Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes Coming to COSI

Once-in-a-lifetime exhibition celebrating Marvel’s unprecedented visual and cultural impact to open at #1 science museum in the country on November 26, 2021

Following the groundbreaking success of its early engagement, the Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes exhibition is about to land at COSI in newly expanded form. This is the single largest exhibition celebrating the Marvel Universe and features more than 300 original artifacts, including some of Marvel’s most iconic costumes, props, and original art, much of which has never been put on public display. The exhibit will open to the public on Friday, November 26 at 10 a.m. and will be at COSI through May 30, 2022.

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“This is one of the most exciting and groundbreaking exhibitions to live inside COSI’s walls, and we cannot wait to welcome COSI guests and Marvel super fans alike to be wholly-immersed into the Marvel Universe in a truly memorable and once-in-a-lifetime way” said COSI CEO and President, Dr. Frederic Bertley. “In challenging times we often look to super heroes – ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help our communities – our world. It’s truly an honor for COSI during such times to be the home to such an iconic experience that celebrates the super heroes in the Marvel Universe, a recognition of the potential super hero in all of us.”

The dynamic and fully-immersive exhibition tells Marvel’s story in comics, film and other media, and has drawn widespread acclaim from audiences and press alike.

“Our show begins with the origins of the Marvel Universe and moves through to the present day, giving a chance to see some of the rarest and most precious objects from the past 80 years of pop culture history, and pointing toward the future with work from some of today’s foremost creators” says curator Ben Saunders about the exhibition, which is produced by SC Exhibitions, Marvel Entertainment, and MoPOP.

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes traces the story of the company and its influence on visual culture, while also uncovering the narratives of individual characters such as Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange; giving insight on how Marvel has influenced and drawn inspiration from the ever-changing tides of popular culture; tracing how their stories have responded to historical events and addressed wider issues such as gender, race and mental illness; and honoring pioneering creators such as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko, whose imagination made Marvel into the endlessly expansive fictional universes we know today.


“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.”

Breathtaking artifacts thrill collectors and casual fans alike, immersive set pieces and interactive installations bring the comic book world to life, and the visual aspects of the exhibition are accompanied by an immersive soundscape created by acclaimed composers Lorne Balfe. Visitors will enjoy the opportunity to travel through the mysterious mirror dimension of Doctor Strange; get up-close glimpses at concept sketches, props, and costumes from Marvel Studios blockbusters; pose for selfies alongside life-size representations of Black Panther, Spider-Man, and other characters; see the original art from some of Marvel’s most notable comics; and even step into Tony Stark’s lab to test the capabilities of the Iron Man armor for themselves.

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. Renowned comics writers and editors Ann Nocenti and Danny Fingeroth also contributed their time and knowledge, in order to create a fully-formed picture of the Marvel phenomenon.

Admission into the exhibit is $15 ($13 for COSI members). To reserve your tickets in advance and for more information, visit COSI is now open Thursdays through Sundays, 10am – 5pm.

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