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Captain Marvel and Philately

Author: philatelicly
Date: 31/03/2019

Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel movie is in cinemas from March 8, 2019. Royal Mail issued 15 stamps related to Marvel Comics on March 14, 2019. It’s (no) coincidence that the year 2019 is Marvel’s 80th birthday. So, let’s take a look at the stamps, facts and the (hi)story behind these Marvel superheroes.


Spider-Man is, according to many lists you can find online, the most popular Marvel superhero of all times. It’s pretty hard to list all comic books, movies and other forms where he starred. He started his career in August 1962 in Amazing Fantasy #15 and, of course, Stan Lee had his fingers involved.

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

His “real name” is Peter Parker and he started as a sidekick to other protagonists. During the time his popularity grew. This was mostly because his problems as a teen superhero were close to the problems of the majority of his readers (at the time). It’s easier to feel a connection to a superhero who is human and has school, family and love-related issues, than with godlike heroes or billionaires. Although there’s no doubt that godlike superheroes and billionaires could also be a great role model 🙂 As it usually goes with everything, from music to comic books characters (in this example), Peter grew together with his audience and got himself a job and a family and new kinds of problems. Still, he always had some time to save the world.

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel is not 1, not 2, not 3, but 7 different superheroes from the Marvel Universe.  It all started with Mar-Vell in December 1967 (Marvel Super-Heroes #12). The six Captains which followed were: Monica Rambeau (1982, The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16), Genis-Vell (1993, Silver Surfer Annual #6), Noh-Varr (2000, Marvel Boy #1), Phyla-Vell (2004, Captain Marvel (vol. 5) #16), Khn'nr (2007, Civil War: The Return) and Carol Danvers (1968, Marvel Super-Heroes #13).

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

Carol was intentionally mentioned the last because she’s the main character of the 2019 movie, Captain Marvel. Brie Larson is Captain Marvel, Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury and Jude Law stars as Yon-Rogg etc.


Terry Gene Bollea. Most of us, including myself, wouldn’t know who is he. Let’s now try using his stage name – Hulk Hogan. It’s the 1980s and pro wrestling, WWF, WrestleMania and Mr. T are all the rage. It is an easy guess that Hogan’s stage name originates from similarity to this famous Marvel superhero.

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

Hulk first appeared in 1962 in The Incredible Hulk #1. Dr. Robert Bruce Banner had been accidentally exposed to gamma rays which lead to his transformation into Hulk. Stan Lee himself said that the inspiration came from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange had also been created during the Silver Age of Comic Books. He first appeared in the Strange Tales #110 in July 1963. As it often goes with superheroes, his superpower abilities also came as a result of an accident, but this time the accident itself was just a catalyst.

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

After losing his arms, which is always a very bad thing, especially if you’re a surgeon, he decided to travel and find a “replacement”. He found more than what he expected and became the protector of the Earth against “dark magic”. The stamp motif depicts this in a very good way.

Captain Britain

Before he became Captain Britain, we knew him as Brian Braddock. His story also includes an accident, and this time it was related to nuclear power. After an accident and the acquisition of the Amulet of Right, he became Captain Britain as we know him today. His main task was, as you could expect, to protect Britain, and he started doing that from October 1976 when he appeared in Captain Britain Weekly #1.

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

This comic book was also the first original content produced by Marvel UK (an imprint of Marvel Comics formed in 1972). This is also the first exclusively British superhero in this stamp series.

Peggy Carter

She loved adventure ever since she was a child. Her story continues as a code breaker of the British Royal Military and a special agent and a French Resistance fighter. Later she joins Captain America on several operations.

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

As a character, she was introduced for the first time in Tales of Suspense #75, May 1966.

Iron Man

The battle for the second place in Marvel superheroes popularity list is very tight. Still, I would say that Iron Man leads, with Captain America, Thor and Daredevil lagging not far behind. Maybe just one good blockbuster to boost their popularity. Meanwhile... Iron Man.

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

In the Marvel Universe, Iron Man is actually Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark. And no, he’s not related to the Starks from Game of Thrones in any way 🙂 (But we will have a GoT article also very soon.) OK, so he was a billionaire who got kidnapped and injured and that was his catalyst. In order to save himself, he created an armor, which he would later improve and use in his everyday actions.

His debut happened in March 1963 in Tales of Suspense #39 and 5 years later he got his own title - Iron Man #1.

Black Panther

He is T'Challa, king of Wakanda, a fictional country in Sub-Saharan Africa. His superhero status comes from the combination of science, training and a little help from herbs used in ancient Wakandan rituals.

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

He appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in July 1966 and was the first black superhero in a major comic book. Obviously, his appearance was extremely important and popular media played an important role in the struggle for equality once again.

Union Jack

James Montgomery Falsworth or Union Jack was created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbin with his first appearance in Invaders #7 on July 1976.

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

In total, 3 men wore the mantle of Union Jack. Besides James (during World War I), other two were his son Brian Falsworth (during World War II) and Joseph Chapman, a working-class man to whom Joseph offered this position.


Thor is another character from the Silver Age of Comic Books. His first appearance was in Journey into Mystery #83 in August 1962.

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

His character was based on Norse mythology, or to be more precise on Asgardian god of Thunder with the same name. He has a super heavy hammer and the ability to control the weather. Maybe the most important weather manipulation he liked to performed was his famous thunder.

Thanos and the Battle Plan

For those who are not that into Marvel comics, Thanos is a supervillain and as such he’s not the one who could be easily defeated. Luckily, we have a bunch of superheroes at our disposal and they just need to agree on the right tactics.

© Royal Mail / Marvel Studios

This is what these last 5 stamps (the 5 with values) are all about. If you take a closer look, you’ll notice that everything is getting ready for a battle with Thanos.

When you think of stamp collecting, probably the first analogy would be an older guy, sitting alone somewhere in his room and looking at his 19th-century stamps. While that could be true, today we also have some new and very interesting stamps, like these issues by the Royal Mail, just waiting for you to add them to your collection. And with technology at our disposal as well as many means to swap stamps I can’t think of a reason not to!

Author: E. Drkušić /

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