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marvel-ous liverpool; Comic giant's universe spans films, books and TV - and there are some surprising Merseyside links.

Byline: PETER APPLEBY and REBECCA MCGRATH ECHO Reporters LivEchonews @

THIS summer saw the release of Marvel's Ant Man, the twelfth film in the studio's 'Marvel Cinematic Universe" which includes stablemates Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the Avengers in a multi-billion dollar entertainment business.

But while the adventures of the Marvel super heroes span such fanciful locations as dark ages Scandinavia, the far side of the universe, a sub-atomic realm of super smallness, and America, Marvel also has some surprising links with Liverpool.

Back in 2011, Marvel released Captain America: The First Avenger. The film, charting dweebie WW2 recruit Steve Rogers' (actor Chris Evans) journey from military reject to square chinned super soldier, transformed Liverpool's Stanley Dock into a New York harbour in the 1940s.

We even got a visit from a fiendish Nazi submarine which was featured in the movie and a stunt involving a "New York" taxi was filmed here.

In last year's Marvel smash, Guardians of the Galaxy, Liverpool-born comedian and actor (and sci-fi fan) Peter Serafinowicz, played the dutiful Garthan Saal, an intergalactic space cop who aided Chris Pratt's hero in saving the known Universe.

But he wasn't the only Mersey connection.

Christopher Fairbank also appeared in the film, under layers of alien prosthetics, as dodgy dealer The Broker. The actor, originally from Hertfordshire, made his TV breakthrough playing Scouser Moxey in Auf Weidersehn, Pet.

The actor, in an interview with the ECHO, credited his success with choosing to head to Liverpool after getting into trouble as a youngster. Chris' probation officer put him in touch with Liverpool's Unity Theatre, and his career, along with an honorary Scouser status, was born.

SPOILER ALERT: Sir Ben Kingsley's role as the menacing Mandarin in Iron Man 3 and the subsequent Marvel One Shot: All Hail the King, caused controversy among Marvel fans when it was revealed that the man they thought was the evil warlord, who had battled Iron Man in Comics since the 1960s, had been rewritten as a struggling Liverpool actor called Trevor Slattery.

The film is littered with moments when the drunken dupe, who has been hired to pretend he is a supervillain, tunes out to watch LFC on the telly.

In fact, in All Hail the King, the character is shown a photograph of him and his mum outside the Empire Theatre that "was found in the vaults of an English newspaper called The Liverpool Echo." That's right, the ECHO is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe too...


DREAMING OF THE EMPIRE: Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 |

| HERO GOALIE: Left, Marvel artist Will | |Sliney, a lifelong Evertonian, created a comic showing Everton legend Neville Southall's greatest saves. Peter Serafinowicz, below, and honorary Scouser Christopher Fairbanks, inset, appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy

| ACTION HERO: Chris Evans in his full | |Captain America costume. Below left, Evans at Stanley Dock, Liverpool, in Captain America: The First Avenger

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 16, 2015
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