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History

The American Museum of Natural History, located at 79th Street and Central Park West, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world. Over the years it has been the site of many superhuman battles, with large parts of the museum being repeatedly demolished and rebuilt.

Monsteroso, believed dead, was brought from the midst of an African jungle to be displayed in the musem. However, he turned out to be alive and escaped the musem.[1]

Many years ago, Reed Richards and Susan Storm visited the Egyptology exhibit. There, Reed read off a hieroglyph about a substance which apparently restored the blindness of a pharaoh during a mostly unrecorded era of the Egyptian empire. Telling Alicia of this discovery, the Fantastic Four decided to use Dr. Doom's time machine to travel into the past and retrieve this element in order to restore Alicia's vision.[2]

Peter Parker went to the museum to do research on lizards and dinosaurs When crooks tried to rob the museum and take Liz Allan, hostage, Peter slipped away and changed into Spider-Man to come to her rescue.[3]

Plan Chu broke into the museum to recite a spell that transplanted the evil spirit of the long dead Princess Fan-Le-Tamen into the body of his good-hearted niece Suwan. Once on the scene, Captain America and Falcon fought against a group of reanimated mummies. However, Chu's henchmen overpowered the two heroes and tied them to an Egyptian statue while their leader got away.[4]

Doctor Strange and Clea visited the Roman wing of the museum after being guided there by a mysterious message. Unexpectedly, the Roman statues came to life and attacked the duo. The villain behind the attack turned out to be Xander the Merciless, who engaged in battle with Strange once he was revealed.[5]

Later, Stegron infiltrated the museum and used a stolen "retro-generation ray" that transformed the museum's skeletons back into living, flesh-covered dinosaurs, which he intended to use as his personal army. However, Spider-Man was able to stop him and the dinosaurs reverted back into skeletons.[6] Stegron later launched a second attack from the museum, this time using the powers of a mysterious asteroid to amplify the bestial aggression of everyone in the city, especially those with animal-based powers.[7] Large portions of the museum were once again destroyed.

Stegron broke into the museum again to reunite with the dinosaur bones on display. He began coming up with a plan on how to resurrect the ancient lizards by stealing an atomic blaster. He was interrupted by Spider-Man, who deduced that Stegron would come here after learning that his foe was back. Their battle between was interrupted by the Beetle, who overpowered Spider-Man and knocked him out. The Beetle then explained that he wanted to get revenge against the Sinister Syndicate, and asked Stegron if he wanted to join him in exchange for the atomic blaster.[8]

Several Avengers were guests of honor at a gala benefit taking place at the museum. Wanda took interest in a particular totem which a curator explained originated from a Pacific island known as Maura. As the curator was explaining this, a mysterious figure named Bloodhawk bellowed that the totem was stolen from the island’s natives and that he’s come to reclaim it. Attacked by the museum’s security, he quickly tore through the guards. The Avengers managed to subdue him, though, and after the battle an older man, named "Teacher", stepped forward to explained that it was vital that the totem was returned to Maura. With the museum's permission to take the totem, the whole team returned to the mansion along with Bloodhawk and Teacher.[9]

At the behest of archaeologist Gladstone Hawkins, the special S.H.I.E.L.D. detachment known as the "Godzilla Squad" lured a then twenty-foot Godzilla into the Museum of Natural History where they had hoped to trap it. Their plan nearly worked and they succeeded in keeping Godzilla somewhat serene until the arrival of the Fantastic Four. The Thing, always itching for a fight, provoked Godzilla and the two battled one another destroying many of the museum's exhibits.[10]

Kraven the Hunter challenged Spider-Man to a duel inside the museum. Kraven damaged several exhibitions and skeletons during their battle but was eventually defeated and arrested.[11] After Kraven's death his ex-girlfriend, the voodoo magician Calypso, operated out of an unfinished wing of the museum, kidnapping Haitian refugees and turning them into zombie slaves, as part of a larger plan to resurrect Kraven.[12]

The criminal Batroc and his Brigade broke into the Museum to steal the bones of Ulysses Bloodstone, to deliver them to his employer, Baron Zemo.[13]

