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Yes, folks, it has happened: the Dark Knight has descended on Gotham. Or at least his mask has!

Batman and his compatriots from the world of comic books are being celebrated in the “Heroes & Villains” Exhibition being conducted at the Fashion Institute of Technology campus at 227 West 27th Street in Midtown Manhattan. The exhibition, which has been curated by the fourth semester students of FIT’s visual presentation and exhibition design department, is a colorful, fantastical celebration of the comic book characters that have fascinated us for so many years.

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As it turns out, Batman’s impressive mask marks just the beginning of the many spectacles contained in this exhibition. Our attention was instantly drawn to the villains corner of the exhibition (go figure!)—Harley Quinn was at her seductive best, and the Joker was as menacing as ever. Venom had his vicious web creeping over the room, even as the melancholy Sandman a. k. a Flint Marko stood by the corner.

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While it is visually delightful, the exhibition is also an informative experience, with colorful panels and detailed timelines exploring the history and influence of comic books have had on culture through the ages. There is also a kiosk—dubbed as Tony Stark’s cave—where visitors can check out animations and film trailers and also learn about how this exhibition was put together by FIT’s enterprising students.

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Project coordinator Steven Brown told us that the exhibition took about four to six months to come to fruition, and the students’ hard work can be easily seen in this compact yet appealing show. It’s interesting to note that they haven’t restricted the exhibition to the FIT interiors—besides checking out a window display featuring Catwoman a.k.a Selina Kyle, passersby on the street are also treated to the impressive silhouettes and portraits of the characters on the walls and columns of the building.

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The Heroes & Villains exhibition opened yesterday, and it will be welcoming visitors for the next two to four weeks, from 9 am to 10 pm. Unlike Comic Con, entry to this exhibition is free! (And for those who are wondering—yes, the exhibition does have cut-outs to help you become a costumed hero—even if it is for a day!)

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