14

A recent reminiscence of Captain America: The First Avenger made me stop and think about a very meta question.

During this sequence showing Captain America playing stage shows as propaganda to sell war bonds, we see a number of real-world Captain America products being bought by children, including most jarringly the actual Captain America comic book with him punching Hitler in the face.

The comic that the children are reading

This means that Captain America comic books exist, canonically, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The children reading the above comic in the film

I can't recall any other event in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where such a blatant reference to the comics is made, so I don't know if Thor, Black Widow, The Hulk, Iron Man, or Hawkeye have as much public exposure (to say nothing of the X-Men, who we'll keep separate in this question since they belong to the X-Men Cinematic Universe).

Beyond this passing reference to Silver-Age Captain America, is there any other evidence of Marvel Comic books existing inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

  • 5
    Well, we know Cap Trading Cards exist in universe too - as do Avengers action figures (as seen on display in the shop window in the AoS pilot), so there is definately exposure of them in universe, but whether comics are a part of this has not been made explicitly clear (afaik). – BMWurm Mar 18 '15 at 20:46
  • 3
    It would be interesting to hear if the heroes are profiting from their likeness, in-universe. It would make for an interesting wrinkle in Cap's thawing that he essentially inherited 70 years worth of merchandising profits when he woke up, or that the Avengers' operations are partially funded by their licensing rights. I mean, I doubt Tony is missing out on the profits from all that Iron Man merch... – Nerrolken Mar 18 '15 at 21:30
  • 1
    Mostly pirate comics. – Paul D. Waite Nov 12 '17 at 18:22
  • But what was Stan Lee famous for then, why was he appearing in Mallrats? – Jeremy French May 13 at 10:01
  • I thought people in the marvel universe read DC comics, and people in the DC universe read marvel comics – alexgbelov 1 hour ago
13

So far in the MCU, there has been no mention of any other hero having their own comic book.


Earth-199999 (MCU movies)

Captain America appears to be the sole exception to this rule, perhaps due to his unique status as the world's "first" superhero. It's also important to keep in mind that, in-universe, the Captain America comic book was part of an immense marketing campaign launched by the US government during WWII. Due to his unique status, Captain America was the centerpiece of a huge recruiting & bond drive that included all sorts of merchandise and public appearances. Another prime example of this is the collector's card set owned by Phil Coulson.

Later heroes do appear to have other forms of merchandise, however. In the days & months following the Battle of New York, we see both clothing (t-shirts) AND action figures styled after The Avengers. This includes a Captain America t-shirt (which may have existed before the battle), but also a toy version of Mjolnir and a plastic Iron Man mask. At the Stark Expo shown in Iron Man 2, which predates the formation of The Avengers by several months, we see a young boy wearing a full Iron Man costume, most likely a store-bought Halloween costume.

In addition, SHIELD has a wide variety of branded items (mugs, pens, badges, etc.) that can be seen in several episodes of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. These items aren't publicly available, and are akin to mugs & other items available to internal employees of the CIA or FBI. However, just as in real life, we must assume that such items - especially after the fall of SHIELD - can inevitably found on eBay (or whatever the MCU equivalent is).


Earth-10005 (Fox movies)

In the 2017 film "Logan", the concept of comic books was addressed in the Fox/X-Men continuity. In that film, Logan told Laura that events depicted in the X-Men comic book never happened and were just "made-up". The comics used in the movie were designed by Dan Panosian to resemble actual Marvel covers, albeit using the company name "X-Men Comics Group" instead. More information regarding the comics seen on-screen can be found at SlashGear here.

Logan reads an X-Men comic book

  • 5
    Possibly relevant are the Captain America radio plays from Agent Carter. – user1027 Mar 19 '15 at 0:47
  • 1
    I would also add the robbers from Spider-Man: Homecoming wearing masks based on the Silver-Age likenesses of the Avengers – m1gp0z Mar 28 at 18:22
0

Just to add onto the excellent answer by Omegacron the Marvel Comics company apparently does not exist within the MCU.

"No...I don't think Marvel Comics exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.That is a very Community-esque question. Very meta."

Movieweb, Do Marvel Comics Exist Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

On top of that the Captain America comic we see people reading in Captain America: The First Avenger only titles itself as "Captain America Comics" with no reference to Marvel.

A soldier reads the Captain America comic

As such I think we can assume that the company only made the Captain America comics for propaganda reasons during the war and probably stopped when it ended.

Howard Stark also has a copy of the same comic in his stuff that Fury gives to Tony in Iron Man 2.

The Captain America comic in Howard's stuff

As far as I know these are the only comics we see, which are all the same issue, so we can assume somewhat that lacking any further evidence only "Captain America Comics" exist in universe.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.