Marvel Exhibit Draws Star Comic Book Creators to Henry Ford Museum

When “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes” opens March 28 at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, it could make Metro Detroit the temporary capital of the comic book universe.

For those who can’t wait that long, the museum is hosting a preview on March 26 with two VIP guests.

Iconic Marvel creators Chris Claremont and Anne Nocenti will participate in a panel discussion that evening on “X-Men: The Marvel Mutantverse.”

The discussion will celebrate the appeal and endurance of Marvel’s mutant characters, who have traveled from the printed pages to animated and blockbuster movies that seem unstoppable.

The latest X-Men movie, “The New Mutants,” which puts a horror spin on the story of five young mutants who are held prisoner as they explore their powers, hits theaters on April 3.

Claremont, a writer at the top tier of Marvel creators, is best known for helping transform the X-Men from a second-string team into the most popular title in comic books.

During his time with “The Uncanny X-Men” franchise, he played an influential role in giving story lines literary depth and detail.

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Claremont told Rolling Stone in 2014 that he still connected with the book’s focus on outsiders to society. “I’m an immigrant.” My first week at school, I showed up in knee high socks, shorts, shirt, tie, sweater. moving from England to America as a child.

British-American comics author Chris Claremont arrives for the "dark phoenix" premiere at the TCL IMAX Chinese Theater in Hollywood on June 4, 2019.

Nocenti, who is also a journalist and filmmaker, wrote extensively for Daredevil and did an outstanding job editing “The Uncanny X-Men” and “The New Mutants.” She is considered one of the key figures in 1980s comics.

Thanks to Daredevil, a pro bono lawyer, Nocenti wasn’t afraid to get involved in politics and show empathy for people fighting against corporations and other powerful forces.

Nocenti told Gizmodo’s io9 site that her parents raised her to “have a strong bent for social justice.” Inspired by living in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City and spotting a legal aid clinic, she chose it as Daredevil’s workplace.

“With Daredevil, it’s a nice setup because it has the street vigilante thing but it also has the courtroom,” Nocenti said. “So by his very nature, there has to be something for a lawyer to struggle with. Most characters don’t have to worry about that, but with him, the social justice angle is natural to because of his work.”

Tickets for the preview night are $45 and come with timed entry to the Marvel Exhibit. They can be purchased from the Henry Ford website.

Contact Detroit Free Press pop culture writer Julie Hinds: 313-222-6427 or [email protected].

Preview evening of the exhibition “Marvel: the universe of superheroes”

March 26

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Ticket buyers can select available time slots for timed entry to the exhibition, with the last slot being 9:30 p.m. Marvel creators Chris Claremont and Annie Nocenti will appear during a panel discussion beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn

Tickets are $45 and are available online at or by calling 313-982-6001.

Lisa M. Horner