WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Years from now, it might not matter that the “Wand of Watoomb” was the magical tool that the villainous Nebula stole and the even-more-villainous Loki wanted to use to destroy the universe.
What kids are likely to remember, if you take them to see “Marvel Universe Live: Age of Heroes” next week, is Spider-Man flying through the Mohegan Sun Arena, Thor wielding his hammer, Black Widow zipping around on her motorcycle, and the Hulk adding considerable heft to the good-versus-evil fight.
“With the exoskeleton and helmet, I am about 8 1/2 feet tall, and it adds about 100 pounds to my 190,” said Josh Davidson, who portrays the gigantic green guy with the traveling tour.
Just moving around, let alone fighting bad guys, in that get-up takes a great deal of strength, but Davidson handles it with “a lot of endurance training and a lot of heavy weight lifting to keep in shape for the kicking and punching.”
“He (the Hulk) is definitely going to be in attack mode,” Davidson said. “You’re definitely going to be amazed with it.”
Fans of Marvel Comics know the Hulk is only the Hulk when he’s angry; when he’s calm he’s a mild-mannered scientist named Bruce Banner.
“Bruce Banner is definitely present with the show,” Davidson said. “Bruce Banner is intelligent and strategic. The Hulk is a mass of anger and power that exists within Bruce Banner.”
The show includes more than 25 characters, from The Wasp and Iron Man to Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy, so young fans are sure to spot their favorites, Davidson said, while older audience members are likely to be impressed by the acrobatic abilities of the cast.
“They’re at the top of their class in the skills department,” he said. “It’s an honor to get to perform next to them.”
Davidson, who once intended to become a nurse and began training at Kettering Healthcare College in Ohio, later changed his career goal to stunt performer.
“Focusing on stunts, I would have to say, it’s a thrill I’ve never experienced before,” said Davidson, who has a gymnastics background and enjoys rock-climbing and sky-diving in his spare time.
“You push your body to limits you never thought possible. Sometimes you have ‘fire burns’ which are so safe but so exhilarating,” he said, adding he’s also exhilarated when he falls from a great height.
“We have about 20-foot-high falls (in the show) but I have gone all the way to 45-foot falls,” he said.
Another aspect of his life may not sound exciting, but as he travels around the country with “Marvel Universe Live,” Davidson pays a great deal of attention to nutrition.
“Generally when I get into a city, the first place I go is grocery shopping, and then I find a place to work out,” he said, explaining he looks for “lots of healthy fruit and vegetables and healthy forms of protein such as fish and chicken and good, healthy grains like rice and quinoa.”
He enjoys being part of a fun, physical show, and added that another advantage of his current role was that it gave him the chance to meet Lou Ferrigno, the actor/bodybuilder who portrayed The Incredible Hulk in a 1970s television series of the same name.
“It was amazing,” Davidson said. “He’s larger than life and it was an honor to meet him.”
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT.