So I’ve been planning on coming here for months on end. I never got around to it because of schoolwork, life, and well, everything else.  Let me tell you I was so excited for this I could barely see straight.  When I first found it out, I pretty much said I’m getting tickets it and going, crawling if I need to.  So upon entrance, I was so happy to be there, it was crazy.  I felt confident in the exhibit. Well, um.  That wasn’t the case…  Fun fact:  I usually listen to superhero music during these posts.  I am listening to something completely unrelated to superheroes.  It was actually that bad.  I thought for sure, it’d be something to rave about..

That was not the case.

Like, at all.  I’m actually wondering if someone blindfolded the media when they wrote their reviews of it back in July, because I just can’t see how it was so utterly amazing.  (Sidenote:  Any civilian reviews of this is almost overwhelmingly negative).  That, or they were offered a shitload of money.

Upon entering – the entrance sets a really high bar.   First of all, the Discovery Center in NYC does not allow photography, as such, that includes the Marvel exhibit.  Which to me, already, you are setting a really high bar for yourself.  You need to make this exhibit so unforgettable, so amazing, that you don’t need a selfie with the Iron Man suit to remember you went in 2 years.  The fact is, people are surgically attached to their devices.  I’m not saying that’s right, or even that should be the case – it just is.  We also live in a world of complete documentation – our phones document what we see.  To deny people to document is a pretty big deal nowadays, really, and I am not the only one with this sentiment because I looked at reviews of this place, and everyone apparently hated you couldn’t take pictures.  Well, if you are one of those people:  That wasn’t Marvel.  That was Discovery Center, which seems to have a business model of “No pictures +  cool exhibit idea + ???? = profit”.  I have been near or in Discovery Center a few times (I live in NYC), and I have to tell you it’s really more of a tourist trap half the time in my opinion, aside from the fact that if the exhibit is actually good, you can’t take pictures – which to me is a boatload of bullshit.

But let’s get started on the actual exhibits… if you really want to call them that.

You walk in, and they make you make out a SHIELD Agent card.  At first, I thought this was just a cute gimmick.  No. That card ended up being the entire exhibit.  Literally.  I asked to confirm the no photography about a million times, but a Discovery Center employee (not Marvel-specific employee) informed me that they just throw out whoever tries to take any pictures, but told me if you can sneak it do it, because “I love them too”.  She/He told me the employees (Marvel) are a special type of asshole when it comes to any device that could take a picture, no less actually doing it.  Like, if you just take out your phone, more than likely a shitload of employees are just going to turn into some SHIELD police gimmick and take you down for real.  Not to sound nitpicky (although once I hate something, I’ll nitpick it down to the color of it), but, like, maybe people have legitimate reasons to use their phones.  I don’t know.  I went on a vacation about a decade ago, and everything went to hell.  If I was a tourist, and I went into Marvel on that vacation, there was no way I wouldn’t use my phone or at least check it. It was legitimate emergency level stuff, such as emergency sick family members and the like (yes, while on vacation, thousands of miles away).  It’s really not that hard for a vacation to slowly take a really shitty turn, since I know someone probably thinks I’m doing it to be nitpicky – but trust me, I was on that vacation where it just went really bad, and we all relied on our cell phones, and kept them available at all times.

But I made it through making a card.  Yay.

Now I go into another room, where there is a guy with a camera and a green screen.  I’m not getting much of an explanation as to why I am standing in front of a green screen, why this person is telling me to “pose like a superhero”, or why he is here at all.  I already made the card, what are you possibly using my picture for?  The lack of explanation was really quite confusing, so I took one serious one and one not serious one.  Still, I had no explanation as to why I am standing in front of a green screen.

Then this is where they set the bar really high.  You go into this chrome-looking square (as a miserable looking employee escorts you – dude looked like someone told him his pet hamster died), and Agent Felix Blake comes on.  I’m Agent Felix Blake, and this is top secret blah blah blah.  The walls in front of you literally become the screen you are watching, which is really cool tech.  So then that’s all over, and you go into another room, and another series of small TVs tell you the same exact explanation the other guy just did.  It was literally almost verbatim, and you are wondering why you are hearing this again, why your neck needs to fucking crane out like a giraffe over this thing (if you happened to stand relatively normal, it looked like a laptop/flat screen on a bad angle), and when you are actually going to see something.  It was cool technology, please don’t get me wrong, but I just thought they could show something different.

