New York City has a special spot in the hearts of comic book lovers and their creators. Whether you are team Marvel or a DC aficionado, NYC – or a version of it – is ‘home’ for many of the characters, and many of the buildings in the comics and movies may look awfully similar to those across the City!
The Marvel Universe is set in modern NYC with Stark Tower (the headquarters of Ironman’s Tony Stark) at the heart of the city. Steve Rogers (Captain America) is “…just a kid from Brooklyn“, Peter Parker (aka: Spider-Man) lives with his Aunt in Queens, and there’s a high probability that Deadpool lives in the Bronx.
On the other side of the comic book universe DC Comic’s Bruce Wayne, or as we better know him – Batman – calls Gotham home. Around town you might spot Clark Kent (Superman) changing in phone boxes and revolving doors on his way to save the day between photo shoots for the Daily Planet newspaper.
The Super Tour of NYC
My mission, if I chose to accept it, was to meet a caped crusader to get more details of our mission. I managed to track him down at Midtown Comics, a comic book Mecca that is sure to please both Marvel and DC Comic fans alike, just blocks away from Times Square. Best of all, everyone who goes on the tour receives a discount coupon for any of the locations in the city!
There in the middle of the store he stood, red cape billowing gently in the breeze, holding Mjolnir, Thor’s mighty hammer that’s known to level mountains (Is the Mjolnir an OH&S concern for On Location Tour staff? That’s one question I forgot to ask.)
Okay, so there was no breeze, thankfully; It was 3C outside and Midtown Comics was the perfect spot to warm up. Our fearless leader Chris did wear a rather in-season crimson cape that was easy to spot as our group gathered ready to begin our mission.
The group was small with just 8 of us that day – tours usually average 12 people – so it’s personal but relaxed enough you can take your time snapping photos or asking questions.
With Chris leading the way, we ventured out into the city and quickly traversed the three blocks to Times Square: the true beginning of our epic adventure.
At the heart of New York City, Times Square is one of the most instantly recognisable places for comic fans and tourists alike. It’s iconic. It’s a clique. It’s a must visit on your first visit to NYC.
After learning about several of the movies that had been filmed in Times Square, taking some fun photos with the Mjolnir and the mighty cape (Chris is more than happy to help with photos, though was disappointed our Aussie connection didn’t help me channel a more powerful Thor stance!), we boarded a bus to head downtown.
I am worthy of bearing Thor’s hammer!
See the LOL-worthy clip from Avengers: Age of Ultron where many of our favourite Marvel heroes try to lift it below.
The Super Tour of NYC mixes walking and riding in a comfortable bus ride. The purpose of the bus ride is two-fold: you can comfortably see New York City without having to take the Subway and they have a TV onboard so you can actually see clips of the locations you are visiting in movies, TV shows, and comic books!
With the tour taking around 3.5 – 4 hours depending on traffic, the bus was a welcome relief from the cold weather. It also has a toilet on board for convenience.
While I was prepared to get stuck into some serious Instagram Story posting on the bus, Chris had prepared for the traffic and launched into a game of Super Tour Trivia. There were a few seasoned comic pros on the tour and were gifted with delicious sweets and On Location Tour merchandise as prizes.
As we drove from Midtown to Union Square, the Lower East Side and the Financial District, we saw sights like where the Battle of New York took place in The Avengers, The New York Stock Exchange where Batman fights Bane in The Dark Knight, plenty of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage filming locations, and learned tons of facts about New York City. There are even random comic book facts, like the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it office that was the first home to Marvel.
Here are just a couple of the better-known locations I’m allowed to share:
The Chrysler Building: My favourite building in New York but sadly without a ‘super’ connection.
Inside the Art Deco Daily News Building which is better known as the Daily Planet in the Superman films.
Even quiet unassuming buildings near Grammacy Park may have a Marvel-lous connection.
Okay, so this isn’t a filming location but we had a few extra minutes and it was chilly so we all met at Trinity Church after seeing the site where a Dark Knight fought on Wall Street.
The hours all too quickly ticked by and soon I was standing in Battery Park, gazing across the harbour to the Statue of Liberty and we were saying our goodbyes.
