As I was growing up, Marvel Comics was just a company publishing comic books for the fans of the “Ninth Art”, as comics came to be recognized today. In other words, it had a specific target group: the readers of graphic novels, which were quite often considered to be a bit geekish and into their own world. These days are long gone. The Marvel of today is a giant of entertainment and its fictional characters dominate the wildest dreams and imagination of kids and teenagers from all around the world. The movies played a huge role, no need to explain this. Ever since Marvel found its way to the big screen, it rapidly transformed, as much as it changed the way we want our super heroes to look like on screen. Ever since Iron-Man, it is true that super heroes look much more humane to our eyes, given the fact that Tony Stark is a guy just like one of us; he is a guy with many flaws that quite often doesn’t really want to learn from his… mistakes!
The days when Captain America (one of Marvel’s most classic characters) made its debut directly on video tapes back in 1990, missing the opportunity to hit the big screen, are long gone. Today, every single release of a movie based on Marvel characters is a world event for the entertainment industry. Just take a look at the numbers, if you want further proof: $1,511,757,910 at the box office for last year’s The Avengers!
What is more, Iron Man 3, which was released only last month, has already reached $1.08 billion worldwide, while its cost of production made for only one fifth of this amount; now, this is what I call a goldmine! Fortunately for us, there is more to come. In 2013 we expect the brand new The Wolverine and the return of both Thor and Captain America with the Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Additionally, Spiderman, X-Men, The Fantastic Four and The Avengers are expected to return on screen in the following two years. At the same time, we will also welcome the arrival of some new characters. I am personally looking forward to meet the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Ant-Man in 2015!
If your love for Marvel characters is unlimited and the movies picturing them are simply not enough to satisfy your hunger, then you shouldn’t really worry about anything, because you can have more of them. Just pack your things and fly away to Florida! The Universal Orlando Resort awaits for you with its spectacular Universal Islands of Adventure. Marvel’s super heroes have strong competition, as they have to compete with guys like Indiana Jones, boys like Harry Potter and his friends, or even prehistoric monsters such as the tyrannosaurus from Jurassic Park. All of the aforementioned have their place in Universal’s park.
There are plenty of things to do in Orlando, I know! But for all of you Marvel enthusiasts things are quite simple: you only have to make sure that you will book early at the Florida Attractions available at Florida Tix and the rest will come smoothly.
I don’t know if you remember a hilarious scene in a Jim Jarmusch movie titled Down by Law, where Roberto Benigni along with his prison mates John Lurie and Tom Waits started shouting, strangely enough with absolutely no reason, in the middle of the night… “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream”…
Well, at the Marvel Super Hero Island you will be definitely screaming for more – at least for more of the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man,which is actually a 3-D simulator ride around New York; I guess you will find it hard to forget!
There is also the Incredible Hulk Coaster, a tribute to Hel Storm from the X-Men, with the Storm Force Accelatron and, finally, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall inspired by The Fantastic Four.
While in the U.S. Universal holds all exclusive rights on Marvel characters (and this is the reason you can’t find your favorite super heroes in the Walt Disney World Resort), in the rest of the world things are different. Only a few months ago, it was revealed that Marvel characters will feature the Hong Kong Disneyland sometime in the near future. What is more, in the United Arab Emirates the Marvel Adventure mini theme park (part of the City of Arabia entertainment) is expected to open its gates in late 2013. Finally, the executives of Disneyland Paris have announced that a Marvel theme park is part of their long term future plans.
Apart from all these, one thing is for sure: goodbye, and thanks for the memories, Superman! Long live Iron-Man from now on!