It only looks cool.

(photocred: Timeout.com)
Finally, the meat and potatoes, or the very little meat and potatoes, of the exhibit are after this explanation.  You walk forward, and there are costumes.  Namely, Black Widow, Coulson, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and that should be it (Also, really, no Peggy costume from TFA either there or in the Captain America exhibit?  Hello? marketing committee, are you sleeping?  She is getting her own show?).  And to accompany these props – which initially really left me in awe, despite the fact I couldn’t take photos – were none other than touch screens giving a brief explanation of the heroes.  I didn’t actually play any of them because I played one and lost interest in about .5 seconds, because all it showed was scenes from The Avengers.  I don’t believe it actually went into the character’s history very much other than perhaps their role in Avengers, but I could be wrong considering my interest instantaneously was lost.

The next exhibit was probably the only reason I went: Captain America.  I am a huge Captain America fan.  I saw pictures of his exhibit and knew I needed to go.  Honestly, for how ridiculously famous he is now, you would’ve really expected more.  There were the cards, his shields, costume, various other props, and that was basically it in props.  Honestly, if you want to see his props, save your money and just Google “Marvel Avengers STATION Captain America”.  You’ll see almost everything if you look hard enough.  Aside from the props, there were “testing” yourself against Captain America machines… Which, really, if you have any interest in actual comic books or are over the age of 5, that isn’t going to be your big thrill.  I don’t know.. considering how famous he is now, a little history in the character would’ve been better than these machines.  Wow! Captain America is stronger than you (spoiler alert).  The machines were also corny enough to tell everyone who used it they made it to the high scores. One machine even told you your height and weight, and Cap’s height and weight, and the differences in both.  You don’t need to pay 30-50 dollars to be told that, and you can just Google Captain America’s height and weight and do basic math without uber-engineering getting involved.

Whatever machines weren’t “tests” against Captain America, it went into the science of Captain America.  Except.. Captain America isn’t science.  I don’t care if he has different hemoglobin oxygen levels.  I don’t care about his liver working overtime – really, I don’t.  They should have had more on Captain America, than literally a room full of “test yourself against Captain America”.  I don’t know…. the fact his debut comic was punching Adolf Hitler?  His past movies?  His past anything?  But, at least I got to see his costume, which somehow got me a dirty look from the employee.  I did not have a phone out, nor did I have a camera (like, with me, at all).  Why enthusiasm warranted a dirty look, I do not know, but, the Discovery Center person wasn’t wrong.

And it only gets worse from here.

Next exhibit is the Hulk.  As you can imagine, unless they custom-make giant shorts, I don’t see what props they could include in Hulk’s exhibit.

Bingo.

It was the biggest, and also probably one of the most irrelevant, exhibits.  The exhibit had nothing to do with the Hulk and everything to do with random scientific information.  The Hulk’s exhibit featured everything from learning about gamma ray radiation in really god damn scientific terms (like, I’m talking words that would not generally appear in the Avengers, a history of the Hulk, or even Bruce Banner; they would appear in your local “radiation” college course).  You quite literally have no idea what you are reading, or why the hell you should read it at all, considering Bruce Banner or Hulk is barely mentioned in one of the machines’ descriptions.  Not to mention, before, on Captain America’s machines, there wasn’t really anything inherently scientific aside from the one prop that explained how he lived though being frozen (once again, in really complicated terms about hemoglobin, liver activity, and thyroid activity).  It was really just corny, so you didn’t need to re-read anything.  Well, the problem is, for all of these machines I’m mentioning, you are using that card.  You scan the card, and then you do the machine.

Seems simple, right?

Except for the fact that the makers of the exhibit expected you to be the Usain Bolt of reading and have a PhD in “Everything Science Related” so therefore you obviously know EXACTLY what they are talking about.

I needed to re-do one like 3 times because 1.  It was too fast and I couldn’t actually fucking read it, 2. it wasn’t explained properly what to do, 3. it went too fast and I couldn’t actually fucking read it.  Did I mention it was too fast?  Captain America’s information/machines were at least a little relevant (but corny), everyone knows he is a super soldier.  But tell me:  Why do we give a shit about the size of Hulk’s temporal lobe?  How about his Frontal lobe and Prefrontal cortex?  Amygdala?  Do you even know what any of those are?  Do you care what any of those are? If you do, don’t go to a Marvel exhibit.  Take a psychology course.

