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A Land of Geeks and Goblins

New York swarms with graphic artists, comic-book stores, and fictional fighters defending the universe—or conspiring to destroy it—from their Manhattan HQ. Below, some notable locations.


1. Spider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy was thrown off the George Washington Bridge by the Green Goblin in 1973’s The Amazing Spider-Man No. 121.

2. Nightwing (a.k.a. Dick Grayson, a.k.a. the first Robin the Boy Wonder) had a secret HQ in the tower of the Cloisters.

3. DeWitt Clinton High School, alma mater of many pioneers, including Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit), Bill Finger and Bob Kane (creators of Batman), and Stan Lee (father of Marvel Comics).

4. Marvel Comics cast the Frick Collection in the role of the Avengers Mansion—the original headquarters of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor.

5. Built for the New York 1939 World’s Fair, the Perisphere served as the fictional headquarters for the DC superhero collective the All-Star Squadron.

6. Jim Hanley’s Universe, New York’s legendary comics bookstore, sits across the street from the Empire State Building (where Marvel Comics, then called Timely Comics, was headquartered in the forties).

7. The School of Visual Arts cartooning program, begun in 1947, was the first to offer a college degree.

8. Desert Island (540 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg), a comic-book shop specializing in DIY, small-press, and independent books, opened last year.

9. Rocketship Comics (208 Smith St., Cobble Hill), social center of indie-comics culture in Brooklyn, regularly hosts events—like a recent signing by Scott Pilgram creator Bryan Lee O’Malley.

10. Jack “The King” Kirby, co-creator of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, and other comics mainstays, grew up at 76 Suffolk Street and documented his violent youth in the story “Street Code.”

11. The Statue of Liberty: Demolished by the evil Sinestro Corps in Green Lantern in 2007 and promptly fixed by two Green Lanterns.

12. Comics writers Roy Thomas, Gary Friedrich, and Bill Everett lived at 177A Bleecker Street in the sixties. Later, Thomas used the address for Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum.

13. The Baxter Building, a fictitious complex at Madison and 42nd, served as headquarters of the Fantastic Four until it was destroyed by Kristoff Vernard, Doctor Doom’s adopted son.


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