At Marvel Universe Live**, when the lights go down and the Avengers symbol flashes on the screen, the energy in the O2 Arena is off the charts. We are in the presence of greatness and it’s hard not to feel pumped.
As Thor, Iron Man, Spiderman, Captain America, Black Widow, Wolverine, Hulk and Captain Marvel appear “in the flesh”, I have to restrain myself from punching the air — or at least giving the dad behind me a fist bump. Talk about a parent win. My boys are in superheaven.
Throughout the evening, I enjoyed stealing glances at kids looking gobsmacked. Watching Marvel Universe Live is a bit like waking up on the Captain America: Civil War set, or inside the pages of a comic book. You’re sucked into the action instantly (and there is TONS of action). At points, there was so much butt being kicked, I didn’t know where to look.
What’s the plot? Something about a clone of a magic cube that will give unlimited power to its owner (Loki) and unleash pure evil across the planet. But we don’t really care about the plot. We want to see baddies getting knocked out, and super beings taking us to heights we’ve only imagined.
Marvel Universe Live doesn’t disappoint: there’s hammer throwing, shield tossing, web slinging, bodies flinging, vehicles racing, characters (and motorbike) back flipping or taking flight.
It’s cool to see Falcon spread his wings, Black Widow in close combat, Iron Man plus gadgets, or Wolverine’s battle skills almost slashing everyone else’s to pieces. Villains like Loki, Dr Octopus, Electro and The Lizard also get their turn in the spotlight. Although I was disappointed that Storm and Cyclops are reduced to being damsels in distress.
The fight choreography is seamless, and the quips fly almost as thick and fast as the punches. It’s ultra cheesy but enjoyably so. And when Bruce Banner finally gets his Hulk on, it’s a knockout scene.
Marvel Universe Live effectively pulls back the curtains to show you how stuntmen and women create dynamic action sequences. You can see the wires to help them soar, and the trampolines to catch their drops, but it doesn’t take away from the magic. If anything, it makes the performances (and the technology behind it) all the more impressive. During the interval, toddlers in costume rushed to the front of the stage and had their own epic battle.
Warning for parents: the show gets pretty intense with several very loud bangs, engines roaring, and pyrotechnics including Dr Killian literally bathed in flame. So pack some ear defenders/ear plugs and remind your kids not to try any of the crazy stuff at home!
Also you’ll have to steel yourself Iron Man stylee, or prepare to spend a small fortune on merchandising and snacks. Our faces nearly melted when we tried to buy some popcorn and it cost £9 (what the what?)… we settled on a £6 box to share from the concessions outside. I continue to be astounded at the mark-up on snacks and souvenirs at these types of events.
That said, it would be hard to put a price on the experience, especially for mini Marvel fans. A super night out.
Marvel Universe Live: Babes Review
Ezra, age 10
‘I thought it was a great show with lots of humour and action and some crazy moments. My favourite stunt was either when Captain America jumped on a motorbike off a ramp onto a tall building or when Wolverine did a backflip on a motorbike! One of my favourite characters was Captain Marvel because she was always chatting when she was fighting, saying stuff like ‘Beasts, all muscle, no finesse!’
I thought Hulk was very funny when Loki was trying to get him on his side and then Hulk just boshed him on the head – biff, boff – and then threw him across the stage. I thought they were all very good at fighting (they must be black belts!). I thought the flying was very well done and it’s amazing how many risks they took in that one show. I still don’t know whether I preferred Marvel Universe Live or WWE Raw Live! I think almost any of my friends would have liked the show. I’d rate it 5 stars, without a shadow of a doubt!’
Jed, age 7
‘Marvel Universe Live is epic! Wolverine did an amazing back flip on a bike and he was very good at fighting. My favourite was Spidey because he was funny and I actually met him (before the show). I liked it when Hulk came, he looked very real. I also liked Iron Man because he had missiles that made explosions. We saw Thor first and he destroyed the most powerful cube in the universe. I liked Captain America’s bike. I made a new friend there (in the audience) called Winnie. He was dressed as Captain America. My favourite part was when Thor rolled up Loki in a storm and sent him back into nowhere. I give it 5 stars!’
Marvel Universe LIVE! is at The 02 in North Greenwich, London until Sep 25. Shows at 7pm (Wed Sep 21, Thu Sep 22, Fri Sep 23), 11am, 3pm & 7pm (Sat Sep 24), 12pm & 4pm (Sun Sep 25). More dates at Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham; the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow; Sheffield Arena; Manchester Arena and SSE Arena in Belfast. All tickets and further information including tour dates are available from the website at: www.MarvelUniverseLive.co.uk
**We received press passes to review Marvel Universe Live, all opinions stated belong to myself and the babes