Lessons may be learned about Marvel's success of yesteryear, but not from Riskology's coverage
If they called him crazy, it wasn’t for long. Martin [Goodman] worked hard to develop his leadership and intuition for products that could go big, and he knew he had a hit when his writers delivered the star character in his new magazine: The Human Torch.Pardon me, but the original Human Torch of the Golden Age was a robot named Jim Hammond, built by a scientist named Phineas Horton, who could later be seen as a co-star in The Invaders, Roy Thomas' WW2-based title of the late 70s. The name was later used by Stan Lee as the codename for entirely new, different hero Johnny Storm, when he and Jack Kirby created the FF in 1961. And even then, they still kept the original Human Torch around. So this is one of apparently many so-called history items written by somebody who couldn't be bothered to do the research that's quite possible to do, and would've shown just what their story development history was like in better times.
If this story is starting to sound familiar but you can’t quite place it, The Human Torch went on to become a founding member of The Fantastic Four—one of the longest lasting and most recognizable comic brands in history. It’s owned by Marvel Comics which, you guessed it, is the name Martin traded for Timely Publications in 1961.
They don't do much better when they bring up the business angle of Marvel:
In 2009, Disney bought Marvel Comics for $4 billion. Yes, billion with a b. And if that’s not impressive enough, Marvel had lost its way and gone bankrupt just a decade earlier.I'm afraid that's only so from a business perspective. Their storytelling quality declined in the 1990s, and continued on a bad path before and after Disney bought them. Just what has Disney done to turn that around? Nothing. The publishing arm is clearly expendable to them; only the movies and merchandise they can adapt from their library matters to them. And that has to be the real reason they were bought out. Bob Layton once said he believes it's only a matter of time before they decide to just drop the original comics altogether, since it's not like they would need newer material to conceive a movie screenplay anyway. That's the sad reality about comics - they're not considered great reading material. They're only considered great movie wellsprings.
In a way, the Marvel story is a perfect reflection of every great comic book. Good has been defeated and it seems evil prevailing is a foregone conclusion. Just as the scene is about to go dark, a hero appears. They’re unwilling to go down without a fight. Time is short so the hero springs to action. They quickly ready themselves for battle, they rally the townspeople around them and then, against all odds, they defeat the evil intruder and happiness is restored.
So to say it's a perfect reflection of every great comic is merely a joke. Real life doesn't function the same way.