Culture & Lifestyle
Published August 30, 2019

A Garrolous Glossary of Mighty Marvel Mouthfuls

Face front, True Believers! Here's your guide to the terrific terms coined by Marvel!

Marvel's 80th Anniversary

Right from the galumphin’ get-go with what we lovingly label the Marvel Universe, back in those halcyon days of the House of ideas, editor-in-chief Stan Lee declared that Marvel would stand tall and face front like no other comic company before it—and one of the mighty means to that end would be the language it used.

Language? That’s right, True Believers, a way of weaving words and popping out pulse-pounding phrases like no one else and making each regal reader feel like they belonged to a special club, an exclusive hangout where Marvel Speak was spoken, bunky… and the rest, well, history, Marvelites. History.

Now, know ye this garrulous glossary of mighty Marvel mouthfuls!

Bullpen Bulletins – Started by Stan in 1965 as a special speakeasy in every Marvel mag, a page of news, checklists, and even Marvel merchandise ads where The Man checked in with the fans and laid it all on the line. “Didja see the latest Bullpen Bulletin? I can’t wait for that secret project Stan slipped us a tease about!”

Earth-616 – The main Marvel universe, the Earth inhabited by all your fave, famous friends and fiends from our four-color funnybooks. Though literally thousands—millions?—of other realities exist, 616 still stands as the spot where it’s all happenin’. “Quick! Back to Earth-616 to make sure this Earth never comes to pass there!”

Excelsior – Usually emphasized with an exclamation point! A salutatory sign-off signifying excitement and exhilaration for eager-beavers everywhere. “Til next time, Marvelites! Excelsior!”

"Friends of ol' Marvel"

FOOM – An acronym for Friends of Ol’ Marvel, as well as the title of Marvel’s most well-known fan magazine back in the day.

Ish – Shorthand for issue, as in each and every installment of every serialized story. “Wait until you glom onto the latest ish of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, oh frantic ones!”

Marvel Age – A term designating Marvel’s forward-thinking defining of a specialized era. “Who says this isn’t the Marvel Age of sisters doin’ it for themselves?”

The Marvel Bullpen

Marvelites – One of several nicknames for our riotous readers, the friends of ol’ Marvel who comprise the greatest groups of fans in the universe. “It is for all you frantic, faithful Marvelites out there we warmly dedicate this magazine.”

MMMS – An Acronym for Merry Marvel Marching Society, the famous fan club that brought millions of Marvelites together from across the globe.

No-Prize – A special award launched by Lee in 1964 to fan the flames of the fans who caught a mistake, a gaffe, a boo-boo in the comics and offered an energetic explanation to make it all right again. “There’s a nutty No-Prize winging its way to you for figuring out that coloring mistake was really just Reed Richards’ latest experiment in unstable molecules!”

Bullpen Bulletin
Bullpen Bulletin from October 1975 heralding Jack Kirby's return to Marvel Comics

‘Nuff Said – A phrase to be used when everything of important has been imparted and no more need be added to the crazy conversation. “That’s it, effendi! We’re outta here! ‘Nuff Said!”

Stan’s Soapbox – A sub-section of the Bullpen Bulletins, The Man’s pumped-up podium for focused frivolity as well as words of wisdom for world-weary wayfarers. “Didja see the new Stan’s Soapbox about his amazing appearance at Comic-Con?”

True Believers – The warmest words ever woven together to describe Marvelites. “We owe it all to you, True Believers! Without you we’re nothing! Excelsior!”

For more about Marvel's 80th Anniversary, visit

Make Mine Marvel


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