Yes, there was an exhibit on the human brain within Hulk’s exhibit (if you call it that), explaining all of the human brain and what it does.  Except for the fact that this is an Avengers exhibit, not a neuropsychology exhibit.  Tell us how Banner got the radiation.  Tell us his first comic debut. Now we’re really getting desperate: even mention the man who made him, Stan Lee.

And as you went on, it just delved deeper into gamma radiation, and kept ignoring Hulk.  There was an unidentified movie prop – once again, no explanation – along with more explanations about gamma rays.  I didn’t actually bother reading them, and I just kept going.  Next I found Chitaur props and Loki, which were cool.

…And then things hit a new low.  A really new low.

You know how people say Thor is ignored?  Well, Marvel definitely confirmed they ignore him too.

Literally, the exhibit consisted of a black room with Thor’s costume, and a hologram of his hammer.  It’s supposedly like, the world’s biggest hologram or something.  Why that would really matter to a comic book fan, I couldn’t actually tell you.  But it get’s worse.  Thor’s exhibit happened to be his suit, a hologram hammer, and… NASA.  That’s right.  Hubble Space Telescope, Kevlar, Wasp-2b planet, Constellations, Northern Lights.  How is that relevant to Thor?

Not explained either.

Yeah, I get it that he’s from Asgard and space and references, but literally, the entire screen had NASA information as if you just went to a space museum.  Thor’s costume had two screens that didn’t work next to him.  I normally love astronomy, but the fact is, I wasn’t there for astronomy.  They kept up the Avengers movie gimmick, but didn’t actually mention anywhere that Loki is the brother of Thor.  Bringing their A-Game, in other words.

Then you went around the back, and there is another giant screen explaining more astronomy, and suddenly something Thor related actually gets a mention – mind you, the screen is blocked by the NASA exhibit, so it’s not even near Thor’s costume.  Jane Foster is mentioned, as well as more scientific jargon.  I don’t have a lot to say… partly because there isn’t a lot to say.  There wasn’t much to see, therefore, there is very little to talk about.

Next, is Iron Man.

Iron Man gave me the finger.

I knew he was rough, but… wow.. Really..

Iron Man didn’t actually give me the finger.  They just had more gimmicky machines, and one of those machines was an Iron Man arm.  Except, the middle finger must have stopped working, and the ring finger only worked on the top (otherwise known as the phalanges, because apparently this is about anatomy and not comic books).  So you put your hand inside a sensor, and begin making hand movements… except for the fact the middle finger didn’t move.. And as such, Iron Man gave me the middle finger.

But it gets worse.  There was one machine that was so bad, I just stopped using it.  It was about how Howard Stark did engineering or something.  There were typos in each of these machines, somewhere, but this just topped it all.  It didn’t just have typos, but it didn’t explain Howard Stark.  It explained… types of rocks.

Gold is a soft metal.  Iron is a hard metal.  Titanium is found here.  Agent is bored to tears. Abort mission.

If I wanted to learn about metals, I’d take a geology course.  Ideally, if you want to know about Iron Man, you go to a Marvel exhibit… apparently, that is not the case, here.  His costume looked gorgeous, but really, more gimmick machines.  It was supposed to be “being Iron Man”, but like I said, if you actually like comic books, this is not the place to go.  I actually didn’t even bother finish looking at everything, just because I just wanted to leave.

But then, it abruptly ends.  And there is a gift shop…

… with items almost exclusively for children.

For adults, there’s a gray metal water bottle (Iron Man taught you about that.. Pop Quiz time), and really expensive shit.  For example?  There were canvas’.  They were nice.

They were over a thousand dollars.

There were child banks.  Child t shirts.  Child everything else. Thor’s hammer and Captain America’s other shield was in the gift shop, and those two things were literally the only things you could get a picture of.  (I took a Shield Selfie (TM)).  The only mention of comic books was the gift shop… with exactly two story arcs being there.

Everything else sucked, simply put.

Oh?  Remember that green screen?  Well, at the end, they put a picture of the Avengers behind you, and you could buy the pictures for a ridiculously overpriced amount and have them e-mailed to you (yet again for a price).

Turns out, still no pictures in my inbox.

Way to go, Marvel.

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