1:31pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Marvel Universe LIVE!' Will Bring the Avengers to Your Hometown
When Marvel's Marvel Universe LIVE! debuts next summer, it will bring with it more than 25 different heroes and villains from the company's comic book universe to 85 cities around the U.S. and Canada in its first two years alone. The project was announced by Marvel CCO Joe Quesada at last month's New York Comic Con, and now the identities of the first characters who'll appear on stage have been revealed.
In a somewhat unsurprising move, the stage show "starts with members of the Avengers world with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Hulk, along with Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Falcon and various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents joining the fray," according to an announcement from the show's producers.
For those thinking that that sounds like the male leads from the existing Marvel Studios movies, that's unlikely to be a coincidence -- although it's worth noting that the design images released to accompany the announcement show Iron Man, the Falcon and Thor in outfits that more closely resemble their comic book counterparts than the movie versions of each character.
Slightly less predictable is the absence of the Black Widow in the list of initial heroes. With appearances in Iron Man 2, Marvel's The Avengers and next year's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, she's one of the more high-profile Marvel movie heroes -- certainly a higher-profile character than the Falcon, or Hawkeye.
Her absence might mean that she'll be entirely missing from Marvel Universe LIVE! -- or, given that no other female characters were mentioned in today's announcement, perhaps she'll lead the way for a second cast list of characters, all women, to appear in the show at some later date. We can but hope …