Eyes on the No-Prize

Private Eyes from the Marvel Universe 

Marvel Comics, which started in 1938 as Timely Comics and by the early fifties was known as Atlas Publications, became the Marvel Comics we all know and love in 1961, the year that Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others unleashed what we now think of as the Marvel Universe, which gave us The Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor et al.

From the beginning, Marvel has never really had a lot of private eyes bouncing around their universe, the way their crosstown rivals DC has (not surprising, I guess — DC stands for “Detective Comics”). And even when Marvel does create a P.I. — with the glorious exceptions of Jessica Jones (and arguably Luke Cage) — the results have been less than stellar (the ultimate nadir may be “Multiple Man”). They seem to have a real problem prying them from the sci-fi spandex crowd, or even allowing them to do any real detective work. Still, in recent years, P.I. fan outliers like Ed Brubaker and Brian Michael Bendis, during their tenures at Marvel, did their best…

But hope springs eternal. Who knows? We might yet see the return of The Ferret!

  • Leslie Lenrow (aka “The Ferret”)
    First appearance: Marvel Mystery Comics #4 (February 1940)
  • The Three Xs
    First appearance: Mystic Comics $1 (March 1940)
  • Skip McCoy
    First appearance: Captain America Comics #66 (April 1948)
  • Casey — Crime Photographer
    First appearance (in comics): Casey– Crime Photographer #1 (August 1949)
  • Rocky Jorden
    First appearance: Crime Cases Private Eye #1 (January 1951)
  • Luke Cage
    First Appearance: Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 (June 1972)
  • Howard the Duck
    First appearance: Adventure into Fear #19 (December 1973)
  • Dominic Fortune
    First appearance: Marvel Preview #2 (1975)
  • Jamie Madrox (Multiple Man)
    First Appearance: Giant-Sized Fantastic Four (1975)
  • Jessica Drew
    First appearance: Marvel Spotlight (February 1977)
  • Dakota North
    First appearance: Dakota North #1 (June 1986)
  • Jessica Jones
    First appearance: Alias #1 (November 2001)
  • Hawkeye (aka Kate Bishop)
    First appearance: Young Avengers #1 (April, 2005); Hawkeye #1
Respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith. Any additions would be greatly appreciated.

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