Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No, It's A DC Superheroes Exhibition

DC Exhibition: Dawn Of The Superheroes, The O2 ★★★★☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 6 months ago

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Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No, It's A DC Superheroes Exhibition DC Exhibition: Dawn Of The Superheroes, The O2 4
It's time to call for Batman.

"Tell me, do you bleed? You will." The line runs through our head as Batman's power armour stares at us, eyes aglow. Batman vs Superman may be a seriously flawed film but this costume is amazing. It's just one of many, in this monster exhibition around the DC comics universe at the O2 in Greenwich.

Let's face it the DC cinematic universe may be filled with superheroes but Marvel's stable has wiped the floor with them when it comes to performance at the box office. So can this exhibition filled with props from the movies go some way to redressing the balance?

Superman and Clark Kent next to each other, somebody will join the dots.

The exhibition kicks off with, as it must, the original superhero: Superman. There's all of his back story from his comics debut in 1938 and the fact he started off with looser morals before he became the ultra-virtuous Superman who vowed never to take a life (though we imagine plenty of people died in the recent movies).

There are plenty of comic book covers, but fans beware, most are reproductions. It's TV and movies that are the treasured sources for this show, including the costumes worn by Christopher Reeve, Henry Cavill and Brandon Routh — yeah, we'd forgotten about him too.

A stern looking Henry Cavill mannequin is ready for battle.

Old cartoons show Superman fighting a dinosaur, we're sure he had his reasons, and rescuing Lois Lane multiple times — back then it was socially acceptable to suggest women needed a man to save them.

Batman follows and the atmosphere turns darker as we're greeted by a ten foot tall caped crusader looking down at us. There's the motorcycle from the Dark Knight trilogy, Michelle Pfeiffer's latex Catwoman suit and the camp set of costumes from the forgettable Batman & Robin — Mr Freeze and Batgirl are both unfortunately accounted for.

Michelle Pfeiffer's memorable catsuit is on display.

The sections on both Superman and Batman are vast and packed with information and props; the show then rattles through Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad and the wider Justice League. It's understandable given these latter franchises only have one movie each and less history, though Wonder Woman now has a strong fan following and those expecting more on her may leave disappointed.

One of the major strengths of this show is all of the artwork from the films covering the walls, from the inside of Superman's ship to him rescuing a child, it's all beautifully rendered.

Plenty of references to the comics but thankfully they skip over the Green Lantern movie.

This is an exhibition for the comic book movie fans, and judging by ticket sales at cinemas, there are lots of us out there. We're glad to say it delivers and just on the artwork and the props alone, we can say that DC fans will love this excellent show. So head over to North Greenwich as quick as The Flash and get ready to marvel at some DC superheroes.

DC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes at The O2, London until 9 September. Tickets for adults start from £18.

Last Updated 19 April 2018