Howard the Duck is the first ever full length theatrical film released based on a Marvel comic. Or is it? While Howard the Duck hit screens in Summer 1986, the film Red Sonja was released over a year earlier in 1985. Red Sonja is based on a Marvel comic book featuring a character created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith.

So should Red Sonja be considered the first Marvel film? It goes quite a bit deeper for that answer. Let’s take a look and see which film is actually the first property released based on a Marvel Comic.

Thanks to Brian Cronin from CBR for the narration assist. You can read Brian’s amazing Red Sonja column here: and continue to read his work over at CBR.  Additional thanks to Damon Brazzell, Erica Adams, Mikey Wood, and Michael Sacal.

SPECIAL THANKS TO ROY THOMAS AND BARRY WINDSOR SMITH . Because someone should say it. I guess that person is me.


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“Rare Grooves” by Shawn Lov (w/ Sadat X) from the album Future Left Behind used with permission.
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“1-Up” by Professor Shyguy from the album Geekotica used with permission.
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“Howard the Duck” (cover) by Damon Brazzell