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Islands of Adventure – Marvel Super Hero Island

 

Those from another planet may not know that Marvel is the name of a comic book company that revolutionized the industry way back in the sixties with a series of titles showcasing a bizarre array of super heroes whose psychological quirks were as intriguing as their ingeniously conceived superhuman powers. As might be expected, this cast of characters offers rich inspiration for some of the most intense thrill rides ever created.

After the extensive theming of the other islands, Marvel Super Hero Island can seem a little, well, flat. Some people suspect, erroneously, that Universal was cutting corners or had run out of money when it came to designing this section of the park. Not at all. Marvel Super Hero Island is, in fact, a brilliant evocation in three dimensions of the visual style of the comic books that inspired it. Marvel used strong colors and simple geometric shapes to create a futuristic cityscape with an Art Deco flavor. Against this purposely flat backdrop, they arrayed their extravagantly muscled and lovingly sculpted heroes. Marvel Comics had a profound effect on American visual design, not to mention its effect on contemporary notions of the body beautiful.

But enough art history. What you've come here for are the thrill rides and Marvel Super Hero Island has some of the best examples of the genre you're likely to find in Central Florida. Interestingly, while Disney bought Marvel Comics in 2009, Universal retains the theme park rights in Florida indefinitely, so Spidey and pals are staying put for the time being.

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Universal Orlando 2011

 

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