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06/05/2013

Metropolis aims to soar over Canada's Superman record

Superman

Metropolis--where else?--hopes to wrestle the crown for most Supermen in one place from Calgary this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Metropolis Planet)

If you are into Spandex and kinky red boots, you might want to fly down (by airplane, we presume) this weekend to the small Illinois town of Metropolis.

The appropriately-named location is hosting its 35th Annual Superman Celebration, with autograph signings, a live theatre show and contests.

One of the featured superstars this year is none other than Canadian actress Margot Kidder, best-known for her role as the inteprid reporter Lois Lane in the Hollywood movies of the 1970s and 1980s.

Metropolis (the Illinois version) got its name way back in 1839 --  long before the Man of Steel left Krypton. But it has been trying to cash in on its name for more than three decades.

And this Sunday, Metropolis will try to win back an honour that was stolen by Canada: the Guinness World Record for the Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Superman.  Who knew, huh?

Metropolis, naturally, set the record in 2008 with 122 people, only to be topped first by a U.K. contest and then in 2011 by Nexen Inc of Calgary Alberta.

The company rounded up 437 employees all dressed in the identical Superman costume to launch its "Be a Superhero" campaign for the United Way -  you can watch a YouTube video of the event.

Organizers of the Illinois festival say this year they want to bring the record "back to the United States and more importantly to Metropolis Home of Superman."

It's not as easy as just donning cape and some boots. Official rules state the costumes must have "the blue body suit, the red and yellow 'S' shield on the chest, the yellow belt, the red cape, red boots and the red trunks."

Participants also have to stand in place for 10 minutes, which can take superpowers of your own in a twitchy crowd.

In case you were wondering which outfit to bring out of your closet, apparently both the "Classic Superman and Superman Returns" costumes are considered acceptable.

No word yet on whether you can wear the get-up to be revealed in the new Man of Steel Hollywood blockbuster coming out on June 14.

Julian Sher is a foreign affairs and investigative reporter for the Star and can be reached at jsher@thestar.ca and on Twitter @juliansher 

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