Marvel Entertainment began as a comic book company in 1939. Originally known as Timely Publications, Marvel was bought by Disney in 2009. Marvel became famous around 1961 when Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby created many of their Fantastic Four series of comics. Marvel’s entertainment branch created millions in sales through movies, TV shows, and licensing but still almost filed for bankruptcy in 1998. In 2007, former Marvel artist and president Stan Lee sued the company for $1 billion for copyright infringement, but the charges were dismissed in 2011. Marvel characters include Captain America, Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Wolverine, and the Avengers.