“Superman don’t need no seat belt.” – Muhammad Ali
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Ever Think About Where Superman Officially Comes From (On Earth)?
Metropolis, IL – There ain’t no mystery regarding why we chose a small town with such a high-profile name this time, is there? The fictional home of the one of the most iconic comic book heroes of all times, Superman, Metropolis is a convenient getaway these days. It has a population of around 6,400 and is located in Massac County, Illinois, along the Ohio River. In fact, this familiar-sounding small town is the county seat of said county and a town that celebrates its famed son in every way imaginable.
James Wilcox and William McBane, who also gave it its name, founded Metropolis in 1839. It is said that the reason for such a name was the fact that they both felt their fledgling community would grow to become a bustling city. Indeed, it was a thriving town for the majority of its existence. This mostly had to do with the fact that it was situated on the Ohio, which meant the easy development of riverfront industries, the likes of lumber and ship yards.
A Little Bit Of Superman In Everything, Basically
Today, Metropolis is officially known as the “Hometown of Superman.” This dates back to June 9, 1972, when the Illinois House of Representatives officially made the proclamation. Fast forward 50-something years, and the town today continues to celebrate its local hero in virtually any and every way it knows how. For example, “The Planet” is the name of the town newspaper. The “Home of Super Financial Services” is a self-coined slogan of the town bank. And there are Superman-related details on every corner.
Heck, even the local grocery store has a sign telling it’s customers, “Just as Superman stands for truth, justice and the American Way, Food World stands for quality, convenience and friendly service.” It goes without saying that souvenirs are available everywhere. After big dreams that were born in town back in 1973 with the opening of the “Amazing World of Superman” Museum and a planned $50 million Superman theme park, they crumbled into pieces. OPEC had shut off the oil and the bankers did the same with the town’s dream.
A Genuine Metropolis In The Eyes Of Many
After several failed attempts at resuscitation, including the famed 1986 seven-foot fiberglass Superman in the town square, Metropolis hit the jackpot in 1993. A 12-foot-tall, two-ton bronze Superman statue was unveiled in town. With a price tag of a rumored $120,000, it can be said that it was quite costly for a town of nearly 7,000. Especially so, since it’s said that the statue was officially funded with engraved bricks that the citizens had the option of purchasing at a whopping $35 a piece.
And if you’re looking for a museum of Kal-El per se (which your kids probably are if you’re bringing them along), you’ll be able to find one just across the street from the 12-foot Man of Bronze (pun intended). The life’s work of Jim Hambrick, a life-long aficionado of all things Super, the appropriately named Super Museum is a cool spot to check out. It actually exhibits the Power Crystal from the 1979 movie, as well as George Reeves’ genuine belt. A pretty cool small town, we’d say. Especially since it’s called Metropolis (which, in the eyes of Superman fans, fits it perfectly). And we couldn’t agree more.