'Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes' Exhibit Features Original Art and MCU Costumes

Christine Mitchell/Museum of Pop Culture
Christine Mitchell/Museum of Pop Culture

If you’ve come down with a case of Marvel mania, there’s a museum in Philadelphia where you can sate your appetite for superhero lore, rare comic book art, movie props, trivia, and more. As the PhillyVoice reports, an exhibit called “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes” is open now through September 2 at The Franklin Institute.

It’s a fitting time to launch the exhibit, since Marvel is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. The exhibit begins with items from Marvel’s early days in the 1930s, when the company was known as Timely Comics. Marvel’s universe grew and grew over the decades, and now encompasses more than 8000 characters.

In total, the exhibit features more than 300 original artifacts, including many of the movie-quality costumes that were worn by the actors of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman and Danai Gurira), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and Captain America (Chris Evans). There are also original artworks, including two covers of The Avengers comic books and the original drawings of Spider-Man’s origin story.

“This global-spanning fantasy franchise that is in everybody's brains begins with an individual working at a drawing board with a pencil and paper—that's where world-conquering stories begin,” exhibit curator Ben Saunders told the PhillyVoice. “That's what I wanted to tell over and over and over again in this show."

The exhibition includes some interactive elements, too. Visitors can take a stroll through the trippy, Doctor Strange-inspired mirror room, or snap a selfie with The Thing from the Fantastic Four. The exhibit also pays tribute to comic book visionary Stan Lee, who died last year. (And if you really want to geek out, there's an online class you can take on "The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture," which was partly created by Lee while he was alive.)

Check out some photos of the exhibit below, and visit The Franklin Institute’s website for more details and tickets.

A mirror room
Christine Mitchell/Museum of Pop Culture

Spiderman hangs from a wall
Sandro Vanini/Museum of Pop Culture

A Groot bust
Sandro Vanini/Museum of Pop Culture

A man looks at a comics display
Jonathan Pulley/Museum of Pop Culture

[h/t PhillyVoice]

Virginia’s University of Lynchburg is Adding a Harry Potter Class to Its Fall Curriculum

Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R.
Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R.

While it’s not exactly an invitation to Hogwarts, students at Virginia’s University of Lynchburg are getting just about the next best thing. This fall, the campus is adding a Harry Potter-themed class to its curriculum as a general education course.

The university is in the process of changing some of its course offerings and streamlining classes in recognition of its modern students. According to WSET ABC 13, Dr. Sharon Foreman, director of general education, said of the new curriculum: "It is very targeted towards 21st century students who are going out into a global society and so we want faculty, staff, and administrators to know what that means, what it looks like, and [to] experience it first hand.”

Faculty have decided providing an education for a global society includes offering courses like the upcoming "Harry Potter and the Good Life," which will ask students to read J.K. Rowling’s books alongside the works of philosophers to create connections between the past and present.

University of Lynchburg coordinator of integrated seminars Amy Merrill Willis told WSLS 10 News that the course's instructor, Devin Brickhouse Bryson, is "going to be introducing philosophical concepts from [Plato], Socrates, and Aristotle, and asking students to think about the Harry Potter series in depth.”

Although there may not be a sorting hat or Butterbeer involved, the class sounds like a creative way to engage students in philosophy and critical issues, all while focused on the beloved Harry Potter series.

[h/t WSET ABC 13]

Pennsylvania Has Become a Hotbed of Bigfoot Sightings

iStock, THEPALMER
iStock, THEPALMER

If catching a glimpse of a real, live Bigfoot has been on your bucket list, you might want to plan a trip to Pennsylvania.

According to CBS Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania now ranks as the third best place to catch a glimpse of a Sasquatch. These findings came to light thanks to the Travel Channel’s new show In Search of Monsters, which analyzed the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) collection of sightings data.

According to the BFRO, which dubs itself “the only scientific research organization exploring the Bigfoot/Sasquatch mystery," of the 23,000 Bigfoot sighting reports they have on file, 1340 of them came from The Keystone State (although the site notes that there may be significant under-representation in some areas that lack sufficient internet access or computers).

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported on the growing popularity of Bigfoot hunting in Pennsylvania, with some cryptid searchers even viewing it as a fun weekend pastime.

Though Bigfoot's popularity may be on the rise in Pennsylvania, both California and Washington have PA beat when it comes to the sheer numbers. California was deemed the second best place to look for Sasquatch with over 1697 sightings reported, while Washington leads the country with 2032 sightings in all.

If you do happen to run into a Sasquatch, keep in mind that your reactions may have certain legal repercussions (for example, it's illegal to shoot Bigfoot in some states; you'll want to check with your state's wildlife department for your area's exact rules). And if you want to register that sighting, the BFRO makes it easy with an online form that allows you to recount all the key details—and speak with a BFRO investigator.

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