By Steven Biscotti
Two things I learned today. First, it’s a small world in a big universe. Second, sometimes you need to take a gamble in order to win big. Where did I learn this? Care to take a guess? Okay, I’ll tell you. At Marvel Universe Live at the Nassau Coliseum.
Marvel Universe Live is a big, roaring, stage show circus featuring all of your favorite heroes and villains. It is rooted more in comic book lore, but does rely on the audiences familiarity with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Most especially, The Avengers. It’s full of motorcycle stunts, acrobatics, a cosmic cube, and the fate of the universe at stake. Marvel wouldn’t have it any other way. And they know most of their audience wouldn’t either.
There’s an overall feeling that all this wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Robert Downey Jr. and his invitation to all of us, die hard true believers in the mighty marvel way and those new to the superhero schoolyard, to join in on the fun, which was Iron Man 1. That was, in almost every way possible, the force that got the ball rolling on what everyone today refers to as the Marvel Cinematic Universe and phases of superhero films such as The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and most recently, Guardians of the Galaxy. Prior to May 2008, most people would have no idea as to who Tony Stark was, what the importance of the cosmic cube is, or recognize the fictional alien race known as the Chitauri. It’s hard to believe that back during casting, Marvel was reluctant to hire Robert Downey Jr. and that at director, Jon Favreau’s insistence, and a revelatory performance in his first audition since “Chaplin”, he got the role of a lifetime that pretty much everyone and their grandmother recognizes as one of cinema’s best! This is one of the things I learned today. Sometimes you need to take a gamble in order to win big. Important life knowledge that I now impart to you faithful readers: Marvel took a gamble on an actor who not only turned a B character into an A grade star, but also became the essential ingredient in one of the biggest screen franchises today. And helped form some of the biggest icons in pop culture that millions of children and adults adore.
Now onto my other life lesson I learned from watching Marvel Universe Live. It’s a small world in a big universe. Not only did I run into Chuck Suffel, the owner and operator of the site in which I’m writing this for, but I was given privilege along with the rest of the audience, to view a 2 hour spectacle encompassing global adventure and featuring not only the Avengers, but also the X-Men and Spider-Man.
The plot is simple. To prevent Loki from attaining the cosmic cube, Marvel’s mcguffin of sorts, a mystical object that grants the wielder insurmountable power and brings out their true inner nature, Thor breaks it into pieces and scatters it across the universe. However, various Marvel villains such as The Sinister Six and A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics & villainous faction led by Guy Pearce in Iron Man 3) manage to gather the cube, thus forcing our heroes to track them down and save the day. Along this adventure, we get to see tremendous motorcycle stunts, a fiery spectacle of explosion after explosion, lights and lasers, smoke and more stunts. Oh, and we also learn our favorite God of Thunder, the Mighty Avenger himself, Thor, detests selfies and has a million followers on Twitter.
Marvel Universe Live was a great amount of fun. Thanks to Marvel and Feld Entertainment (Disney on Ice, Ringling Bros.), I a man of 25 instantly became a kid, with his mouth open and tear in eye, believing in a world where everything is black and white. Where good guys are good guys and bad guys are bad guys. And The First Avenger, Captain America, would help an elderly lady cross the street. The show is perfect for kids and families. And for most adult fans of Marvel Comics, who no longer need to feel insecure about their passion for comic books, need to see this circus of superheroes. If only to be a kid again. And to walk out asking for God to bless and keep Robert Downey Jr.