I adore Marvel, it was this company that brought me into comics in the first place. 1939 brought us a few iconic characters, though none of them really match up with Superman’s fame.
Now, most likely you know of Marvel’s king of the sea. Half human and half Atlantean he was raised by his mother Princess Fen under the sea. He felt no allegiance to his human biology, and for his first few appearances he was a trickster, not fighting crime, but not helping it either. He befriended a cop, Betty Dean, and began to work on the sided of the law, when WWII began he often helped the American Navy. He was later joined by a friend with similar origins, who was called Namora- but it wasn’t her real name.
Next is the original Human Torch, no this is not Johnny Storm folks. The Human Torch is a synthetic human, not a robot, but somehow artificially created. The only problem with the creation of Phineas Horton was that he burst into flame when exposed to air. After being broke out of his airtight cage and was used for crime he gained control of his flame. He took the name Jim Hammond and joined the police force. He later got a side-kick by the name of Toro, who was a circus child that could flame on just like Jim, but it was unexplained why. For a while Toro was replaced with Sungirl, their cop friend.
At one point in Namor’s early career, Jim was asked to stop the Sub-mariner. This started a fierce rivalry that later changed to a beautiful friendship.
The Angel, otherwise known as Thomas Halloway, had no superpowers, but a sharp mind, and later a cape that allowed him to fly. After he solved a crime, or when he first appeared a shadow of an angel would show on the wall. There is no explanation given for this.
David Rand was the first Ka-zar, there was a plane crash when he was small that killed his mother. His father lost his memories and believed the jungle where they landed was home. Raised in the wild he became a Tarzan like character, who could speak to animals. His father was killed by poachers and it brought Ka-zar into the world with a vengeance. He fought for the sake of his home and friends, against trappers, hunters, and later Nazis.
Note: All of these charcters belong to earth 616, the main Marvel Verse