Saturday, December 11, 2004


The best way to establish where a particular business or institution is located is to slap the name of the host town onto it. The Mayberry Diner, Mayberry Hotel, Mayberry Security Bank; Twin Peaks Town Hall, Twin Peaks High School, Twin Peaks Timber Players; the Gotham City Museum, Gotham City Speedway, Gotham City Coliseum, Gotham City University, Gotham City World's Fair, Gotham City Central Park.....

There's a Mayberry Library, a Gotham City Library, a Mayfield Library, a New York City Public Library....

So wouldn't it make sense that the Metropolitan Public Library might be found in... Metropolis?

Ignore the fact that 'The Librarian: Quest For The Spear' was probably filmed up in Canada. That's the real world. It's what appears on screen that matters.

And even then, the argument would seem to go against the choice of Superman's second home. The knee-jerk reaction would be to locate the museum in New York City. It's a major city which, based on some of the architecture, has been around for centuries; close to at least one major university.

At the very end of the movie, as Flynn and Nicole race away from time-traveling ninjas, a skyscraper stands apart from the rest of the horizon. It looks somewhat like the Chrysler Building, so that should be an argument for it being in New York City, right?

But if it was in Metropolis, it wouldn't be the first in a fictional universe which had architecture closely patterned after established New York City buildings.

In the movie "Superman", the Daily Planet (both outside and inside its lobby) looked suspiciously like the Daily News building.

But then there is one shot that can't help but establish the location as New York - Edward Wilde is staring out his penthouse windows and it's definitely the Chrysler Building off to the right of the screen.

This is the scene where the Serpent Brotherhood babe brings him the spear shaft which she stole from the Library.

But NYC could be just where Edward Wilde happens to live; it doesn't necessarily mean the Library was there as well.

Otherwise, of the few exterior shots we had of the area surrounding the Metropolitan Public Library, nothing really looked like any area of New York that I'm familiar with.

Of course, I'd be the first to admit this shouldn't matter. I'm in the real world; that is Toobworld; yada yada yada. And obviously the TV-NYC is going to be vastly different from the real one. In just this season alone, 'Clubhouse' added a major league baseball team to Staten Island, and worst of all, 'Law & Order' tossed Washington Heights over into the Bronx!

I once wrote how the Superman of Earth Prime-Time has to be dead. That's why we don't see him flying to the rescue in the TV shows of today; that's why characters like the televersion of Jerry Seinfeld knows so much about his secret identity of Clark Kent.

If he was still alive, Kal-El would have come to the rescue of those sub-orbital passengers who flew into a vortex that led to a 'Land Of The Giants'; he would have thwarted the disruption of the Jupiter Launch and prevented it from becoming 'Lost In Space'; and he would have ferried the seven stranded castaways away from the shipwreck of the SS Minnow on 'Gilligan's Island'.

I suppose I'm arguing for the Library to be in Metropolis as a way to pay some kind of tribute to both the Kal-El and Jor-El of the movie universe who passed away in the last few months. But even so, if the opening narration of 'The Adventures of Superman' intoned that Clark Kent worked for a large metropolitan newspaper, than why can't the Metropolitan Public Library be located in Metropolis?

I'll bet that somewhere within the Library, there is a display case housing Superman's cape and tights - the only remnants left of Kryptonian fabric.

('The Librarian: Quest For The Spear' & 'The Adventures Of Superman')


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