This month marks the 75th anniversary of Superman, the Man of Steel (he first appeared in Action Comics #1 in June 1938). Metropolis, Illinois, which has been the official hometown of Superman since 1972, holds an annual celebration every June called the “Superman Celebration,” where comic book collectors and/or Superman fans gather. Usually there are Superman-related guests (comic book writers/artists, actors/filmmakers/etc. from various Superman TV shows and movies) and panels that they participate in. While I would’ve loved to have attended this year’s celebration (especially this year since it’s the 75th anniversary of Superman and the 35th annual Superman Celebration), I was worried I wouldn’t be able to attend mainly because of my job. I then figured that if I can’t be in town for Superman’s birthday, then I might as well be in town during my birthday.
The first big draw for me was the Superman statue, which I wrote about and can be read here. The second big draw for me was the Superman Museum, which is located about a block away from the Superman statue. The Super Museum houses thousands of Superman items, ranging from costumes to props to action figures to key chains to standees and all sorts of other things. During my trip to Metropolis, Illinois, last month, I visited the Super Museum, taking over 250 pictures inside. There were just so many cool Superman items in there. I’ll be sharing some of the pictures I took, but only the ones of items from theatrically-released Superman productions. First, here are some pics related to the two Superman theatrical serials that were released in 1948 (Superman) and 1950 (Atom Man vs. Superman), both starring Kirk Alyn as the Man of Steel.
Next, here’s a sampling of pictures related to the four Christopher Reeve Superman films. I was particularly interested in the Superman IV: The Quest For Peace materials, and standing for a while in front of the Clark Kent farm outfit from the Smallville scene at the beginning of Superman IV just made me miss Christopher Reeve even more.
As a bonus, here’s some pictures related to the Supergirl movie starring Helen Slater, which was originally supposed to feature a Christopher Reeve cameo until the disaster that was Superman III made him decide to hang up the cape for the time being. Disappointingly, there wasn’t really anything Supergirl-related from the TV show Smallville (especially since Laura Vandervoort actually appeared at the Superman Celebration in 2010 and signed a number of autographs for the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce).
There’s a whole lot more at the museum (including items from the animated Superman shorts from the 1940s, 1951’s Superman and the Mole Men, and 2006’s Superman Returns, as well as from TV shows like The Adventures of Superman, The Adventures of Superboy, and Lois and Clark: The New Adentures of Superman) and I encourage every Superman fan to make at least one trip to Metropolis, Illinois, to visit this museum. Besides a lack of Smallville-related items, I was a little disappointed that the museum wasn’t kept in better condition. Some standees weren’t displayed properly and a lot of the items could’ve used more frequent dusting. I have a feeling this may be done for the upcoming Superman Celebration this weekend (according to their Facebook page, they’ve already started to fix up their gift store), but it should be done more often since it IS a museum. Nevertheless, I still recommend visiting the museum. I also intend to visit again as well (hopefully, I’ll be in town to attend next year’s Superman Celebration).