Metropolis is a major metropolitan city in the northeast region of the continental United States. It is a huge cultural center, and is highly advanced, technologically. Metropolis has state of the art services of all sorts.
The city is also famous for being the primary city protected by Superman. Other Metropolis heroes include Steel, Supergirl, the Supermen of America, and more. Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Lana Lang and Perry White all live in Metropolis.
In the comics, Metropolis is shown as being in the northeast region, probably in New York State. In some versions, Metropolis even takes the place of New York City. In Superman: The Movie, and subsequent films, Metropolis is the same as NYC.
In the television series Smallville, Metropolis is located in Kansas.
In relation to Smallville
Metropolis, according to silver-age continuity and the TV series Smallville, Metropolis is within driving distance of Smallville. Smallville is roughly 100 miles away.
In the early 21st Century, Brainiac 13 upgraded Metropolis with B13 Technology, making Metropolis into a futuristic city, more advanced than any other in the country. The globe atop the Daily Planet was temporarily replaced with a holographic one. However, these upgrades all had to be removed.
During this era, Metropolis is still protected by a line of Supermen, such as Superman of the 30th Century. Metropolis, by this era, was an advanced city, filled with aircraft and robots.
Legion-era Metropolis was also home to a giant Superman Museum, displaying representations of Superman's friends and foes throughout his travels.
Known as the City of Tomorrow, Metropolis has a lot of unique features. Architecture in Metropolis is a mix of 1930s styles, and futuristic, glass-covered skyscrapers.
Districts and boroughs
Similar to New York City, Metropolis is made up of six boroughs, the largest being New Troy. Each of the boroughs has its own distinct character and feel though all resemble and mimic some part of New York.
New Troy is the largest borough in Metropolis. Resembling Manhattan, New Troy is a skyscraper island bustling with commerce and business. The concrete and steel canyons of the city rise to dizzying heights. "1930s architecture stretched like a rubber band" as said in the Art of Superman Returns book.
The Daily Planet Building is the most recognizable landmark in the Metropolis skyline. Located in "Planet Square," it is particularly known for the Daily Planet globe atop the building. Other prominent skyscrapers include the Emperor Building (a reference to the Empire State Building), the Newstime Building (home of the national Newstime magazine, an obvious reference to Newsweek and Time) which is secretly owned for several years by Lord Satanus posing as "Colin Thornton", and LexCorp Tower, headquarters for Lex Luthor's company.
Besides the Financial District, notable areas of New Troy include Chinatown, Little Bohemia (the arts capital of Metropolis), and Glenmorgan Square (one of a number of New Troy's counterparts to New York's Times Square).
Famous streets in New Troy include Fifth Avenue, Bessolo Boulevard, and Topaz Lane. The latter two are Metropolis' versions of Broadway in New York City. Bessolo Boulevard's name is derived from Adventures of Superman lead actor George Reeves' middle name. Other Metropolis boulevards in the New Troy borough are similarly named for other actors from that series and from its radio predecessor of the same name(e.g.: Coates, Larson, Collyer, etc.).
Centennial Park (sometimes labeled as Metropolis Park) is Metropolis' largest city park. Based on New York's Central Park, its most noteworthy feature is a statue of Superman, erected after his death fighting Doomsday. A statue of Superboy Conner Kent was built next to it after the events of Infinite Crisis.
Other notable places (and their NYC inspirations) include Wireless City Movie Theater, the Halldorf Hotel , Lacey's Department Store, Stacey's Department Store, and Spiffany's Jewelry Store.
In northwestern New Troy is the impoverished and crime-infested neighborhood of Suicide Slum, best known for the 1940s adventures of the Guardian and his street urchin companions, the Newsboy Legion. Although the northwestern location is similar to the relationship of Harlem to midtown Manhattan, the neighborhood bears more physical and cultural resemblance to Manhattan's Lower East Side. The Ace o' Clubs is a bar owned by Bibbo Bibbowski in Suicide Slum.
The now-married Clark Kent and Lois Lane currently live in an apartment in New Troy, at 1938 Sullivan Lane (a tribute to the year Superman first appeared); Clark Kent's traditional apartment address of 344 Clinton St., Apt. #3B, was usually described as being located in midtown Metropolis.
Other boroughs and suburbs
New Troy is separated from the suburban boroughs by the West River and Hobb's River. Midvale is a suburb of Metropolis, more well-known as the home of Supergirl and the site of the Midvale Orphanage. Bakerline is another borough of Metropolis. Located north of New Troy, Bakerline is the home of newspaper reporter Jimmy Olsen.
Law and government
At least two mayors are known to be considered part of Metropolis' history:
- Frank Berkowitz, whose term began prior to Superman's first known public meeting with Lex Luthor as depicted in the Man of Steel mini-series by John Byrne. Berkowitz was killed by a sniper hired by Luthor years later.
- "Buck" Sackett, elected as Berkowitz's successor, and covertly Luthor's "puppet".
Metropolis Police Department
The Metropolis Police Department possesses a special crimes unit dedicated to defending the city against superhuman menaces in case Superman is absent. The unit is headed by Maggie Sawyer and Dan Turpin, with both maintaining frequent contact with the Man of Steel. Another of Superman's police contacts over the years has been Inspector William Henderson, who in the current comics is the Metropolis police commissioner.
People and culture
The people of Metropolis are depicted as a diverse group of large city-dwellers, befitting Metropolis being (within the comics) one of the country's largest and most important cities outside of New York.
Other major media located in Metropolis include WGBS-TV, flagship station of the Galaxy Broadcasting System (GBS) television network, both subsidiaries of media conglomerate Galaxy Communications. Popular shows included The Midnight Show Starring Johnny Nevada, as well as Metropolis PopStar. During the 1970s, both Clark Kent and Lois Lane worked for WGBS (after Galaxy Communications purchased The Daily Planet), with Clark as the anchorman for the WGBS evening news (he was eventually joined by Lana Lang as a co-anchor). After John Byrne's revamp of Superman's origins, though, Clark and Lois were reverted to working at The Daily Planet once again.
Cultural, educational, and research institutions
The Metropolis Museum of Natural History was featured in the film Superman Returns.
Metropolis is home to Metropolis University, of which Clark Kent is a graduate with a journalism degree. The central branch of S.T.A.R. Labs, a major scientific research institution, is also located in Metropolis.
Metropolis has several resident sports teams, including the Metropolis Monarchs.