Super Heroes Invade LA

As visitors walk through the California Science Center in Los Angeles they will be transported into a world of comics and super heroes. Signs reading "With great power comes great responsibility," "Whatcha' lookin' at, bub," and "You won't like me when I'm angry," are on display. These sayings are familiar to those who know the classic world of comic books. The Marvel Super Heroes Science Exhibition makes its world premiere in Los Angeles. Developed by the Ontario Science Centre in collaboration with Yellowbrink Holman Exhibitions, the traveling exhibit starts off in LA, then moves to its hometown of Toronto. It will be on the road for five years, hitting two towns per year. The family-oriented exhibit explains the science behind super powers and how they are really put into use today. Out of the many comic book super heroes in the Marvel universe, 12 were chosen as exhibits and research was done to find the science behind their super powers. It may sound like only those comic book fans who have that secret Spider-Man suit in their closet would enjoy this, but it is designed to also appeal to those who don't know their Hulks from their Iron Man.

Kids, teens, and adults will enjoy these experiments and activities. The best one by far is the Spider-Man exhibit. Visitors can swing on Spidey swings and learn about spider silk, or be shrunk to spider size and climb up the side of a brick wall to learn more about the spider's ability to defy gravity. This is the most fun exhibit for children and adults will probably be drawn to the Invisible Woman exhibit where you look at a picture of Dr. Doom and the Invisible Woman seems to disappear due to motion-induced blindness. For teens the coolest thing might be testing their strength by lifting a Scion xB car weighing nearly 2500 pounds with ease using an exoskeleton-like Iron Man armor. You learn about how the exoskeleton is being developed for the military and the work force.

Other exhibits include Daredevil's Blind Alley where visitors shut their eyes and try to find their way through an alley with obstacles using only their touch and hearing. The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning features Wolverine and centers on real implants in today's medicine. It uses Magneto to show how we all affect magnetic fields. Ice Man teachers visitors about states of matter changing from solid, liquid and ice. Professor X explores genetic mutations that make us unique.

Lightning is created in the Storm section and visitors who want to investigate sound go into the Danger Room. This exhibit is based on the sonic superpowers of Banshee. And, of course, no one wants to leave without visiting the Hulk exhibit. This deals with human emotion and what part of the brain is affected by what emotion, in the Hulk's case anger is the emotion most used. Villains were represented with the likes of Doctor Octopus with a remote-controlled tentacle that kids can operate, teaching them about the use of prosthetics.

The exhibit brings science to another level of understanding by showing kids how science plays a role in everything, including comic books.

"The [exhibit attempts] to show the potential of how little kids, by using their imagination, and [how] adults can [also] use their imagination to do good science just like the comic creators did," said Nicola Lisus co-creator of the exhibit.

Overall, this exhibit was fun and well worth the drive from Crescenta Valley. This is really interesting for everyone. The Banshee Danger Room does get a little loud when filled with kids but the fun outweighs the noise.

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