FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Marvel: Universe of Superheroes

by John Wroblewski

Apr 5, 2021

I have been anxiously awaiting Marvel: Universe of Superheroes, the newest special exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Filling two galleries with more than 300 artifacts, including some of Marvel’s most iconic costumes, props and original art, it has drawn big crowds of Marvel devotees and casual fans, too.

Some of the most popular displays are:

  • Costumes worn by the late Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Letitia Wright (Shuri) and Danai Gurira (Okoye) in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther (2018)
  • Arc reactor and Mark III Iron Man armor from Marvel Studios’ Iron Man (2008)
  • Black Widow’s costume and batons worn by Scarlett Johansson in Marvel Studios’ The Avengers (2012)
  • The cover for Captain America #117 (1969) by Gene Colan, Joe Sinnott and John Romita Sr. — featuring the first appearance of The Falcon, Marvel’s first African-American superhero
  • Original art from the past eight decades, including the very first Marvel comic published in 1939
  • The earliest known surviving Fantastic Four cover from 1965
  • Set pieces like Tony Stark’s lab
  • Life-sized representations of Marvel characters

© Tony Feddeler

Along with highlighting the rich history of Marvel, the exhibit also features newer elements of Marvel. The exhibition shows how Marvel’s growing universe and portrayals of societal change and diversity are drawn from the ever-changing world. Some of the most recent more-inclusive characters include Shang-Chi, Marvel’s first headlining Asian hero; Echo, an Indigenous American hero who is deaf; and Miss America, Marvel’s first Latin American, LGBTQ+ character.

© Tony Feddeler

Benjamin Saunders, Matthew J. Smith and Randy Duncan, three scholars of comics, curated the exhibition. Comic book writers and editors Ann Nocenti and Danny Fingeroth also contributed. One might call these experts a superhero team.

Running through Oct. 24, Marvel: Universe of Superheroes is an immersive crash course in the history of Marvel. Even the most ardent Marvel fan will learn or see new things. In full disclosure, I am more a fan of the DC Universe, but this exhibit is a must-see for all superhero fans.

— John Wroblewski, online writer

© Tony Feddeler

© Tony Feddeler

© Tony Feddeler

© Tony Feddeler

© Tony Feddeler

© Tony Feddeler

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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