In defence of Marvel

The teaser for Spider-Man: No Way Home, out this Christmas, which had a record number of 355 million views in the first 24 hours of online availability, delivers three minutes of thrills. Tom Holland is back, in the titular role, with his girlfriend from the previous Spidey movie, his best friend Ned, references to Mysterion, jokes from Benedict Cumberbatch as master wizard Dr Strange, plus engagement with that most playful of Marvel concepts, the multiverse. Bring in the multiverse, and anything, everything, is possible. Are you old enough to recall that moment in Dallas when the shooting of JR was revealed to be a dream? Well, the multiverse does all

The serious rows at Marvel Comics

In August 1961, two middle-aged Jewish New Yorkers, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, launched a new superhero comic book for the company that would become Marvel Comics and called it The Fantastic Four. In less than two years, working with either Kirby or Steve Ditko, Lee also co-created Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Wasp, Doctor Strange, Nick Fury, the X-Men and the Avengers. Over the past 20 years, movies based on those characters alone have grossed more than $30 billion (three times more than the Star Wars franchise) and Lee made jovial cameo appearances in all of them. When he died in 2018, millions of children born in the