Type New York City
Notable locations Hall of Justice
Justice League Watchtower
Ace o' Clubs
Blaze Comics
Daily Planet
Daily Star
Galaxy Communications
Project Cadmus
S.T.A.R. Labs
Notable characters Superman
Lois Lane
Lex Luthor
Morgan Edge
Bibbo Bibbowski
Cat Grant
Jimmy Olsen
Lana Lang
Perry White
Ron Troupe
Steve Lombard
First appearance Superman

Metropolis is a fictional American city appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, and is the home of Superman. Portrayed as a prosperous and massive city, Metropolis first appeared by name in Action Comics #16 (September 1939).

The co-creator and original artist of Superman, Joe Shuster, modeled the Metropolis skyline after Toronto, where he was born and lived until he was ten. Since then, however, it has become a fictional analogue to New York City.

Within the DC Universe, Metropolis is depicted as one of the largest and wealthiest cities on Earth, having a population of nearly 11 million citizens. The skyline and most of the notable landmarks in Metropolis are based on real-life landmarks in New York City. Metropolis is nicknamed "The Big Apricot," just as New York City is nicknamed "The Big Apple." Frank Miller has said that "Metropolis is New York in the daytime; Gotham City is New York at night."


  • In 1978's Superman and its sequels, Metropolis is shown as taking the place of New York City. The original movie series made no attempt to hide this similarity, as prominent New York landmarks are seen throughout the movies, including the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, The United Nations Headquarters, The Empire State Building, The Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Terminal, and the New York Daily News offices. In Superman III, some Calgary, Alberta landmarks can be seen, including the Calgary Tower and the St. Louis Hotel, as parts of the film were filmed there.
  • Metropolis is briefly mentioned in the movie Batman Forever. When Dick Grayson (played by Chris O'Donnell) plans to find Two-Face, Bruce Wayne mentioned the circus is halfway to Metropolis.
  • Superman Returns director Bryan Singer intended his version of Metropolis to be a stylistic cross between 1930s New York and current New York. The many shots of Superman flying high above the city establish that although Metropolis has a rectangular park reminiscent of Central Park, the city overall has a slightly different shape from New York City. Several New York City landmarks, such as the American International Building, Battery Park, the MetLife Building, the Woolworth Building, World Financial Center, 7 World Trade Center and the Brooklyn Bridge, were clearly shown, as was the street grid of lower Manhattan, with a fictional bridge inserted north of Battery Park City and a fictional pier in the middle of Battery Park. The map of Metropolis shown in this article, however, tries to make the city's form as different as possible from New York City's, given the scenery shown.) Photographs of some automobiles used in filming show license plates bearing the phrase "New York State" along the bottom, although the featured vehicles (including Lois Lane's car) are shown in the film to have license plates reading "The First State" Lex Luthor's map onscreen portrays the city as directly in the location of New York City. Senior production designer Guy Dyas said in The Art of Superman Returns (Chronicle Books, 2006): "We wiped out, I think, half of New Jersey to put in Metropolis." The map showed Metropolis clearly being in place for New York City but in New York State. Long Island was not shown. Midtown Manhattan was only shown twice, both in brief high aerial shots of the city at night. The first had the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building obstructed by clouds while the GE Building was visible. The second, all three buildings would appear but very briefly. License Plates show the Daily Planet Building as the main symbol for Metropolis. With no World Trade Center due to the September 11, 2001 attacks (which took place during Superman's five-year departure from Earth), the real life Empire State Building, or in this case the Emperor Building as named in the comics, would be the tallest in Metropolis. In past Superman movies, Metropolis was suggested to be New York City itself. Landmarks like the World Trade Center and Statue of Liberty were seen. Here Metropolis is New York City with minor changes. The movie really only focused on Lower Manhattan with Midtown Manhattan only shown twice in the distance. 17 State Street, which is a recognizable glass tower at the tip of the island was replaced by an older looking tower and the tops of the two World Financial Center Towers were removed. A small cluster of tall Art-Deco Towers along with the Daily Planet building were added to the skyline near the Civic Center. The LexCorp Tower never appeared in the movie; comics suggest LexCorp had a Twin Towered Headquarters, which suggests that if they still existed, the World Trade Center North and South towers were the LexCorp Towers, but being 2006, unlike the older Superman movies, the World Trade Center's Twin Towers, did not appear, being that the setting is after the September 11, 2001 attacks. It is implied that 9/11 happened shortly after Superman's 5 year departure from Earth, as in 2006, 5 years ago it was 2001 where the world was in no major wars until the events of 9/11. Despite this, one aerial shot showed several small buildings over the site, probably suggesting that they never existed, yet a quick scene showed footage of the War on Terror on television news. Parts of Superman Returns was filmed in Sydney, Australia, and some minor landmarks in Sydney can be identified such as Martin Place, when Superman catches the car. License plates on cars that state the first state may also refer to NSW license plates.
  • Metropolis appears in the 2013 film Man of Steel and its sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Vancouver and downtown Chicago stand in for Metropolis in the first one, and Detroit is used for the sequel, with several fictional buildings being added. Much of Metropolis is destroyed during the fight between Superman and General Zod in the first film's climax. It also appears to be a federal district similar to Washington, DC.
  • Metropolis also appears in most of the DC Comics animated films in which Superman makes an appearance, namely Superman: Doomsday, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, All-Star Superman, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Justice League: Doom and Superman vs The Elite. Additionally, it is mentioned in some of them, such as in Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam.

External links

Superman Films
Films 1978-1987
SupermanSuperman IISuperman IIISuperman IV: The Quest for Peace
Other films

SupergirlSuperman II: The Richard Donner CutSuperman ReturnsMan of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Adapted characters
General ZodJor-ElJonathan KentMartha KentNonUrsaLaraLois LaneLucy LaneLana LangLex LuthorJimmy OlsenSupergirl / Kara Zor-ElSuperman / Clark KentPerry WhiteOtisRoss WebsterGus GormanDaily PlanetMetropolis

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