April 12, 2019
Saturday, the long anticipated "Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes" will open at the Franklin Institute.
The new exhibit, featuring original art by iconic artists such as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Marie Severin, as well as costumes worn by Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America) and other stars from the Marvel movies, makes its Philadelphia debut during Marvel's 80th anniversary year.
"The thing about this show is that I wanted to create an opportunity for people who have maybe 30 to 45 minutes to come through and just see a lot of cool stuff, and for people who have three hours or want to come back on more than one day to take a deep dive," said Saunders.
The exhibit, which begins with the origins of the Marvel Universe in the 1930s and moves through to the present day, is packed with objects from the past 80 years.
But what really makes this Marvel exhibit special is the hand-drawn images of Iron Man, the X-Men, Black Panther and the many other iconic superheroes.
"You need the original art to do that. You can't do that with reproductions. You can't do that with just props. You've got to go to people's houses and beg them to let you borrow this work so that the public can see it, because it's all in private hands now," he continued.
Original art in the exhibit includes the very first Marvel comic, the Incredible Hulk #102 cover, the X-Men #1 page and the Invincible Iron Man #128 cover.
"If the medium in which you work is about reproduction, if the art most people have seen is actually printed copy, then the material from which those printed copies are produced is called original art," Saunders explained.
And for visitors who really want to dive into how these iconic superhero comics were produced, three "studio spaces" within the exhibit include interactive screens providing insight into the process.
From casual to devoted, the new exhibit is for every type of fan. Through the 15,000-square-foot space, visitors will explore and celebrate Marvel's cultural impact.
"Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes" will officially open Saturday, April 13. Tickets can be purchased here. The exhibit will be open through Labor Day.
The Franklin Institute is located at 222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia, PA 19103.