Heroes, zeros, and TiVos will lead the way in the week of earnings that lies ahead. Let's take a closer look.

An action-packed week kicks off with a company that knows all about action when Marvel Enterprises (NYSE:MVL) breaks out of its comic-book shell to post its fourth-quarter results. Wall Street is looking for the company to earn $0.16 a share. Remember that number, because lately the company has been busting through targets the way an angered Dr. Banner busts through clothes. Consistently topping analyst estimates over the past couple of years has helped the company behind the Spider-Man, Hulk, and X-Men characters to become a winning Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter recommendation.

With Marvel's deep library of superheroes and villains, movie studios won't bleed its inkwell dry anytime soon. In July, it will be the Fantastic Four making their big-screen debut. Marvel's going to have some heavy competition over the summer, but, hey, what superhero doesn't have to overcome some form of adversity to possess true power?

You can see why not too many people are getting pumped up about Kroger's (NYSE:KR) upcoming earnings report. Between the recent bankruptcy filing of Winn-Dixie and the aftermath of the labor struggles that Kroger suffered alongside fellow grocers Safeway (NYSE:SWY) and Albertson's out in California, most investors are weary of the supermarket chains. The margins were meager even before warehouse clubs and discount department stores stormed in with even cheaper foodstuffs and upscale natural food stores began nibbling away at the market share with their edginess.

So, no, the past few quarters have not been kind to Kroger. It's like a shopping cart with a wobbly, squeaky wheel.

If you want to make it a Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI) night, Wednesday might be good. The video rental giant has also had a rough run lately -- and you don't even need the wobbly wheel analogy to catch my drift.

It's taken on too much debt. It's in over its head trying to acquire its largest rival while it has problems that need fixing in-house. It has had to cut prices on its mail-delivered disc service twice over the past few months. If you can find a silver-screen lining, maybe the upcoming video and DVD releases of all the big Oscar winners will help Blockbuster's cause. There's still hope for Blockbuster, but it needs to focus on reality. It's fighting too many wars these days, and that's a shame because the only battle it faced a dozen years ago was getting customers to rewind.

Speaking of rewinding, TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) is back with its quarterly numbers again. Even though the company recently announced that it had grown its digital video recorder user base to 3 million subscribers, the market has been unimpressed. Too many of its clients are part of a DirecTV (NYSE:DTV) partnership that has been supplanted, and the company is still struggling to turn a profit.

TiVo is a good company. With its pulse on the viewing habits of its users, it knows how to make headlines. In fact, earlier this week, the company announced that the most replayed moment during Sunday night's Oscars ceremony was Jamie Foxx's acceptance speech. What? It wasn't the Sean Penn rebuttal to host Chris Rock's crack about Jude Law or director Sidney Lumet's daughter cheering in the balcony? Oh, well. I guess we all love the winners after all. Yet while TiVo is the one name that everyone knows in digital video recording, it isn't alone. There are way too many copycats out there. TiVo will need to find ways to differentiate itself if it still wants Wall Street to click the green "Thumbs Up" button on the TiVo remote.

If you favor pulp facts over pulp fiction, then Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERCS) may pique your interest. While most of its pulp and paper production winds up serving the European marketplace, the company is actually based in Seattle.

Thanks to higher pulp prices, the company was able to grow its revenue by 7% through the first nine months of the year. On the downside, it also posted a loss over that stretch. Will the fourth quarter turn the tide? If the fiscal drama becomes a real page-turner, at least Mercer knows where the paper mills are.

Want to learn more about the companies waiting to report earnings this week? Check out:

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wants to know when a comic book is going to profile an average 30-something financial journalist who has the uncanny power to pick great stocks. His arch-enemy can be a bear, or maybe a hedge-fund manager. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.