Comics Shop Expands on Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Shannen Ace

Comics Shop Expands on Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Shannen Ace

Comics Shop Expands on Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The Comics Shop on Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure has been extended into the previously closed shop space next door.

Marvel Boutique & Comics Shop

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We noted earlier this month that black curtains blocked a wall of the Comics Shop separating it from the Photos shop. In 2017, the small space next to the Comics Shop was known as the Marvel Boutique. It sold women’s apparel and Loungefly bags, before closing and becoming a character meet and greet in 2021, where superheroes and sometimes villains would make appearances. Guests could purchase photos from the experience after.

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All meet and greet signage and the “Photos” lettering have been removed from the old Boutique’s façade now, indicating this expansion is permanent.

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Inside, the illuminated Black Widow artwork remains on the wall behind the checkout counter. This artwork has been a mainstay since the original Boutique first opened.

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Pipes run in a complicated pattern above the merchandise displays.

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The new merchandise area hasn’t returned as a boutique, but instead sells similar merchandise as the Comics Shop, including comic books, figurines, and Spider-Man apparel.

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A life-size Doombot is on display in the center of the store. The Doombot made its home here back during the Boutique days. When the character meet-and-greet opened, the Doombot was relocated to the Universal Legacy Store at CityWalk. Similar Doombots are also in the queue for Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, a free-fall thrill attraction on the Island.

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This is where a portion of the wall was knocked down to create a doorway connecting the space to the main area of the Comics Shop.

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Universal has been refurbishing Marvel Super Hero Island quite a bit recently, replacing signs and refurbishing buildings. The plaza themed as a “meteor crash” by the Fruit Stand reopened in April. After several years, the J. Jonah Jameson statue also returned to the extended outdoor queue for The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.

The Complicated Marvel Entanglement Between Universal and Disney

In a 1994 agreement, Universal secured the theme park rights to the Marvel brand east of the Mississippi River, and eventually opened Marvel Super Hero Island along with Universal’s Islands of Adventure in 1999. All of this happened before the Hollywood superhero box office boom we know today. Bryan Singer’s “X-Men” was released in 2000 with great success, soon followed by Sam Raimi’s revolutionary 2002 iteration of “Spider-Man.” The latter became the highest-grossing film based on a comic book of all time upon release, and prompted major investment in a vast array of DC and Marvel film forays.

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In 2008, Marvel Studios produced “Iron Man,” initially distributed by Paramount Pictures and foundational in the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel the following year, and this is where the theme park complications arise.

Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ballooned to unparalleled popularity, some guests may be confused to see Captain America or Wolverine at a Universal park, while nearby Walt Disney World seems to be missing these characters entirely. While Disney does technically own Marvel, the older agreement regarding the intellectual property holds firm.

Disney officially owns Marvel, and is now involved with all of Marvel’s films; however, the 1994 agreement stands in full legality and respect. Universal is under no obligation to forfeit their rights to the various characters and franchises. That being said, the interwoven nature of Marvel’s various partnerships from the past, including Sony’s previous involvement, causes issues for both parties.

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At a recent Disney shareholders’ meeting, CEO Bob Iger was asked about these restrictions, and he responded:

We certainly would love to be able to do more with Marvel in our parks, but I’ll leave it at that.

Because of the nature of the various agreements, sometimes MCU-related merchandise is available at Universal Orlando Resort, even though the MCU is Disney’s domain.

Which Marvel Comics do you enjoy the most? Have you ever purchased some at Islands of Adventure? Let us know in the comments.

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