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Did you ever dream you might find Marvel heroes in a museum?

The Marvel Universe has been exciting fans with iconic heroes and villains for nearly a century — can you believe it?! — and now a Chicago museum is ready to celebrate it.

8 Decades of the Marvel Universe on Display at MSI

The newest special exhibit to hit the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago celebrates more than 80 years of the Marvel Universe. Titled “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes,” the superhero-themed exhibit is open and ready for visitors.

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark in Iron Man, taking off sunglasses
via GIPHY

“We are thrilled to welcome back guests to MSI to experience this immersive exhibition on Marvel’s history and impact to society,” said Chevy Humphrey, the president and CEO of Chicago’s MSI. “The Marvel universe has encouraged generations of people to utilize their abilities and ingenuity to find solutions to challenges today and in the future.”

“Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes” is an exhibition by SC Exhibitions, Museum of PopCulture (MoPOP), and Marvel Themed Entertainment. It’s presented by BMO Harris Bank and will be at MSI through October 24, 2021.

Inside the Marvel exhibit, expect to find plenty of your favorites, from both the past and the present. “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes” guides guests through the story of Marvel and its influence on visual culture. It also uncovers the narratives of characters and gives insight into how Marvel has both impacted and drawn inspiration from ever-changing popular culture over the years.

Exhibition Spans Two Galleries

Of course, with how expansive the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, it comes as no surprise that the museum’s exhibit is also expansive. Stretching across two galleries, visitors will find more than 300 props and artifacts from the franchise. You’ll find some of Marvel’s most iconic costumes, props, concept sketches, and original art from blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther.

While you’re there, don’t forget to take photos next to the life-size Black Panther, Spider-Man, or Ms. Marvel!

Black Panther
via GIPHY

Perhaps even more exciting, though, visitors can view original art from the past eight decades, and lots of comic book history from co-creator Stan Lee. The exhibit even features the very first comic from 1939, where it all began. That first comic book, issued by Marvel’s precursor Timely Comics, features the Human Torch, Namor the Sub-Mariner, the Angel, Ka-Zar, and the Masked Raider.

It’s not all just artifacts inside glass cases, though. The exhibit, with its immersive set pieces and interactive installations, is also accompanied by a soundscape created by composer Lorne Balfe to help bring the Marvel Universe to life. Oh, and if that isn’t enough, you can also test the Iron Man armor inside Tony Stark’s lab, with an augmented reality experience!

The Diversity in Marvel’s Ever-Expanding Universe

In addition to showcasing everyone’s favorite heroes, the exhibition also traces how Marvel has responded to historical events and addressed issues such as gender, race, and disabilities. Guests will be able to learn about Marvel’s expanding universe of heroes, including Shang-Chi, Marvel’s first headlining Asian hero; Echo, an Indigenous American hero who is deaf; and Miss America, the franchise’s first Latin-American LGBTQ character.

“This exhibit brings to life the diversity of Marvel’s expanding characters, which supports BMO’s purpose to foster an inclusive world and Boldly Grow the Good in business and life,” said Tracie Morris, U.S. chief human resources officer, and chief inclusion officer for BMO Harris Bank.

“Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes” will be on display at MCI until October 24, 2021. To catch the exhibit, you’ll need to purchase a timed-entry ticket. Aside from regular daytime hours, the Marvel exhibition will also be open for special evening hours on select dates.

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