More than 25 Marvel superheroes and villains made a stop at the Bell Centre last week to entertain fans of the comic book characters. The show called Marvel Universe live featured motorcycles, laser lights, videos, explosions, multiple sets, vehicles, and plenty of smoke. In other words, no expense was spared to bring what were previously two-dimensional characters to life before fans eyes. Witness the classic battle between good and evil.
Despite what you might think fans of all ages were the target audience. The story was easy enough to follow that the younger members of the audience were not left behind while much of the humour and one-liners were for the older Marvel fans. Female fans were not forgotten as there was a strong (not equal) female presence in the show with characters like Pepper from Iron Man, as well as heroes Storm, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and Agent Maria Hill as well as baddies Madame Hydra and Black Cat.
At a running time of just under two hours, including a 15-minute intermission, everything moved quickly and seamlessly. At times with all the special effects it felt like you were right in the middle of the action. The stunts, on foot or motorcycle, were all of high quality. Several of the actors in the show are former X Games participants and it shows. There were times when either a vehicle of some sort or the characters themselves were flying through the air. Nothing like defying gravity to get the kid in you all excited.
The story itself is rather simple with Thor having divided pieces of a powerful Cosmic Cube and scattered them all over the Earth. Having done so because whoever possesses the entire Cosmic Cube will have incredible power and in the wrong hands this could mean trouble. Of course, his brother Loki, an evil guy, discovers what Thor has done and decides to go looking for the pieces. When he gets his hands on them and puts the Cosmic Cube back together it will give him so much power that it will be next to impossible for the superheroes to defeat him. This is a threat to the entire universe.
Tony Stark aka Ironman has called together many superheroes including Hawkeye, Captain America, Wolverine, Bruce Banner aka The Hulk, The Black Widow, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Falcon, and Thor to team up together to rescue Storm and Cyclops, who Loki has captured to use their mutant DNA along with the power of the Cube, as well as to get the pieces of the Cosmic Cube before Loki and his evil partners, The Green Goblin, Red Skull, Madame Hydra, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Black Cat, the Chitauri, Lizard, Rhino, and Aldrich Killian, can.
The show is an ambitious one and sometimes comes off as corny, but its heart is in the right place and missteps were few and definitely not noticed by the younger audience members. Some of the ambition is rewarded in that the stunts that happen truly are amazing in a live setting. It is a mixture of circus, acrobatics and tumbling. There is even at one point one of the baddies that is set on fire. It is definitely a go big or go home production and that is quite fitting considering this is Marvel. Not often that you will see members of X-Men, Avengers and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the same story. This provides that and in a live setting.
This was the first live Marvel production and based on the audience’s reaction I don’t think it will be the last.