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Fun Facts and Hidden Secrets Comic Book Fans Can Discover on Marvel Super Hero Island

Comic book references are everywhere

Image: UniversalUniversal’s planning team went hog-wild in building the ultimate fan service tribute to the characters of the Marvel Universe. You’ll find a slew of Marvel references throughout the area. Some of them are overt like Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, while others only make sense to comic book lovers.

Attentive guests will notice Easter eggs like Osborn Industries. It’s the business run by Norman and later Harry Osborn aka Green Goblin and, well, the other Green Goblin. Stark Industries has signs, too, which is awkward since Disney theme parks are all about Tony Stark.

The unique licensing agreement between Marvel and Universal is what caused this problem. It gives the Universal usage rights to Marvel characters at parks east of the Mississippi. Disney’s exploited that internationally and at Disneyland Resort. But you’ll only find Tony Stark references in Orlando when you visit Universal studios.

Image: DisneyOsborn and Stark aren’t the only titans of industry with a presence on Marvel Super Hero Island. The Baxter Building, home to the Fantastic Four, is too large to construct in the tight space, but it’s still represented here. It’s the one with the doorway sign of Baxter Annex. Reed Richards is the smartest person on Earth and occasionally runs a successful business here when his family isn’t off saving the world.

Amusingly, someone who would dispute his intellect is Doctor Doom. The egotistical supervillain has a secret here, too. His “throne” is in the Arcade. It’s really more of a comfy red chair, though. The conflict between Doom and the Fantastic Four plays out on a nearby ride, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall. The concept of this attraction is different from your average superhero ride. You’re actually helping Doctor Doom try to defeat the Fantastic Four and enslave humanity!

I won’t spoil the location, but one other hidden secret here is brilliant. When you find the right spot, you’ll overhear random thugs discussing a planned job.  Hint: it’s near the Osborn Industries sign.

You can track a narcissist

Image: UniversalThroughout the land, you’ll see cut-outs of Marvel characters. These splashy paintings mimic the action pages from comics. These are the pages that are usually in the middle of the book akin to the old Playboy centerfold. Think of them as the money shot of the comic.

The ones that you see at the themed land share a trait. The same artist designed all of these eye-popping works of art. And they wanted everyone to know it. Should you carefully examine each of these pieces, you’ll find the name Adam somewhere. Yes, the individual responsible for the items signed his name on each one, often in a way that’s easy to miss.

Signs of comic book action are everywhere

Image: UniversalAs you wander this land, you should pay attention to your surroundings. One of the conceits at Marvel Super Hero Island is that violence and unfortunate accidents sometimes take place on the premises.

For example, the grounds surrounding Doctor Doom’s Freefall show signs that you weren’t the first person to aid the bad guy. Alas, the few who came before you didn’t survive. There are markings in the floor that suggest they plummeted to their death.

With tragedy so prevalent, some proactive person figured that communication ports would be a good idea. You’ll find them in the land, and they’re hard to miss since they are giant blue speakers. At these spots, you’ll hear updates about evolving situations in the area i.e. emergencies.

The other humorous touch is a crash site where a meteor shower struck the Earth. The joke here is that superhero origin stories tend to involve ridiculous events…like a meteor shower. Presumably, this event triggered someone’s heretofore unknown superpower, elevating them to the status of superhero or *gasp* supervillain. It’s the perfect touch to reinforce that everyone – or at least everyone in the Marvel universe -- is a meteor blast away from superpowers.

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