In 1968, while selling 50 million comic books a year, company founder Goodman revised the constraining distribution arrangement with Independent News he had reached under duress during the Atlas years, allowing him now to release as many titles as demand warranted. Late that year he sold Marvel Comics and his other publishing businesses to the , which continued to group them as the subsidiary , with Goodman remaining as publisher. In 1969, Goodman finally ended his distribution deal with Independent by signing with .
In the world of [rival '] comic books, communism did not exist. Superman rarely crossed national borders or involved himself in political disputes. From 1962 to 1965, there were more communists [in Marvel Comics] than on the subscription list of . Communist agents attack Ant-Man in his laboratory, red henchmen jump the Fantastic Four on the moon, and guerrillas take potshots at Iron Man.
In 1961, writer-editor revolutionized comics by introducing superheroes designed to appeal to more older readers than the predominantly child audiences of the medium. Modern Marvel's first superhero team, the titular stars of #1 (Nov. 1961), broke convention with other comic book archetypes of the time by squabbling, holding grudges both deep and petty, and eschewing anonymity or secret identities in favor of celebrity status. Subsequently, Marvel comics developed a reputation for focusing on characterization and adult issues to a greater extent than most superhero comics before them, a quality which the new generation of older readers appreciated. This applied to title in particular, which turned out to be Marvel's most successful book. Its young hero suffered from self-doubt and mundane problems like any other teenager, something readers could identify with.
The first modern comic books under the Marvel Comics brand were the anthology #69 and the teen-humor title #95 (both June 1961), which each displayed an "MC" box on its cover. Then, in the wake of ' success in reviving superheroes in the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly with the , , and other members of the team the , Marvel followed suit.
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