As a preview of what the eventual Comic-Con Museum in San Diego will offer, the Batman Experience pop-up museum, staged at the eventual home of the permanent museum during Comic-Con in July, succeeded beyond what I expected.
The museum is expected to open in 2021 at the 68,000 square foot Balboa Park location, but it’s already making good use of its space with special events, including this pop-up museum, which was sponsored by AT&T.
The overall goal of the Comic-Con Museum is, according to their website, “to capture the magic of Comic-Con for pop culture fans of all ages on a year-round basis.”
The Batman Experience certainly captured the magic of the character. It included the Bat Signal from the Gotham television series, costumes and props from the Batman movies and television shows over the years, displays of iconic Batman covers, a Rogues Rumble experience, and the basement was turned into an amazing semblance of the Batcave, complete with Batman Nolan movies props and Batman games throughout the years.
I toured the Batman Experience before its grand opening, at The Gathering fundraiser scheduled for later in the night on July 17th. That allowed me a fine chance to stroll around without a crowd and absorb what awaited those who paid $750 per ticket for The Gathering, in which Batman was the first costumed crusader inducted into the museum’s Character Hall of Fame.
My favorite of the offerings in the Batman Experience was the Rogues’ Gallery Revenge, a tribute to the Batman ’66 television show. Visitors could punch the face of a Batman villain that was projected onto a punching bag. As they did so, special effect words spontaneously appeared on the screens around them, complete with Batman ’66-style sound effects. (Note: If I had a gym with this set-up, workouts would be much more fun.)
Since the permanent museum won’t open for some time, it’s still possible to become a charter member. Details can be found on the main Comic-Con Museum page.
Full disclosure: I did become a charter member, but the highest tiers were beyond my means. However, for $1200, you can get receive permanent name recognition inside the museum and thus achieve a sort of pop culture immortality.