Alternate Side History Film History Flushing-Meadows New York World's Fair 1964-65 Robert Moses

The World of Today: How the New York World’s Fair connects to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The New York World’s Fair of 1939-40, held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, was an extravagant wonderland of ideas, full of technological marvel and futuristic creativeness. It was enjoyable for all ages — in the event you might afford it. Youngsters have been a key viewers, of course, and the truthful was advertised to them in a spread of ways, including via a slightly new type of publication referred to as a comic ebook.

Motion Comics #1, that includes the first exploits of Superman, was revealed in June 1938. Lower than a yr later, the Man from Krypton appeared in an official World’s Fair tie-in comic ebook.

Flash forward many many years in the future. Comic books have gone from low cost kiddie magazines to the basis of trendy Hollywood blockbusters. And it’s there that the New York World’s Festivals have once more come alive — thanks to Marvel Comics.

The films spawned by Marvel characters have all the time given a superheroic nod to New York Metropolis, whether or not it’s via epic battles in Greenwich Village or intergalactic encounters in Midtown Manhattan. Marvel Comics writer Stan Lee, who died final yr, and creators like Jack Kirby purposefully introduced the metropolis into the pages of their extraordinary stories as a means to root their characters in the real world.

Under: Jack Kirby at the 1939 New York World’s Fair

Courtesy Kirby Museum

However there’s clearly something particular about Flushing Meadows Corona Park — and the two New York World’s Festivals which have been held there in 1939-40 and 1964-5 — for the website has been rigorously built into the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a set of large superhero blockbusters culminating this weekend with Avengers: Endgame**.

Courtesy New York Public Library

World’s Fair of 1939

As we mentioned in our latest podcast, the New York World’s Fair of 1939-40 celebrated corporate innovation and technological progress, a glittering future by means of cars and robotics.

Had the truthful been deemed a financial success when it closed in 1940, you might think about how it may need develop into a everlasting theme park to American middle-class beliefs. In any case, it was the ambitions of city parks commissioner Robert Moses to rework Flushing Meadows Corona Park — a former ash dump — into a place that could possibly be enjoyed by New Yorkers year-round.

Nicely, good news, Mr. Moses! In the alternate historical past introduced by Marvel, the World’s Fair of 1939-40 was apparently NOT a financial disappointment, as a result of its doors remained open for future expositions, probably even yearly ones.

Imagine how Queens would have developed with perpetual occasions at Flushing Meadows.  There would have been extra highways and a larger enlargement of the park grounds.  The tolls gathered by Moses’ Triborough Authority would have been double the bounty they have been in actual life.  He may need arguably had much more energy within the city.

World’s Fair of 1943

The first fictional truthful in Flushing Meadows debuted in the movie Captain America: The First Avenger, an exposition referred to as Trendy Marvels of Tomorrow.

Longtime associates Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers convey dates to the truthful and attempt to have a superb time earlier than Bucky ships out to struggle. Rogers, a puny CGI-ed man with nice enthusiasm, pines to be a part of his greatest good friend on the front strains.

It seems uncommon that New York would host a seemingly frivolous truthful throughout wartime. Even in 1939, the crisis in Europe was influencing the path of the actual truthful; by the 1940 edition, the Poland Pavilion had closed and the Soviet Pavilion and its large Huge Joe sculpture have been solely removed.

The fictional Trendy Marvels of Tomorrow seems to mix patriotic delight with technological development. It’s here that Rogers, deemed too physically inadequate to serve, makes an attempt to re-enlist for the army.

It’s not all bandstands and flag-waving. The future Captain America and Winter Soldier (and their dates) drop by the pavilion of a young start-up company Stark Industries where its good-looking younger CEO Howard Stark makes an attempt to show a flying automotive.

You possibly can watch the whole sequence featuring the 1943 World’s Fair right here. Observe that the Unisphere, created for the 1964 World’s Fair, is already a function of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by this time. In truth, a model of the Unisphere performs an important position in the film Iron Man 2.

The Trylon and Perisphere are nowhere to be seen but the Helicline — the spiral ramp which encircled the Perisphere — now wraps around the Unisphere.

World’s Fair of 1954

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we must assume that Howard Stark turned good buddies with Robert Moses and mayor Vincent Impellitteri, for in 1954, it appears they merely give management of the truthful over to Stark Industries.

In a memo later despatched by Howard’s son Tony Stark: “In ’54 my Father returned to Flushing Meadows, Queens, to show off the new tech he used to defeat global tyranny. This was the first ever Stark Expo.”

Banner for the non-existent 1954 truthful.

Definitely Moses would have been thrilled to have personal sponsorship of public truthful pavilions. On this alternate New York past, perhaps Moses even labored with Stark in producing the highways and airports that might service this grand Queens attraction. By the 1950s, Queens would have been acknowledged as the most essential tech middle in the United States.

