Exhibition Review: Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N
The eagerly anticipated Avengers Science Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network, or S.T.A.T.I.O.N, immersive exhibition has finally landed in London and The Digital Fix was lucky enough to attend the opening of the event. Marvel fans will delight at the fun to be found in the displays, but with some unfulfilled promises of sets, props, and never before seen exhibits it’s difficult to not be slightly disappointed.
The exhibition is nicely laid out, starting strong with Iron Man’s Engineering Bay and then going through all the main players of the Avengers team. There is a severity in the lighting and set up that really works in playing up the immersive aspect of the exhibition; it’s not too hard to imagine the spaces as set up for training purposes, adding to the fun. There is also a fantastic use of music throughout the rooms. Speakers are cleverly placed so that different musical themes play as you glance over different items help make you feel as if you're part of a movie; hearing Ludwig Göransson’s superb music for Black Panther as you inspect the T’Challa’s mask will certainly give you chills.
Premiering in New York back in 2014, it’s taken a while for the exhibit to make its way over to the UK and there is a notable lack in updates as new movies have been released within the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and The Guardians of the Galaxy are all lacking any presence. The slight lean in focus towards Ultron and Vision suggest its timeliness as coming out just before the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is a shame as the film itself was very divisive among Marvel fans and cinema-goers. However, there are a number of features from both Black Panther and Ant-Man and The Wasp that include props and costumes that are really wonderful to see. S.T.A.T.I.O.N would have benefitted greatly from including just a few more physical items, particularly when it comes to their very brief Avengers: Infinity War pieces.
Simply, Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N is not one for the ‘casual fan’ — consisting predominantly of informative ‘Case Files’ on each of the superheroes displayed on LED screens, broken up here and there by a costume or a prop (which are frustratingly left unspecified as to whether they are replicas or the real thing in order to comply with the immersive aspect of the exhibition). A number of features that were presented in the exhibition in other locations, such as a Loki’s helmet and scepter and Cap’s transformation chamber, are also, rather sadly, nowhere to be seen, leaving the prop side a little stark - and not in the Iron Man sense. The immersive aspect is a lot of fun but there isn’t quite enough to sink your teeth into. The S.T.A.T.I.O.N agents don’t engage with you as much as you might like and the ‘training games’ are enjoyable but few and far between. Nevertheless, for Marvel fans like myself, there is enough to read and experience in this walkthrough exhibit to satisfy and entertain for hours. Plus, you’ll then be ready to take on Thanos as an official Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N agent.