24 August 2005

Metropolis or bust - Wednesday

Last Superman Standing:
The last son of Krypton stands proudly adjacent to the museum.

Welcome: Flying like a bird, like a plane... Look! It's Superman!

I made it to Metropolis in a mere three hours. The Man of Steel himself, painted upon a grand sign, greets visitors upon entering town.

Located in downtown Metropolis, Illinois, a few blocks from the Harrah’s Riverboat Casino, is the Superman Museum: The world's largest collection of Superman memorabilia under one roof.

The Superman Museum: Here is the Superman Museum. A whole building full of super stuff.

A thanks to Comic Buyer's Guide for informing me of its existence.

The Gift Shop: The entrance to the museum also acts as the Fortress of Multitude, filled with tons of Superman and Justice League merchandise. The Justice League is DC Comics team supreme, often made up of A-list heroes, such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and J’onn J’onz, also known as the Martian Manhunter. Sometimes the team consists of B-listers like the Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Mister Miracle and so on, who are all loved by many fans, though not well known to the general public as are some of the A-list group. There was a made-for-television Justice League movie made some years ago, but it’s scarcely seen the light of day, having never been officially aired.

Compared to the other stores in town the gift shop items were overpriced. I imagine this is to help pay for the maintenance of the museum, since admission is cheap, at three dollars a head. It had seemed like many of the Superman items might have been exclusive to the gift shop, not the entire town, so I bought from the gift shop. The town itself is pretty small, so perhaps Smallville would have been a more apropos name. And guess what. There is a Lois Lane. The woman working at the chamber of commerce told me she used to live on Lois Lane and that it's just a bunch of apartments.

Wall of fame: Superman has been portrayed on the Silver and Television Screens via several live-action incarnations. The exterior side wall of the Museum features a nice paint job of some super actors. From left to right: Kirk Alyn, George Reeves, Christopher Reeve (no "s" and no relation to George) and Dean Cain. I wonder if Tom Welling will have to wear the costume on Smallville before they stick him up there. Of course 2006's upcoming Superman Returns actor, Brandon Routh will be up there soon enough, should the museum curator decide to keep going with the theme.

Green with envy: Am I green with envy! Look at the cool chunk of Kryptonite. After its explosion, pieces of Krypton bore paths across the galaxies to become radiated as they entered the Earth’s atmosphere making them deadly to Superman. The only other things that can traditionally hurt the Man of Steel are magic and a broken heart.

Those are the boots worn by the first Superman of the silver screen, Kirk Alyn, of the Superman serials from 1948.

Here are some awesome props from the fifties Superman television show.

A foil/metallic poster from
the original
Superman film from 1978.

Seeds: Here is a
sliver of Kryptonite,
which I believe was
a prop from the
1978 Superman film.

We must learn to crawl before we can fly:
Here are props from the Superboy television show circa 1988. I don't remember the show at all, but then again I thought Superman was a huge wuss until his 1996 animated series from those animation geniuses at Warner Brothers. The animated series made me realize there could be good Superman stories and he isn't always such a big blue boy scout. My thanks to Curt Geda, Bruce Timm and the rest of the gang behind the animated series of Batman, Superman, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

Patch Adams: Here are some costume patches from the Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman show from the early 90's. You can see Metropolis Light & Power, Lexcorp, Metropolis Fire/Rescue and others.


Super Rug:
More Superman memrobilia.
Go Figures: Here are some Superman statues and figures from various time periods. Can you guess which two just flew in from carousing with lonely sailors at the San Francisco wharf?
Kryptonian Cartography: Here is a map of Krypton, a long dead planet. It was doubtlessly drafted by some of Krypton's best planetary cartographers. Does anyone know where a person can obtain such a map? Contact me if you do.
No one sells papers like the Big "S": Here is a copy of the Metropolis Planet, Metropolis, Illinois’ very own newspaper. It is not unlike the DC universe’s Daily Planet. Kal, of the house of El, must always make headlines when he goes through a major change like death, marriage, and when he got new energy-based powers, along with the corresponding costume for a time.


As I was exiting Metropolis, like a baby being rocketed from a dying planet, I stopped at an authentic looking Mexican restaurant recommended to me by the woman at the chamber of commerce. It was incredibly dark inside and it looked to be staffed by real Latinos, hopefully Mexicans. I thought the food was going to be really good, but instead of grated cheese, they used some kind of cheese sauce. Does cheese sauce exist in traditional Mexican kitchens? Luckily my stomach was all right after that. The salsa was really hot, which is good. If it doesn’t make you sweat, then it’s not good enough. I wonder if it was homemade.

The Gateway to the West was hardly welcoming. From the highway I traveled there were no signs directing wayfarers to some scenic overview where they may take awe inspiring pictures.

Driving at somewhere around sixty miles per hour on the bridge I snapped a few shots of the grand Saint Louis Arch.

Unfortunately there isn't a scenic pull-off that I had passed in around that part of the highway I came in on, so I had to risk taking crappy pictures from the car, doing the speed limit of about 65 MPH. Hopefully at some point I'll have a good enough photo program to crop and rotate them properly. I'm sure they'd look much better without the hood of the car or bridge railing in the way.

About a half hour later, I made it to Saint Charles, Missouri. There I met Great Aunt Rose, Nana's younger sister, and her husband, Uncle Sam. They are wonderful people. Aunt Rose reminds me a lot of Nana. There is a definite family resemblance and they are both always on their feet, doing work of some kind. She said that's what the Zag girls are like. She has a garden in the backyard and birdfeeders hanging for the hummingbirds. I learned that Uncle Sam liked the Cardinals and listened to the games on the radio (even though he's from Pennsylvania. He could have picked the Mets).

I brought my stuff into the spare bedroom and found out where the local comic book stores were, what with it being Wednesday and all, I had to see what new books came out. Since I had to keep my spending down, as it was only my second day out, I didn't spend too much and got a discount on the comics I bought. The guy had a great shop, Comic Book Relief.

When I got back to the house, cousin Marcia and her husband, Dave, were there with their granddaughter. They were wonderful to meet and talk to, but could not stay very long. I talked with them and Aunt Rose as she made me something to eat. Later that night, I talked with Aunt Rose about Nana and them growing up and how she and Uncle Sam ended up in Missouri. Uncle Sam used to work for some railroad company and they transferred him. She also said she thinks that's how he got sick, from the chemicals they used to use and she also talked about how they used to use a gardening pesticide with some kind of lead in it. That's the kind of stuff I learned about in my college courses.

They had a cat with a bunch of kittens living in the basement. The cat was very sweet, but I didn't get to see the kittens.

Exhausted, I laid in the bed and fell asleep despite the humidity.

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