News Column

Superman leaves his mark in New York City

June 13, 2013


June 13--Clark Kent may never have to deal with subway crowds during rush hour, but that hasn't stopped him from leaving his mark in the city.

Through his various incarnations over his 75-year period, Superman has been spotted in various locations throughout Manhattan, which is often a stand-in for Metropolis in the comics, TV shows and movies.

Dan DiDio, the co-publisher of DC Comics said the city was a natural fit for the hero's journey.

"New York was the original multi-nation city. Here we have the ultimate immigrant story with Superman and it's natural that he comes here to feel one with humanity."

Alex Zalben, a producer for the blog MTV Geek, said the biggest New York influence on the character was the Christopher Reeve films of the 1970s and 1980s, which filmed several scenes in Manhattan.

"For a majority of people their first experience of Superman was Christopher Reeve in that movie. It made you think about Superman being a New Yorker," he said.


Here are some of the top New York locations from comics and film:

220 East 42nd Street

The skyscraper that was home to the Daily News and currently the home to WPIX News served as the backdrop for the Daily Planet in the Reeve films. While shooting the iconic scene where Superman makes his caped appearance on location, the crew had to deal with a real life crisis, the 1977 blackout.

Grand Central Terminal

Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor, and his wacky sidekicks, made their home 200 feet below Park Avenue in "Superman the Movie." The fictional lair, accessible through a hidden door on a Grand Central track, contains a huge pool, lion den and a lead case with Kryptonite. Don't ask about the maintenance fee.

The Empire State Building

The geek community went nuts when, for the first time ever, the Man of Steel and Spider-Man faced off in a giant size comic for the city's bragging rights in 1976. The cover featured the two rival heroes squaring off in midair air above the building.

In "Superman II," Superman also knocked the Kryptonian criminal Non into the building's spire and used it cage him during a massive fight.


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