From Storm to Deadpool, Marvel heroes have unique connections to Philly

Spider-Man is one of many stars of the Franklin Institute's new Marvel Comics exhibit. (Image: Franklin Institute)

A new Franklin Institute exhibit, “Marvel: Universe Of Super Heroes” explores some of Marvel Comics’ most popular heroes in full detail. From the X-Men to Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four, this new exhibit shows off things that comic book heroes of all ages will be delighted to see.

What may surprise even diehard Philly comics lovers is that a few of their favorite Marvel heroes have spent time here doing things from eating a cheesesteak to saving the day.

According to Marvel fact checker Timothy Cheng and his team, some of Marvel’s most popular characters have unique connections to Philadelphia.

Philadelphia native James Rhodes is known to comic book fans as War Machine, Iron Man’s ally in battle and a close friend to Tony Starks. What most people don’t know is that following his death, Rhodes was buried at Philly landmark Mother Bethel AME Church. Mother Bethel AME Church was founded in 1890 and is the oldest church property in America to have consistently been owned by African Americans.

Ororo Munroe, or Storm as she is known to fans, is one of the most popular X-Men and attended Rhodes’ Philadelphia funeral before going on her own personal tour of the city.

After attending Rhodes’ funeral, the African weather goddess went to a Phillies game and visited Old City to see Independence Hall.

Storm of the X-Men visits Independence Hall. (Image: Marvel Comics)

“What did young James feel like looking at the hall where his nation was formed,” Munroe asked thoughtfully asked about her fallen friend while visiting Independence Hall. “Or did a teacher remind you that people who looked like you and me weren’t freed by this place?”

Munroe punctuated her Philly trip with a cheesesteak, but always the diplomat didn’t say where she got her steak from or whether it was the best. As she ended her Philly visit by seeing the Liberty Bell, Munroe found the bell to be “a brilliant symbol for America” and “flawed but worth fighting for.”

Storm has a cheesesteak and visits the Liberty Bell. (Image: Marvel Comics)

Wade Phillips is the wildly popular anti-hero Deadpool and also has connections to the City of Brotherly Love. Supervillain Necromancer brought deceased U.S. presidents like George Washington back to life in an effort to take over the world. As one of the most outgoing stars in the Marvel universe, Phillips was dispatched by the fictional espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. to stop the zombified presidents from destroying Philadelphians and people elsewhere.

The Marvel Universe’s links to Philly are an intriguing reminder that the city is fit for real and fictional heroes of all backgrounds.

“Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes” runs from Saturday, April 13, through Monday, Sept. 2 at the Franklin Institute and admission ranges from $12 to $35 a person.