Marvel Comics is the common name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide's parent company. Marvel started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the early 1950s, had generally become known as Atlas Comics. The Marvel branding began 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and many others. Marvel counts among its characters such well-known superheroes as Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Iron Man, Deadpool, Wolverine, Daredevil, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Star-Lord, Groot, the Human Torch, and the Thing including such teams as the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men, S.H.I.E.L.D., the Fantastic Four, and the Inhumans, and antagonists such as Venom, Doctor Doom, Red Skull, Green Goblin, Thanos, Ultron, Doctor Octopus, The Collector, Magneto, Abomination and Loki. Most of Marvel's fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with locations that mirror real-life cities. Characters such as the Avengers, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and Doctor Strange are based in New York City, whereas the X-Men have historically been based in Salem Center, New York and Hulk's stories often have been set in the Southwestern United States.