After watching Avengers Endgame opening weekend, I completed the MCU re-watch so I could really see how all the movies connected. I became a Marvel fan through TV shows and movies. I never read the comic books and had no connection to the source material. That changed this past weekend when I went to visit the Franklin Institute to see the Marvel Universe of Super Heroes Exhibit in Philadelphia, PA.
Originally opening in Seattle in 2018, Philadelphia is the 2nd stop for the exhibit. The multi-media exhibition includes over 300 Marvel artifacts that unify the entire Marvel Universe. The exhibit includes original drawings, first strips, first edition or first appearance comics, the work desk of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, statues, fan art, videos from classic TV shows, and of course costumes and props from the movies and tv shows.
The experience opens with a five-minute video discussing the history of Marvel Comics: how Stan Lee and Jack Kirby came to work together and were almost forced out of the industry due to the social climate around comics in the early 1950s; how they came up with the idea for the Fantastic Four and saved the company then created the Superheroes we know and love today.
Just before entering the main part of the exhibit you are led into Stan Lee’s office at Marvel and a tribute to his assistant Florence “Flo” Steinberg. Known as the heart of Marvel Flo was Stan’s assistant and was integral to the operation that was Marvel Studios under Lee and Kirby. I love that they included her and her contribution in this exhibit.
After a quick meeting with Thing to discuss what I was about to see, I entered the exhibit proper. I loved this entire exhibit from start to finish! There is so much to take in. Each presentation gave some background about each character’s creation, how they were initially introduced into the pantheon and who worked on the comics throughout their history.
This video is just a sampling of the Marvel Artifacts included in this exhibit.
I loved seeing the evolution of the Iron Man costumes and surprised that there is wood as one of the components.
This captivating exhibit is fun and informative and worth the expense and the 3 hours I spent walking through it. If anything is missing it would be the Infinity Gauntlet or some statue representation of Thanos, just my opinion.
Entry to the exhibit is $35.00 during the day and includes admission to the Franklin Institute; there are evening tickets for $20.00, while the rest of the Institute is closed. The show closes on Labor Day, September 2, 2019. I have yet to find any future locations or dates for this exhibit, so if you wish to see it, go to Philadelphia as soon as possible.
P.S. There is a little bit of a scavenger hunt throughout the exhibit. No one tells you about it you kind of stumble upon it. Here is a hint of what you are looking for.