Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes will feature more than 300 original artifacts, including some of Marvel’s most iconic and sought-after pages, costumes and props, many of which have never-before been seen by the public. These will be displayed in a major retrospective at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle, opening on April 21, 2018.
MoPOP and SC Exhibitions commissioned several renowned Marvel artists to create a series of posters for the Seattle show which will be released over the months to come. Michael Allred’s interpretation shows Spider-Man swinging from the iconic Space Needle. The exclusive artwork will be featured in MoPOP’s advertising campaign in spring 2018.
The exhibition will tell the Marvel story through comics, film and other media, taking place as it celebrates 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and ahead of the 80th anniversary in 2019.
“Our show takes us from the origins of the Marvel Universe to the present, providing a chance to see some of the rarest and most precious objects to have survived from the past 80 years of pop culture history,” says curator Ben Saunders about the exhibition, which is being produced by MoPOP, SC Exhibitions and Marvel Entertainment.
The exhibition will trace the story of the company and its influence on visual culture – including how it’s responded to historical events and addressed wider issues such as gender, race and mental illness – as well as uncovering the narratives of individual characters such as Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Panther and Doctor Strange. It will honor the so-called “imaginauts” such as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who have made the Marvel saga one of the most expansive fictional universes ever created.
“Marvel transformed the idea of the Super Hero in the 1960s—and beyond—by ratcheting up the visual spectacle, emotional dynamism and philosophical sophistication of the action-adventure comics genre,” says Brian Crosby, head of Marvel Themed Entertainment. “Marvel has always been a reflection of the world outside your own window and one of its most compelling messages has always been, that anyone—regardless of race, religion or gender—can be a Super Hero.”
Immersive set pieces will bring the comic book world to life, and the exhibition will be accompanied by an immersive soundscape created by acclaimed composers Lorne Balfe and Hans Zimmer.
The exhibition has been curated by an outstanding team that includes three scholars of comics – Benjamin Saunders, Matthew J. Smith and Randy Duncan, all of whom are university professors and experts in their field. MoPOP curators Brooks Peck and Jacob McMurray, as well as renowned comics writers and editors Ann Nocenti and Danny Fingeroth, have also contributed.
“This is the largest exhibition ever staged at the Museum of Pop Culture,” says Brooks Peck, curator, MoPOP. “We’re thrilled to present more than 300 original artworks, props, costumes, and genuine relics of pop culture history, from the earliest incarnations of super heroes in comics to ground breaking movie moments reflecting the timeless appeal of the Marvel universe.”
For more information, visit MoPOP.org/Marvel.