On Sunday afternoon at Wizard World, a crowd gathered in Room 3 for The Marvel Saga. The panel was hosted by Danny Fingeroth, Jim Salicrup, and Mikey Babinski. Dean Haspiel was supposed to be on the panel but following the previous panel on the most neurotic superhero, he decided to go back to his booth on the floor.
The presentation was titled Marvel at 78: From The Golden Age to Spiderman: Homecoming. It was pretty entertaining to sit through this panel. Fingeroth did the speaking for the most part with Salicrup and Babinski chiming in when they could. There’s only so much that can be discussed about Marvel’s history in just under an hour.
Fingeroth did get some of the Marvel history wrong though when he said that Chris Evans played the original Human Torch. While Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four is referred to as the Human Torch, he was not the original. This title belongs to Jim Hammond, who made his first appearance as the android Human Torch in Marvel Comics #1 (October 1939), published by Timely Comics. Hammond’s Human Torch largely died out with the the early years of Marvel. Unlike Namor the Sub-Mariner and Captain America, Hammond would not have much, if any, presence in Marvel Comics after the Golden Age of Comics. The character does cameo during the Stark Expo in Captain America: The First Avenger.
There were some things I learned from the panel that I didn’t already know.
There was a version of Groot introduced in Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960). This came at a time when monsters were all the rage in comics. This version of Groot looked much different than the one we know today in Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Incredible Hulk got canceled after six issues. He then jumped over to Tales to Astonish and the book would later split focus between Hulk and Ant-Man/Giant-Man.
As they started to get close on time, they quickly went through the Marvel films and television series to present day.
There was a lot of commentary during this panel but I’m working off memory two days later since I didn’t take any notes.