For diehard Marvel fans, the immersive Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N exhibition currently at London’s ExCel, until 31 March 2019, is the closest you’re going to get to experiencing what it feels like to be a superhero.
The experience is based on the premise of visitors being initiated into the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N (an acronym for Science Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) programme, and this theme is played out by a digital, widescreen full debrief upon entry by Agent Maria Hill.
Once you have pledged, you are granted access to a dark, futuristic room filled with real life Iron Man suits, an intimidating and grimacing hulk and digital screens and memorabilia full of information and back stories about our favourite superhero characters.
The experience involves touring a series of rooms focusing on characters from the much loved Marvel films. It’s thrilling to see the actual costumes and props used in the films. A popular area of the exhibition is the gaming section where you can be a superhero and pit your skills to destroy the enemy. Other attractions include trying to pick up Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, (unfortunately no one was worthy enough to be able to pick it up), and a section where you can squeeze a device to see how strong you are in the pecking order of the superheroes. Seeing the gauge swing to almost halfway on my first attempt, confirmed what I have known all along, I am a superhero!
For me, one of the wow moments of the tour was the Black Panther section. ‘Wow’ because we got to see samples of ‘real’ Kimoyo beads and pose with a life-size statue of the Black Panther. However, it would have been great to see more of Wakanda particularly as the Black Panther is now recognized as one of the most successful movies of the franchise.
The tour of the exhibition will take about an hour or more depending on how long you linger at each of the attractions and as with any good exhibition, the well-stocked gift shop is well worth a browse for Christmas presents.
We had a blast and judging by the reaction of my Marvel-mad sons who came along for the ride, it’s a thumbs up.
Tickets for Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at ExCeL London are available until 31 March. Buy your tickets here