First known as Timely Publications in 1939, then Atlas Comics in the 1950s, the comic book empire known as Marvel Comics came into being in 1961 with the launch of the first Fantastic Four. With the help of creative geniuses Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Marvel produced 831 comic books, each with at least one new superhero, during the 1960s. Known for focusing on characterization and placing heroes in a real-world context, Marvel’s popularity with comic book readers continued to rise through the decades. Soon, Marvel was sporting a veritable pantheon of pop culture icons, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, and Captain America. Marvel eventually added films to its entertainment arsenal, and has been behind some of the top-grossing films of all time including The Avengers and the Iron-Man, Thor, and Captain America franchise.