The Investor Who Saved Marvel From Bankruptcy

After tremendous success of Fantastic Four and X-Men Marvel needed one more Superhero to add into their list. Marvel appealed Stan Lee to introduce another Superhero. Therefore, Stan Lee started brainstorming to find that one character to be the next Superhero.

While writing, he noticed a spider climbing on a wall and he thought his next character will have the superpower to climb on the wall. After several ideas running into his brain, he decided to keep the name as Spiderman. That’s when we all got our new Superhero- Spiderman. Adding to it, he kept few personal problems to the character to give it an emotional touch.

With his immense excitement he rushed to the publisher to tell about this new character and he stated that Spiderman will be the strongest superhero then the rest. Stan Lee expected same enthusiasm from the publishers but what followed next was complete disappointment.

Denial of Stan Lee’s idea

The publisher straight away denied the idea and said- I haven’t heard such a unpleasant idea and superhero never have any personal problems. This statement insulted Stan Lee and broke his motivation. Although Stan Lee was shattered from inside but he didn’t give up, he proudly stood to his idea.

Few days later, he observed one magazine from a publishing company which were about to shut their business. That last magazine which got Stan Lee’s eye was Amazing Fantasy.

When Marvel Entertainment group came into play

He reached to that publisher and tried convincing him to publish his Spiderman story as he mentioned- your last copy of the magazine won’t gather much attention so it won’t affect even if you publish my Spiderman story. Publishers agreed to print his story to their last copy of Amazing Fantasy magazine.

Initially, no one took notice but gradually when the number of sales revealed about that last copy of Amazing Fantasy magazine, publisher couldn’t believe their eyes, they hurried went to Stan Lee. Publishers said to Stan Lee – we loved your idea of Spiderman and it totally brew off the minds of readers. If people are loving it so much and we should definitely continue this. Let’s create series on it.

Downfall of Marvel

Thereafter, Spiderman alone gave Marvel 4,800 crore business. Everybody was in delusion that Marvel is doing a great business but not always what we see is true. In 1986, Marvel Entertainment was established and in 1991 their IPO was introduced into the market.

Till 1983, everything went well and smooth for them, soon after they started recurring losses. Losses rose so high that it raised questions on their company’s existence. Not only this but in January 1996, company had to remove 275 employees, this situation continued and became so pathetic that company had to file for bankruptcy in December 1996. This was nothing but Endgame game for Marvel.

Marvel bankruptcy 1996
Entry of Carl Icahn

Meanwhile, it was not less than a miracle when one investor came into the situation like a Superhero. He saved company from bankruptcy and starting purchasing bonds in discounted price. He was none other than Carl Icahn. Inch by Inch he started taking control over the company. He managed to take the company forward till 2009 and then in the same year Walt Disney acquired that company in $4 billion.

Carl Icahn is a crazy investor, he loves to investor in multiple companies and this is the reason why he is today’s 43rd richest person in the world, his net worth is $1570 crores. He is also one of the most successful Wall street’s investors and playing like a king in corporate America for decades.

Walt Disney back then was in search of superhero and they found that in Marvel and this led them to acquire Marvel in 2019. Truly, Marvel proved to be a superhero for Walt Disney because after acquiring Marvel, Walt Disney starting growing, which gave push to their growth rate.

From 2009 till 2021, company gave 19.76% returns compounded annually which is a massive comeback. Today, that $4 billion has reached the threshold of $18 billion.


If you are confident enough about your ideas then don’t turn back just wait for the right time and right platform. Just find the right opportunity and hit into the goal. No one can stop you until you are confident about yourself and your ideas.

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