Ever since its first incarnation as Timely Publications in 1939, the company that would go on to win worldwide fame as Marvel Comics has been introducing remarkable heroes and villains with superhuman powers. These superheroes frequently interact with each other in the fictional setting that has become known as The Marvel Universe. There are hundreds of Marvel superheroes but some of the most popular and enduring are Spider-Man, The Hulk, Captain America and the members of superhero team the Fantastic Four.
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Peter Parker became Spider-Man after he was bitten by a radioactive spider. He gained superhuman strength and agility and the ability to stick to walls and other surfaces. He also has a sixth sense (generally referred to as his "Spidey-sense") that warns of impending danger. In the original comics he constructed his own "web-slinging" devices but in some adaptations he is able to produce his webs organically.
Brilliant scientist Dr. Bruce Banner was initially transformed into the Hulk after being exposed to Gamma radiation. Banner spends most of the time in his human form but extremes of emotion, especially anger, cause him to morph into his brutish alter-ego. The Hulk is massive and possesses almost limitless physical strength. He can leap huge distances, is impervious to most damage and regenerates quickly when he is harmed.
Steven Rogers was given the "Super Soldier" serum in an attempt to create the perfect soldier. He does not have any superpowers but the serum allowed him to reach the peak of human potential. He is as strong, fast and agile as a human being can be and is also an expert in martial arts, acrobatics and marksmanship.
The Fantastic Four
The Fantastic Four were Marvel's first superhero team and comprise of Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and the Thing. Mister Fantastic is a scientific genius and also has the power of elasticity. The Invisible Woman can render herself and other people and objects invisible. She can also create invisible force-fields that can be used for a variety of purposes. The human Torch can fly and can generate powerful streams or balls of fire. The Thing possesses superhuman strength, stamina and endurance.
Wolverine is a mutant and perhaps the best known member of superhero team the X-Men. His main mutant power is enhanced regeneration, which allows him to recover from injury quickly and renders him virtually immune to poisons. He also possesses retractable bone claws that were bonded with indestructible "adamantium" as part of an experimental weapons project.
Namor the Sub-Mariner appeared in "Marvel Comics #1," the first ever comic published by Marvel's predecessor Timely Publications in 1939. The mutant son of an American seaman and a princess from the mythical city of Atlantis, the Sub-Mariner can live underwater and swim at great speeds. He has superhuman strength that gradually decreases when he is out of contact with water. He has a telepathic rapport with many types of sea creatures and can use the fin-like wings on his ankles to fly.
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