Into the minds of Marvel superheroes

Fans of the Marvel Avengers series can join the superheros as a recruit at the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N exhibition at the Science Centre Singapore.
The Hulkbuster supersuit (left) on display at the Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N exhibition; and an interactive station on the workings of Hulk's brain (far left).
The Hulkbuster supersuit (above) on display at the Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N exhibition; and an interactive station on the workings of Hulk's brain.ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN
The Hulkbuster supersuit (left) on display at the Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N exhibition; and an interactive station on the workings of Hulk's brain (far left).
The Hulkbuster supersuit on display at the Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N exhibition; and an interactive station on the workings of Hulk's brain (above).ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

Why is the Hulk green? How is the mighty Thor able to travel between Earth and his home world of Asgard? How did a serum turn Captain America into a superhuman?

While these superheroes are from the make-believe Marvel universe, an interactive exhibition that is making its South-east Asian debut here tomorrow aims to explain their superpowers from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics perspectives.

Visitors to the Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N (Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) at the Science Centre Singapore will get to explore the origins of these characters and discover the science behind them.

Produced by Victory Hill Exhibitions, the showcase started in New York in 2014 and has travelled to Seoul and Paris. It has a permanent home in Las Vegas.

The Singapore edition is presented by the Science Centre, Mediacorp VizPro International and Spacelogic, a company that specialises in exhibitions and event set-ups.

Victory Hill Exhibitions worked with various mega science organisations including space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  • BOOK IT / MARVEL'S AVENGERS S.T.A.T.I.O.N

  • WHERE: Annex Hall, Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road

    WHEN: Tomorrow to March 5 next year, 10am to 6pm

    ADMISSION: For Singapore citizens and permanent residents: $25 (adult) and $18 (child aged three to 12); for foreigners: $30 (adult) and $22 (child); from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

    INFO: www.science.edu.sg/exhibitions/pages/avengersstation.aspx

Chief creative officer Nicholas Cooper says: "The idea is to create a science exhibit all wrapped up within the Marvel universe. It's amazing how much real science could come out of this fictional world."

For the Singapore exhibition, which runs until March next year, nine characters - Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Vision, Falcon and Ant-Man - will assemble.

Visitors enter the showcase as "recruits" who are part of the Avengers combat support network and are greeted by agent Maria Hill (played by actress Cobie Smulders) through a recorded video. Panels flashing scenes from the films and information on the characters line the walls.

At the interactive stations, fans can find out more about how their favourite superheroes came to be.

For instance, at the Captain America area, the physiological effects of the "Super Soldier Serum" injected into him are explained with respect to the various parts of the brain. Visitors can also pit themselves against the superhero at the High Performance Test Lab, riding on a stationary bicycle in an endurance test.

At Dr Bruce Banner's (aka Hulk) Bio-Lab, a theory on why he turns green when he transforms into his alter ego is linked to biliverdin, a pigment in bodies that is responsible for the green tint in bruises.

Shutterbugs can also have a field day as original costumes and props from the films are displayed.

Sit on the same black Harley-Davidson that Captain America rode or try lifting Thor's hammer Mjolnir. And in a first for the travelling exhibition, the costume and helmet of Loki, Thor's evil brother, are on show.

Iron Man fans are in for a treat. The Mark 46, the suit worn in Captain America: Civil War (2016); War Machine exosuit and the more than 3m-tall Hulkbuster supersuit are on display - alongside Tony Stark's Hall of Armour.

For extra perks, download the free Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N Mobile Training Device app, an audio guide that includes photo filters of the characters for selfies.

Since sales opened in June, more than 7,000 tickets to the exhibition have been sold.

Marvel fan Aravind Menon signed up to be a paid guide after hearing that the exhibition was coming here months ago. The 28-year-old writer for an online magazine says: "Marvel has always been partly associated with pseudo-science. It's impressive that decades later, there are real-life explanations to the concepts."

Join the Avengers as a recruit at the exhibition http://str.sg/4Yfp

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2016, with the headline 'Into the minds of Marvel superheroes'. Print Edition | Subscribe