Marvel Realtime:Main Page
Marvel Comics has a long history in our world, stretching back to Timely Comics and WWII. In the Marvel Universe, though, time exists in a sort of smear. No matter what the present day is, the Fantastic Four always took their fateful flight ten years ago. The more time passes and the more stories are told in Marvel Comics, the more events have to be pressed into that single decade which stretches from 1961 until whatever today happens to be.
But not in the universe here, which I'm calling either "Marvel Realtime" or "Marvel-2" (after Earth-2 in DC Comics where, pre-Crisis, characters grew old and had kids who grew up). In the Marvel-2 Universe, the Fantastic Four went into space in 1961--almost 45 years ago.
This timeline is compiled from a number of sources, including The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics by Les Daniels, the 1998 Fantastic Four Annual (which had Ben Grimm travelling to a world where time had progressed normally since 1961), Don Markstein's Toonopedia, and plain old eyeballing and guesswork based on what looks right.
When possible, characters and events show up when they were first printed, but in some cases, due to the "smear" of Marvel time, the date on a story doesn't make sense with respect to the age of a character, so adjustments are inevitable. In other cases, moving the events around just felt right. It's not an exact science.
Incidentally, James Nostack is planning on running a semi-historical Marvel FASERIP game set during the 1960s sometime in the fall or winter of 2005. Until August, 2005 he can be reached at nostack [at] comcast.net if anyone is interested.
This is a generic supplement, but there's no reason not to offer write-ups for characters (or, heck, possible characters) in various systems.