The sleek costume Chadwick Boseman wore in 2018’s Oscar-nominated Black Panther. Intricate hand-drawn images of Captain America and Spider-Man by the artists who first conceptualized and designed them. A life-sized sculpture of The Thing, jagged cracks and all.
Those are just a few items that superhero fans can see at Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, which is coming to the Franklin Institute this spring and summer — in time for Marvel’s 80th anniversary. (2019 is shaping up to be a Marvel-heavy year, with the releases of Captain Marvel in March, Avengers: Endgame in April, X-Men: Dark Phoenix in June and Spider-Man: Far From Home in July.)
The 15,000 square-foot exhibit will be on display in the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion and in the Mandell Center from April 13 through Sep. 2, 2019. It’s making its East Coast premiere after its debut at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle last April, where its 300-plus artifacts drew more than 300,000 visitors.
“Marvel created a cultural landscape that spans generations and delivers massive, undeniable global appeal,” Franklin Institute president and CEO Larry Dubinski said in a release.
Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes looks at the larger story of how Marvel has influenced today’s visual culture, as well as the individual narratives of beloved characters like Spider-Man, Captain America and Doctor Strange. The exhibit also examines how significant historical events — such as World War II and the Cold War — and cultural shifts in gender, race, and mental illness have shaped Marvel’s storytelling since it began in 1939 (under its original name, Timely Publications).
And if you’re more interested in comic books, you can view pages of original comic art by some of Marvel’s greatest, including Jack Kirby, the creator of Captain America, and Steve Ditko, who drew the first images of Spider-Man at the request of then editor-in-chief Stan Lee, who died last November.
Visitors can also transform into Iron Man and explore detailed movie props while listening to an immersive soundscape created by Lorne Balfe, who has scored films like Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) and The Lego Batman Movie (2017).