green because of poor color separations used to print comics in the 1960s.

The Marvel Super Sale runs from October 23 to November 5 in the BT TV Store.

Marvel’s biggest hits including Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America and The Avengers: Age of Ultron are available to buy and own from only £6.99.

BT TV customers - Watch now on the BT Player

More from BT

Exclusives and Behind the Scenes