Superman Celebration soars into Metropolis

ehcad Brooks stars as James Olsen in the new action-adventure drama SUPERGIRL, on the CBS Television Network.   Photo: Matthias Clamer/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Mehcad Brooks stars as James Olsen in the new action-adventure drama SUPERGIRL (Photo: Matthias Clamer/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Thursday, June 9, through Sunday, June 12, a town of about 6,500 people will become a real Metropolis, or at least close to it, as thousands of visitors from around the country and the world, visit Metropolis, Illinois for the annual Superman Celebration. This eagerly anticipated yearly event celebrates all things related to the visitor from Krypton, as the town has completely bought into being the hometown of the Man of Steel. Best of all, it’s almost all FREE except for a few special events.

“It’s a chance for people of all ages to come together and just enjoy a weekend of fun,” says Metropolis Tourism Director Angie Shelton. “You never know who you’ll meet… and you never know what you’ll see!”

Among the main attractions for many fans of the Superman franchise, as well as other DC Comics-related ventures, will be the actors and actresses who portrayed the Man of Steel and his many friends and foes, and allies and enemies, as well as the artists, filmmakers, writers and others who have done work to further the fandom in various franchises, in print, on film, and in other media.

In the DC Comics canon, one of the Man of Steel’s stalwart allies is Jimmy Olsen, introduced as a cub reporter and then photographer for the Daily Planet, working alongside reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane under the guidance of Perry White. At this year’s celebration, there will be three actors who have portrayed this character over the course of several decades, along with another fan favorite.

Peter Facinelli currently can be seen in the series “SuperGirl”, airing Monday nights this fall on The CW, following a breakout season on CBS. He portrays green tech billionaire Maxwell Lord. Peter also starred as Dr. Carlisle Cullen, the altruistic patriarch of the Cullen coven, in all five of the blockbuster feature films in The Twilight Saga: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and Breaking Dawn – Part 2.

Marc McClure first played photographer Jimmy Olsen in the 1978 film Superman. McClure reprised his role in Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, and in the 1984 movie Supergirl. He is the only actor to appear in the same role in all four Christopher Reeve-era Superman films and Supergirl. Actor and producer Michael Landes is best known by Superman fans as Jimmy Olsen in television’s Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

Saturday, June 11th: 10 am to 12 pm and 2:30 to 6 pm, both Landes and McClure will each sign one of the following for free: The Superman Celebration Program Book, The Metropolis Planet Special Edition, or the Superman Celebration Poster. Tickets are not required, but there is a charge for additional autographs, autographed memorabilia, and photo ops. Photos will be available for purchase.

Artists and Writers Guests include Kenneth Dunn, Joseph McCabe, Trevor Hawkins, Peter Melonas, Brian K. Morris, Alan Perry: Professor Perry’s Emporium of Painted Personalities, and Bruce Scivally. Comics Guests include Jon Bogdanove, Rick Burchett, Josh Elder, Ken Bailey, Larry Cathey, Sean Dulaney, Lonnie Easterling, Charles Ettinger, Jim Hall, and Van Allen Plexico. Other guests include Official Celebration Superman cosplayer Josh Boltinghouse, Ron Placone, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Morgan Strebler, Kevin L. Williams & Muley the Mule. Rubik’s Groove will again be providing the music for the Rad 80’s Dance Party, Friday Night, June 10th from 7-10 PM under the Main Tent. For more about the events and guests, visit: supermancelebration.net

Saturday, June 11 at 11:15 am, Peter Facinelli and Mehcad Brooks will pose for photos free at the Superman Statue, followed at 11:30 am by a free Q&A with Peter Facinelli and Mehcad Brooks in the Metro Tent. At 1:15 pm, Michael Landes and Marc McClure at the Superman Statue, with a 1:30 pm Q&A at the Metro Tent.

Mehcad Brooks and Peter Facinelli will also be appearing at the Celebrity Autograph Sessions on Saturday, June 11th. Autograph session tickets are required. They will each sign one of the following for free: The Superman Celebration Program Book, The Metropolis Planet Special Edition, or the Superman Celebration Poster. There is a $25 charge each for additional autographs and autographed memorabilia. and a $20 charge for a photo op. Photos will be available for purchase for $25.

As seen in a PRIDE Black History Month feature this past February, the legendary African American film pioneer Oscar Micheaux was born on a farm in Metropolis, Illinois on January 2, 1884. Micheaux had a major career as a film producer and director. He produced over 40 films, which drew audiences throughout the US as well as internationally.

Meet Mehcad Brooks

Mehcad Brooks continues to rise as one of Hollywood’s most promising stars. He portrays James (don’t call him Jimmy) Olsen in the current hit series Supergirl, which debuted on CBS last fall and will be on The CW this fall. Brooks was in USA’s drama Necessary Roughness, portraying Terrence “TK” King, the star wide receiver for the Hawks notorious for his frequent fumbles — not to mention his regular run-ins with the law. Brooks also starred as the much talked about “Eggs” on Alan Ball’s HBO hit series True Blood.

Mehcad is a SAG Award winner for for playing the role of Alfre Woodard’s son on the ABC show Desperate Housewives. It was that portrayal of the character ‘Matthew Applewhite’ which led to an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and his inclusion in Daily Variety’s “Ten Young Actors to Watch” feature in August 2005.

Mehcad’s film credits include In the Valley of Elah (2007), and Glory Road (2006), which tells the story of the 1966 college basketball team which was the first with an all-black starting line-up to win the NCAA national championship, led by Coach Don Haskins. Brooks grew up in Austin, Texas where he was an All-State basketball player, also playing football and baseball. He was accepted into Yale University, but instead attended the University of Southern California to study at their prestigious School of Cinema-Television. He also modeled during his high school and college years. His first breaks came as guest-starring roles on Malcolm in the Middle, Boston Public, One on One, Cold Case and Ghost Whisperer. He also starred in the Disney television movie, Tiger Cruise (2004), ABC’s legal drama The Deep End (2010) and ABC’s docudrama My Generation (2010).

Brooks’ more recent films include Just Wright (2010), a romantic sports comedy; Creature (2011), a thriller set in Baton Rouge, Louisiana directed by Fred Andrews; About Last Night (2014), a romantic comedy starring Kevin Hart; and Adulterers (2015).