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Arts & Life

Superheroes in Mobile

History Museum of Mobile


 The opening night for “Up, Up, and Away: Evolution of the American Comic Book Superhero” had the museum looking like a convention of half-pint superheroes. Adults and children milling around in costumes ranging from old favorites like Captain America and Ironman and even more obscure heroes like the Punisher. For comic book fans, superheroes are a source of entertainment, Scotty Kirkland is the museum’s history curator and he says the capes and masks tell us a lot about ourselves

 “The superhero himself or herself is a reflection of America. They reflect who we see ourselves as, they reflect our fears, and they reflect our prejudices. You can quite literally draw a timeline of American history from the end of World War II to the present using comic books.”

 By riding the momentum of recent Hollywood blockbusters, the museum is hoping to draw in a demographic that is oftentimes difficult to bring in, the eighteen to thirty-five year olds. The one time exhibit contains political cartoons from the late 1800’s, goes into the golden age of comics up to the movies that are bringing comics back in a big way.

 Looking at where superheroes are, Superman has Metropolis, Batman Gotham City and the Flash Central City. Mobile actually had a brush with a superhero in in the 1940’s. In the comic book Captain Marvel Adventures number fifty six, Captain Marvel pays a visit to Mobile to check on the war effort during World War II.

 The exhibit is the brain child of Jacob Laurence. He is the curator of exhibits at the museum. He says they were looking for a way to bring people in, by finding a way to make history fun. While the focus of the exhibit is the history of superheroes and how they reflect America’s history, Laurence says there is another message they hope people will take away from it…

 “Ultimately we want people to realize that everybody is a superhero in their own right. You just have you find your power and your ability to make sure that what you’re doing contributes to the world that we all want to live in. If we can leave with that idea, that they can do something extra special with their lives, then we have done something that we’ve really wanted to do which is inspire.”


Visitors to the museum will be able to see the one time exhibit until it ends on March third. Until then, they can see the evolution of the American superhero and indulge in a bit of wisdom making its way around the internet…Always be yourself…unless you can be Batman…always be Batman…