Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wish Superman a Happy Birthday with a Roadtrip to Metropolis

With this year being the 75th birthday of Superman it seems like a fitting time to go on a road trip to Metropolis, the Illinois town that DC Comics has proclaimed the real life hometown of Superman.  This city on the banks of the Ohio River has embraced celebrating their local hero promoting a 15 foot two-ton statue of Superman in a downtown square, a bronze statue of Lois Lane, a Superman Museum, a local newspaper called “The Metropolis Planet” inspired by the fictional paper “The Daily Planet” from the comic books and movies, and hosts an annual four day festival honoring the Man of Steel.  Metropolis Illinois was even featured in the pages of DC Comics’ “Adventures of Superman #515 which portrayed its residents idolizing the super hero who lives in their “sister” city.  

Across the street from the Superman statue in Metropolis is the “Super Museum” which has a huge display of memorabilia dedicated to the hero.  It has items on display from the original 1951-1953 television show including the harness that was used for George Reeves flight scenes (he would be lifted by a crane and hurled past cityscape sets to portray the illusion of flight) and his original Superman costume which is actually brown and grey in color since red and blue wouldn’t have shown as well on black and white television sets of the time.  The museum also has props from the 1978 Superman movie including the Kryptonian crystals used on screen by Christopher Reeves to build the Fortress of Solitude.  Click here for a gallery to see some of the items on display at the “Super Museum”.   They also have a fully stocked gift shop for all the fans that stop by to visit can take home their own super souvenir from Metropolis. The Super Museum is open 7 days a week from 9 to 5.  Admission is $5 with children under 5 allowed in FREE.

June 6 – 9 will be the city’s 35th annual SUPERMAN CELEBRATION.  In recognition of the 75th anniversary of Superman’s creation the festival will be attempting to set the Guinness World Record for “the largest gathering of people dressed as superman”.  Join the effort on June 9 @ 3pm by visiting Superman Square in your full licensed costume! For more information on what you’d need to wear and how to participate call 800-949-5740.

Other activities for the SUPERMAN CELEBRATION include appearances and autograph sessions with “featured” guests from Superman comics, movies, and tv shows; screenings of entries in a fan film festival;   super hero costume contest with a $1,000 prize; a Smallville Prom themed dance party, art and window painting competitions; and a strongman weight lifting competition. For more information, visit www.supermancelebration.net

Superman made his first appearance in Detective Comics (later to become DC Comics) ACTION COMICS #1 (June 1938).  In the 75 years that have followed he has appeared in various comic stories, radio serials, television shows, movies, and video games.  Check out this great poster by  Steve Younis from www.SupermanHomepage.com that show the various incarnations of Superman over the years:

Also this year there will be two new additions to the Superman mythos.  On June 14th, a new movie  MAN OF STEEL will be hitting theaters. The movie stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan & Martha Kent.  Here’s a look at the trailer:

DC Comics is also introducing a new Superman comic book that will hit retailer shelves on June 12 called SUPERMAN  UNCHAINED … but guess what you don’t have to wait until than to see this new version of superman because they will be issuing a special first look story on May 4 for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!

Looking for a fun summer road trip for the family? This year seems like a good one to check out Metropolis, Illinois. 

Oh and if you make the trip don't forget to stop by nearby Fort Massac State Park and check out this really great reproduction you can walk through and explore of an early 1800s fort from an era when Illinois was wilderness territory.

The fort is and its visitor center are open Monday - Friday's 8 am - 4 pm and Saturday/Sunday 10 am - 3:30pm.  On the same weekend as the Superman Celebration, Fort Massac will be holding on June 8, 2013 a special presentation with French & Indian War reenactors and exhibits/demonstrations of French, Native American, and Colonial American life in the 17th and early 18th centuries.  For more information, visit the FORT MASSAC STATE PARK website. While this doesn't have anything to do with Superman, I thought this old fort was really cool and threw its info into this post to let you know about an extra benefit of making a trip to this southern Illinois community. 

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