World’s Fair of 1964

The New York World’s Fair of 1964-65 occurred both in the real world and in Marvel Cinematic Universe historical past. The themes, nevertheless, have been fairly totally different.

The theme of actual truthful, officially unsanctioned by the Bureau of Worldwide Expositions, was “Peace Through Understanding.” Howard Stark’s truthful put a cheeky spin on that title — “Better Living Through Technology.”

In the Marvel world, we will only assume that the Mets did debut in Shea Stadium in 1964, except that it was almost certainly referred to as Stark Stadium. We do know that the Mets exist in the similar universe as the Avengers as canonically the cinematic Superb Spider-Man is an enormous fan.

As with the actual 1964 truthful, it seems that that the New York State Pavilion construction might have been constructed for the Stark Expo, although it’s unclear if the Marvel model of the Philip Johnson-designed pavilion would have included a life-sized Texaco highway map.

Stark Expo 1974

The ‘Stark Expos’ ran for a few years till 1974.  I can solely imagine that New York Metropolis’s dire financial fortunes nonetheless performed out in this fictional comic-book world, closing the annual display of progress for good.

From Tony Stark’s memo: “In the decades that followed, my Father invited the world’s greatest minds to contribute to the Expo and put to task corporations to create better living for all. When the 1974 Expo closed, we lost that glimpse into humankind’s amazing future.”

Under: It appears that the Lagoon of Nations has been a function of the truthful from the very starting — in each the actual and fictionalized worlds.

After its closure, the borough would have been decimated, not the coronary heart of American know-how.  Maybe we will assume Moses was concerned till the bitter finish, for 1974 happens to be the yr his personal popularity takes a beating with the publication of Robert Caro’s The Power Broker.

The promotional video for the 1974 Stark Expo presents no new insights outdoors of an introduction by Howard Stark (who seems to be an terrible lot like one other New York city energy player, Madison Avenue advertising king Roger Sterling, combined with a bit of Walt Disney).

The great downturn of New York City’s fortunes in this alternate timeline should have contributed to an enormous crime wave and critical urban blight.  It is fortunate then that the metropolis may need benefited from a totally coincidental spike in costumed crime fighters.

(By the means, the film Iron Man 2 does provide affirmation that the 1974 truthful did embrace a “Belgian waffle stand,” as talked about by Jarvis, the pc intelligence that might later turn into included into robot superhero Vision. Belgian waffles have been the truthful snack of selection for guests of the 1964 New York World’s Fair.)

A take a look at the World’s Fair of 2010 in accordance to the movie Iron Man 2.

Stark Expo 2010

As highlighted in the movie Iron Man 2, Howard’s son Tony Stark — aka Iron Man — would convey the Stark Expo back to Flushing Meadows in 2010, making the New York State Pavilion the centerpiece of the excitement.

Sadly the festivities are interrupted by dozens of flying armored tremendous robots. I’m positive Iron Man 2 options a number of deleted scenes of an enraged Mayor Michael Bloomberg demanding retribution from Stark Industries, dozens of lawsuits towards the personal firm and reverberations of corruption via Stark’s affiliation with the federal government. (Hopefully, the Mets weren’t having a house recreation that night time!)

Invoice Cotter/New York Occasions

Among the structure significantly broken throughout the battle was a pavilion sponsored by Oracle within a geodesic dome that looks very comparable to the Queens Zoo aviary which was originally created for the 1964 World’s Fair.

The character of Iron Man debuted on March 1963 in the comedian e-book Tales of Suspense #39. Had this go well with of powered armor been an precise creation, it might almost certainly have been displayed at the real 1964 World’s Fair — with its concentrate on ‘A Millennium of Progress’ — alongside other wonders of the day like the pc, atomic energy and new area know-how.

There isn’t any evidence that Iron Man creators Lee, Kirby, Don Heck and Larry Lieber have been instantly inspired by the 1939 World’s Fair super-being Elektro, but visually the pair might been mechanical cousins.

And simply close by….

Peter Parker lives together with his Aunt Might in the neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, a brief stroll from Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

In the comedian books, Parker would attend an indication of the “safe handling of nuclear laboratory waste materials” at the New York Hall of Science within the park, and it was there that he was bitten by a radioactive spider, turning into Spider-Man. It too was designed for the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

The Unbelievable Four discovered themselves at the Unisphere in 1973

Take a look at these past podcast episodes for more info on World’s Festivals, Flushing Meadows Corona Park and comedian books!

**In the new Avengers: Endgame there’s a quick panning present of Flushing Meadows centers on Citi Area, proving you possibly can’t make a Marvel film and not using a little Queens in it.

All film artwork and promotional pictures above courtesy Marvel Leisure — from the movies Captain America: The First Avenger and Iron Man 2. All comedian guide artwork (except the place in any other case famous) is courtesy Marvel Comics

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