Spider-Man Exhibit opening at Union Station later this week

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 8:44 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Spider-Man, Spider-Man, is doing whatever a spider can inside Union Station as part of the Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing Exhibit.

The exhibit tells the story of the web-slinger from his origins in 1962 to his modern-day adventures through original art, interactive displays, photo opportunities, and more.

The University of Oregon Professor Ben Saunders and Patrick A. Reed spearheaded operations, throwing out ideas of how to properly showcase Spider-Man to all ages.

Reed said, “Fans come to Spider-Man from all these different directions. So you will see Spider-Man here not only as a comic book character but as a cultural icon.”

The art on display covers the entire 60+ years of Spider-Man’s history, from his introduction in 1962 through to the present day. The exhibition features 33 pieces of priceless original art including pages and covers by many of comics’ most popular and influential, an original script page with notes from Stan Lee (and the accompanying hand-drawn comic page), as well as digital art pieces from video games and animation.

“I think it boils down to that combination of emotional pain and struggle and profound relatability,” said Saunders.

It’s filled with the history of Spidey from its creation, including the impact the character has on our society and culture. How the writer Stan Lee was able to bring to life Peter Parker’s adolescence while saving lives in New York City — all the while no one knows who the hero is.

“He was dealing with things like racial inequality, gender inequality, social justice, pollution, and prison reform. These are all topics Spider-Man tackled in the 60s and 70s,” said Saunders.

This exhibit also introduces a first-of-its-kind life-sized interpretation of Miles Morales, the latest Spider-Man to be on the big screen. The exhibit is a timeline, unlike what many Marvel movies are like nowadays. The exhibit ends with learning anyone, anywhere can be Spider-Man in the Spider-Verse.

“To be able to show how the idea of the character has grown beyond a single person and pretty much everybody can be a Spider-Man at this point,” said Reed.

More than a dozen iconic items will be on display from Sony Pictures Studio, ranging from the 2002 original “Spider-Man” featuring Tobey Maguire trilogy series to Tom Holland’s most recent “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021).

Highlight Exhibition Items Include:

  • Original Comic Art, Strange Tales #97, page 2. This original page from a Stan Lee / Steve Ditko story depicts an “Aunt May” and “Uncle Ben” months before identical characters debuted in the pages of Amazing Fantasy #15.
  • Never-Before-Seen: Original Comic Art, Amazing Spider-Man #300, cover. This original Todd McFarlane cover has been endlessly reprinted, homaged, and used on licensed merchandise, and is one of the most iconic and recognizable images of Spider-Man in his black costume.
  • Original Comic Art, Ultimate Fallout #4, cover. Mark Bagley (pencils) and Andy Lanning (inks), 2011. This piece by Mark Bagley is the original hand-drawn art for the first-ever appearance of Miles Morales, depicting him as the new Spider-Man.
  • Never-Before-Seen: Spider-Man Costume: As worn by Tom Holland in “Spider-Man: Far from Home” (2019). Iconic red and black suit.
  • Never-Before-Seen: Spider-Man Costume: As worn by Tom Holland in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021). Black suit.
  • World Premiere: Custom-created, life-size sculpt, Miles Morales photo op.
  • Never-Before-Seen: Digital concept and design artwork from Sony/Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” in theatres June 2nd.