The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle opened its doors to a new exhibition, "Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes," over the weekend. The extensive display was orchestrated in conjunction with Marvel Entertainment and features more than 300 artifacts, including some of the rarest comics in the world and original artwork, as well as costumes and props from many of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest films. The collection spans Marvel’s nearly 80 year history.
The show launched with a grand opening on the evening of Friday, April 20, that included red carpet appearances, a ribbon cutting ceremony and a party DJed by Grammy-winning producer/DJ Pete Rock. The event was attended by Runaways actor James Marsters, Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) creator G. Willow Wilson, veteran comics writer/editor Anne Nocenti and surprise guest Kevin Smith. The night also featured a performance by world-champion breakdance crew Massive Monkees, who incorporated the Infinity Gauntlet and aspects of Thanos’ story into their energetic routine.
The exhibit itself is a superhero comic fan’s dream. Curated and designed by a large interdisciplinary team, the array includes custom animations, interactive touch screens, an Iron Man simulator and a comic book reading area alongside highly coveted items from the private collections of Marvel Entertainment, ABC Studios and Sony Pictures. Celebrated creators Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Allred and David Mack lent pieces from their personal archives as well.
Just the plethora of MCU costumes alone is worth the price of admission, as they have managed to get a hold of outfits worn by Black Panther, Shuri, Spider-Man, Thor, Hela, Captain America, Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Iron Man, Star Lord, Gamora, Dr. Strange, The Ancient One, Daredevil, Ghost Rider and Luke Cage. As far as props, they've secured Spidey's handmade web-shooters and Vulture's mask from Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tony Stark's arc reactor from his Mark III suit in the first Iron Man film, the Eye of Agamotto from Doctor Strange, Star Lord's Walkman from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and plenty more
The original oversized page of Amazing Fantasy #15 where Peter Parker first dons the Spider-Man suit is on loan from the Library of Congress, and will only be on display for three of the eight months the exhibition will be open for -- the Steve Ditko art will then be put away for another couple of years. The last articles we'll mention are the only two known remaining cells -- yes, the only two -- from the late-1960s Spider-Man animated series.
MoPOP also commissioned a handful of pieces for the presentation. These include larger-than-life statues of The Thing, Black Panther and Spider-Man crafted by Gentle Giant and Legacy Effects. The non-profit organization also enlisted Steve Rude for painting of The Hulk, and Esad Ribic to depict the definitive take on Jane Foster's Thor. "Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes" is a must-see for any True Believer.