Founded in 1939 by Martin Goodman, Marvel quickly became a comics giant. Slowly and steadily, the company took one of the most important places in this industry and expanded into new areas of entertainment. This was not accomplished by sheer luck alone. Since its inception, Marvel has strived for excellence and uniqueness. One of the ways he achieved this was through the Marvel method.

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The Marvel Method was a system adopted by Marvel for producing comic books in the 1950s. It involved a collaborative approach between writers and artists to create their stories. Basically, Stan Lee created an outline for his story, including only the most important elements. After that, the artist in charge had to plan everything, from the plot to the organization of the pages. This system was crucial to Marvel’s success and resulted in some of Marvel’s most successful works.

8 It was adopted out of necessity

Around the 1950s, Stan Lee implemented this system when he realized that some of his artists, such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, were perfectly capable of doing the heavy lifting. Originally following Lee’s general ideas, Kirby and Ditko began working on their own, while Lee created dialogue for the stories. Other Marvel writers were still working with full scripts.

Soon it became apparent that readers liked the stories of Lee, Kirby and Ditko best, so Lee got rid of all the other writers – like Larry Lieber and Robert Bernstein – and started making all their books himself. . In order to complete the missions on time, Lee switched all of the Marvel artists to the Marvel method. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for him to script Marvel comics on a monthly schedule. This system became Marvel’s only system for many years.

seven This contrasts with the full script method

Since comics are a work of two, three, or even four people, it’s very important to avoid miscommunication between editors, writers, and artists. The best way to do this is for the writers to have as complete a script as possible for the artists to follow. The document should include as much information as possible, such as dialogue, page design, and plot outline. This is what they call the full script method.

The Marvel method is the complete opposite. Instead of creating an entire story from scratch, the writer only describes the beginning and end of the story while including the elements that should be in the story. With this sketch, the artist is free to work on the plot and layout of the comic.

6 Stan Lee made him famous but Jack Kirby and Joe Simon did it before

Stan Lee’s name was synonymous with the Marvel method. He systematized it and made it a central part of Marvel history. However, he did not invent it. 10 years before Marvel adopted the Marvel Way, Jack Kirby developed a similar system with Joe Simon at National Comics (now known as DC Comics).

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This primitive version of the famous method was created because Kirby worked faster than Simon. Since they had a limited time per issue, it was easier to get Kirby to trace and draw with Simon’s script afterwards. Of course, once Kirby went to work for Marvel, Lee recognized his expertise and gave him additional responsibilities. Lee followed the same path with Steve Ditko after noticing his natural talent.

5 He was often referenced in the comics

The Marvel method is famous. First, it’s a unique approach to comic book writing. Second, Marvel’s most important creators have never hidden this dynamic from the public. For example, it is often referenced in featurettes aimed at showing the creators’ creative process to readers. One of the first examples of these references is the featurette of Annual Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 since 1964.

This three-page meta-story follows Ditko and Lee as theywork on the same problem that the readers have in their hands. In this story, Lee and Ditko humorously recount the process, from Lee’s ideas to Ditko’s practical adaptation of those ideas. This same process is depicted in other classic stories, such as Fantastic Four Annual #5 and annual avengers #2.

4 This is probably the root of Stan Lee’s feud with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko

While the Marvel Method allowed Stan Lee to create the very foundations of the Marvel Multiverse alongside many artists, this collaborative technique was also problematic. Since he was created to help with Lee’s excess work, he usually handed off most of the work to the artists, who now had to figure out the whole story in addition to the writing. This caused a lot of resentment towards the man, who also ended up getting credit for most of the stories created.

Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created many characters together – Thor, Hulk, the X-Men, Black Panther – while Lee and Steve Ditko co-created Spider-Man. However, Kirby and Ditko had a long-running feud until their deaths. The reason for this dispute likely had to do with the Marvel way and the unfair working conditions it imposed on Marvel artists.

3 He gave life to important characters

Since the Marvel Method has been Marvel’s main modus operandi for many years, this process has created many iconic Marvel characters. For example, the Silver Surfer, which debuted in The Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966), was not part of Stan Lee’s idea. Instead, Kirby added it using this collaboration technique. In a 1995 interview, Lee recalled that he found the idea of ​​calling the character “a lunatic on some sort of flying surfboard” ridiculous, which was “in the middle of the story”. [they] had so carefully worked out.”

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Kirby defended his creation, stating that a cosmic entity as powerful as Galactus would surely have some sort of herald. About the surfboard, the artist explained that he was tired of drawing spaceships. Plus, surfing was really all the rage in the ’60s. Although skeptical at first, Lee grew to love the character. While unplanned, Silver Surfer became a central character for Galactus and the Fantastic Four comics. He even got to star in his own series.

2 Matt Fraction and David Aja used it to create the 2015 Run On Hawkeye

As of 2022, Marvel hasn’t used the Marvel Method as a rule, simply because it’s unfair to artists. This, however, does not mean that he has been banned. In fact, Matt Fraction and David Aja applied this technique to write Hawk Eyethe most iconic superhero run to date.

Regarding this collaboration, Fraction said he was terrified of giving up control of his scriptwriting process. However, Aja thought it was a great creative exercise and enjoyed the freedom it gave her. While the Marvel Method isn’t Fraction’s main creative process, it surely proved useful for the beloved. Hawk Eye Course.

1 Fans can learn more about Marvel’s 616 docuseries

Since the Marvel Method hasn’t been used in many years, at least not on a daily basis, this process is no longer central to Marvel. Given this, not everyone knows. Any fans who want to learn more about this process can watch the seventh episode of the Disney+ docuseries Marvel’s 616that explores the Marvel Universe.

This episode follows Dan Slott, Pete Woods and Christus Cage as they create Iron Man 2020 using the Marvel method. He analyzes its advantages and disadvantages while evoking its history. Marvel’s 616 is an excellent documentary to explore the Marvel method and Marvel in general.


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