(Above) Silver Surfer hits The Oxfordshire Museum
Exhibition: Superheroes, The Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, until September 12 2010
"An intercity train can travel at about 180 miles an hour…sound moves at 768 miles an hour," points out Oxfordshire Museum's Lorraine Horne. "But Superman, who went faster than a speeding bullet, must therefore go at more than 2,181 miles an hour."
If that sounds like quite a calculation to make, the Museum's Superheroes show has several more up its caped sleeves.
Kevin Losoccizi's lifesize models adorn the show
Promising interactive exhibits where visitors can test their superhero knowledge and even find out how their supernatural abilities could be applied on a mortal level, the display hosts a series of life-size models procured from collector and self-confessed professional escapist Kevin Losoccizi, as well as giving a focus to the origins and place of comics in history.
The shiny immediacy of the blockbuster era contrasts with Captain America, who was seen punching Adolf Hitler on the jaw on his debut appearance in 1941, and the anti-Communist pre-occupations of Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk during the Cold War period.
A historical chronicling of characters takes in depictions from across the 20th century
Games offer the chance to compare your sensory abilities with the heightened experience enjoyed by Daredevil and match theme tunes from television, radio and cinema adaptations with characters. The transition from 19th century newspaper strips to cult magazines is also charted.
"This exhibition deals with how the characters came into existence, how they developed and for what reasons," explains Horne.
Batman goes to Woodstock
"It has lots of interesting details on how some of the superheroes were created in times when particular world events were occurring, like Captain America and the Second World War."
The show also represents something of a triumph for the Museum. "We hope as many people as possible will delve into the world of superheroes in this exhibition," says Judith Heathcoat of owners Oxfordshire County Council.
Spiderman prepares to pounce
"It's another example of the diverse nature of the material at the Museum in Woodstock."
Open 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday (2pm-5pm Sunday). Admission free.
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