Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Trip to Metropolis II - Adventures in Superman-Mania

Had a SUPER fun day palling around with Stuart at the Superman Celebration in sunny Metropolis, Illinois.

For a review of my participation in Day 1, here's a link.

I arrived around noonish, and stumbled Stuart without really having to try.  I should also mention that fellow Austinite Tim Gardner was here for his 23rd Superman celebration with the entire family in tow.  Very nice fellow with a great family.

I realized I had not shared any pictures of Stuart, so here he is, showing off his immunity to Kryptonite.

This Krypto was feeling the heat a bit, I think.

Krypto's poor friend was not getting as much attention, but was also appropriately Super Cute.

New 52 Superman was pretty chipper.

The Superman Museum is an impressive, four color apparition in the center of town.

Just down by the Superman Statue as a matter of fact.

Stuart and I headed into the Superman Museum, which is pretty amazing.  And not just because of who you'll meet in the gift shop.

Wonder Woman and Boodikka?  Lady Guy Gardner?  I didn't ask.

The museum is inexpensive to visit and is really pretty amazing.  It's a collection of items from the TV shows and movies from Kirk Alyn to Henry Cavill, including animation and whatnot.  While I tend to think of Superman in terms of the comics with the movies as auxillary media, that's not actually terribly accurate.  Superman was on the radio within 3 years of the first issue, serialized at the movies, wound up on TV for 6 seasons in the 50's, however many seasons of Lois and Clark and 10 seasons since 2000.  There have been a seeming endless number of cartoons from Fleischer to Hanna Barbera, Ruby Spears and Warner Bros.  And, of course, you had the Reeves movies and now Henry Cavill.

This museum really focuses on that media and a lot of the associated toys.  Plus, it gives Supergirl her fair share of coverage.  These pictures do not begin to to the museum justice.  It's absolutely overwhelming, thousands of square feet completely full from floor to ceiling with Superman related paraphernalia.  I walked the loops twice and just gave up.  I was not going to take all of it in.

This is the second pair of glasses I've seen in the past few years that made me feel a little creepy.  These and the pair belonging to Buddy Holly.

The Boots of the first live-action Superman, Kirk Alyn from the first Superman serials.

Luthor's lab equipment!  I'll be looking to see where this shows up in the Superman movies.

Jimmy Olsen's suit as worn by Mark McClure

One of the many Superman capes worn by Christopher Reeve

Some of the costumes and props from Lois and Clark

A George Reeves Superman costume (I still think this works fine.  No idea why they need to muck about with it.)

Animation cells from various Superman cartoons

Our hero emerges...

the booth was in the private collection of Kirk Alyn

I have no idea if this is a replica or what the story is here, but it's certainly the Daily Planet logo seen in establishing shots during The Adventures of Superman

Several props and costumes from The Adventures of Superman and some tribute items

After the museum, Stuart had passes to meet the two celebrity guests and I did not.  But the celebrities were signing pics at his hotel, so we went over to get some air conditioning and chillax.  And met Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel and Liberty Belle.

So, Stuart met Candice Patton, who plays Iris West on CW's The Flash.  I'm a big fan of the program, so I'm a little jealous, but I also didn't buy my pass a year ago, so...  oh, well.

Metropolis is also home to a "Hollywood Legends" museum, buuuuuut....  I've been to a prior museum much like this in Tallahassee, Florida.  It's a museum of sorts, but it's really a collector/ hoarder's method of storing their stuff in a somewhat organized fashion.

Most of the material was either recreations or collectibles you can buy on the internet.  It was still impressive in its scale, and there probably were genuine artifacts from movies, but I couldn't really tell what was what.

yes, there is a whole section devoted to Pamela Anderson.  And Laura Croft.  And Elvira.  It's a theme.

I really didn't take that many pictures inside this museum, but it's worth the $5 admission, even if it may leave you with more questions than answers.  At the very opening of the museum (past the gift shop) there's a bit of a "Metropolis" arrangement, complete with a life-sized "Maria" model.

Back out at the Celebration, I met "Comrade Batman"'s nemesis, Red Son Superman.

and the equally intimidating Super Weiner Dog.

When it came to CosPlay, this fellow was not joking around

Wonder Woman and Supergirl strike a pose

And, Stuart takes a break with some Dippin' Dots in a phone booth.  Like you do.

And, finally, Lois.  This is the Noel Neill Lois Lane statue and sqaure.  The statue is pretty fantastic and does capture a good likeness of the First Lady of Metropolis.

And, of course, I couldn't not get a picture with Lois.

If she were real, I'm sure she'd be asking for my number

All in all, a fascinating weekend.  And, best of all, I got to meet Stuart in the person and spend some quality time with the fellow.  Very grateful for the opportunity, the tour-guide role he played and having a good time overall.

Superman means a wide variety of things to a wide variety of people.  Sometimes he's just a logo on a t-shirt, or a cool guy with powers who stops bad guys, a media character, an alien making good, or a sometimes something much, much more.  It was all on display here in Metropolis.

Thanks to the good folks of the town, to Tim and especially to Stuart for making it a bucket-list kind of time to be had.

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