Decades of comic book mythology and a hit TV series have made Superman's hometown of Smallville, Kan., one of the most famous places in America. Just one problem: Smallville is fictional. But a group of Kansas geeks living in a town remarkably similar to the Man of Steel's boyhood home is fighting to change that.
About a month and a half ago a group of Superman fans in Hutchinson, Kan., started a Facebook fan page campaigning to get the town's name officially changed to "Smallville." Their reasoning? Well, it turns out the two towns have a great many things in common, so why not? Plus, there are economic implications for a place known nationwide as "Superman's hometown." After all, the city of Metropolis, Ill., has already achieved a tourism boost by branding itself as the home of Superman. Why couldn't a "Smallville" do the same?
"Our hometown has several tourist attractions already," the founders of the page said. "We would love to see that increase by a great amount and we strongly believe that (should this happen) it would be a huge economic boost to the city, county and area."
The group cites a number of similarities between the two towns. Smallville is said to have 45,001 residents, while Hutchinson has a very close 42,000. Smallville is also apparently 55 miles from the city of Salina, Kan., while Hutchinson is only 57 miles away. The town is also famous for its meteor showers, and anyone who ever watched Smallville knows that's a similarity as well. Plus, the town already has a space museum, known as a "Cosmosphere and Space Center," and a salt museum that features a Superman costume (because all those crystals would remind any Superfan of the Fortress of Solitude).
Of course, the rest of Hutchinson's residents might not care too much about Superman, so this campaign could go nowhere. But for now, the following is growing, and the founders of the movement are busy making their case. What do you think? Should we get a real-life Smallville?