If you are a comic book fan or a superhero movie buff, this is the tour for you. While I am usually #TeamIronMan (who is based in Malibu, California), I did gain a greater appreciation for the comic connection that New York shares with so many of the stories.
I LOVED this tour! It combines the perfect mix of walking and bus riding, new and old Superhero movie facts, and plenty of interesting tidbits about New York City. My only complaint is that I wanted moreeee because I was on sightseeing roll… and Chris eagerly provided a few Super filming locations that I should visit Uptown.
Our fearless leader, Chris, has that quick-witted easy-going personality that combines passion and intellect. He was so accommodating of each guests needs, going out of his way to make sure everyone had a memorable time. Whether it was snapping photos or even riding the Subway with one couple to get them safely back to Midtown!
If movies are really your thing (as they are mine), I would recommend combining it with one of their Uptown tours like the When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour or the epic NYC TV & Movie Tour that visits 80 Uptown TV and movie locations. They’ve also got tours of filming locations seen in Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, and even in Central Park!
If you are travelling along the east coast, you can also take an On Location Tours TV & Movie tour in Boston!
Look, I’m not going to give away all the locations of The Super Tour of NYC but the tour leads you to over 40 locations seen in comics, TV shows and movies. With DC and Marvel creating more movies and more TV shows, this tour will be different for every traveller. Best of all, the tours are catered to the heroes and villains YOU want to know about.
Maybe next time I go on the tour I’ll come dressed up as Black Widow…
Five Superhero Locations in New York City
1. Times Square
The Crossroads of the world, the This was the first stop on The Super Tour of NYC and by far one of the easiest to visit on your own holiday to New York.
One of the most memorable Times Square filming scenes is in Captain America: The First Avenger when Steve Rogers (Captain America) breaks out of a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility (you can watch the video above to see it!)
Times Square can also be seen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Iron Fist and Agent Carter.
(Side note: if you choose to pose for photos with any of the people dressed up as characters in Times Square, please remember to tip them!)
2. United Nations
Okay, so maybe I’m cheating a little bit but the United Nations is a fascinating place within the city. A beacon for international politics, the United Nations Headquarters located in Midtown West? has been featured in a number of movies, TV shows, and games.
While no movies by Marvel or DC have been filmed at the Headquarters, it has been featured or referenced numerous times most recently in Black Panther (the Austrian UN from memory) and in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
3. Flatiron Building
Once one of the tallest skyscrapers in the City, the building that sits on the triangular block making Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and East 22nd Street has been featured in numerous TV shows, movies and comics.
The distinguishable building, originally called the Fuller Building, appears in the Spider-Man movies as the headquarters of the Daily Bugle where Peter Parker works as a freelance photographer.
4. Grand Central Terminal
The grand dame of Midtown, Grand Central Terminal is the largest rail terminal in the world by the number of platforms (41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower) and the world’s sixth most visited tourist attraction in the world!
The Battle of New York, one of my favourite scenes from The Avengers, happens outside the terminal at the top of Park Avenue… and be sure to ask your tour guide about the rather cheeky ‘present’ that Marvel left for New York City outside.
5. Statue of Liberty and Staten Island
One of the most iconic locations in the United States, the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island are often referenced in superhero movies, TV shows and comics.
A gift to the United States by the people of France, Lady Liberty can be seen in the 1978 version of Superman when he takes Lois Lane flying with him around the statue and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. She’s also present in Batman Forever.
Most recently, you can see the Staten Island Ferry in Spider-man: Homecoming when the ship is cut in half and Spider-man must race to save the ship from sinking (with a little help from Ironman!) and X-men during the showdown with Magneto!
On Location Tours
Adult – USD$49
Child – USD$35
*Gratuities are not included in the price.
Running: each Saturday and Sunday at 12noon for approximately 3 hours. Tours run on Fridays starting May 4th, 2018.
Read more about New York City:
- City Guide: New York City
- One in Three Thoudsand: Remembering Nicole
- 14 Tips to Save Money in New York City
- How much to spend in New York City
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I was invited on The Super Tour of NYC as a guest of On Location Tours.
All thoughts, opinions and corny photos taken of myself are, as always, my own.