One night, Nightwatch detected movement happening in the museum. Smashing through the skylight he caught a group of armed mercenaries skulking around the facility and was able to incapacitate most of them. However, one of them tried to run and warn their leader Daniel Davis, though Nightwatch stopped him as well. Meanwhile, in the security room, Davis gloated over his theft of a Macedonian death mask that was worth a fortune. Soon Nightwatch came crashing through the wall and while he battled the remaining guards, Davis leapt out a nearby window, putting the mask on his face. He suddenly began to scream in agony as the mask bonded to his face. Rising from the ground, the man says that Daniel Davis was dead and all that remained was Deathgrin.[14] The ensuing battle was interrupted by security guards who opened fire on Deathgrin. However, the bullets had no effect and the villain tried to crush the guards by knocking down the museum's pillars, yet Nightwatch swooped in and saved them at the last moment. When clean-up crews came to remove the rubble, they discovered a massive hole into the sewers below. In the fetid waters Deathgrin still lived and vowed to get revenge against Nightmask.[15]

The Fantastic Four were invited as guests at the musem to look at the Makalu Tablet. After a while, Johnny wanted to leave, but before he could a woman in exotic-looking armor suddenly smashed through the skylight into the room. She explained that the tablet was a sacred artifact of her people and that she has come to get it back. Escaping to the roof with the tablet she was attacked by the Human Torch, knocking off the mystery woman's mask. Taken by her beauty, Johnny accepted that she only sought to collect the tablet when he was attacked from behind by the Inhumans. The rest of the FF arrived just as Lockjaw appeared and teleported the Inhumans away with Johnny in their grasps.[16]

At yet another gala, it was Ka-Zar and Shanna who were invited, though he deliberately attracted a lot of attention by jumping on one of the buffet tables and eating straight from it by hand in a squatting position next to Zabu. He then ran into Matt Murdock, whom he had previously met as Daredevil. After a brief conversation, Matt left - just before Rhino smashed through a wall. Ka-Zar and Shanna fought him for some time, but eventually realised that something was wrong with him. Rhino explained that Ka-Zar's brother Parnival had exposed him to gamma radiation that made him unstable. The three of them decided to team up to confront Parnival together.[17]

Black Widow and Yelena Belova had a shoot-out in the museum. Though Yelena got arrested, she quickly escaped confinement.[18]

While at the musem, Namor pressed Sue about her problems at home. When he suggested that she leave Reed to be with him, she got angry and called Namor out for interfering with her marriage once again. The argument got heated and Namor grabbed her arm, hurting her. At this moment Reed interrupted them having tracked Sue down to surprise her and was not impressed with Namor's advances on his wife. A fight ensued between the two men, but Namor decided to take it elsewhere, grabbed Reed and flew through the skylight.[19] Later on, Reed and Sue took Franklin out to the butterfly conservatory. When the butterflies began dropping dead, Reed quickly deduced that the oxygen inside the converatory was running out. With everyone trapped inside, Reed used his powers and intelligence to find a weak point in the glass and broke their way free.[20]

Archaeologist Jaime Slade received delivery of southwestern Indian artifacts for a special exhibition in the Museum; the shipment was damaged when Hawkeye and Mockingbird fought a gang of arms dealers directly in front of the museum. Sifting through the damaged truck, Jaime retrieved a special urn, containing the ashes of her ancestor Lincoln Slade, the villainous Old West Phantom Rider who had drugged and assaulted the time-traveling Mockingbird in 1876. Jaime was immediately possessed by the spirit of Slade, transforming her into the latest incarnation of the Phantom Rider.[21] Later, Hawkeye and Mockingbird laid a trap inside the museum for the Phantom Rider and her ally Crossfire, who had teamed up with her to kill the two heroes. Crossfire and Phantom Rider blew a large portion of the museum's roof off and sent a wave of attack drones inside to kill the heroes. Mockingbird obtained the urn from within the museum and teleported the entire group to Nevada in the hopes of exorcising Lincoln's spirit from Jaime's body.[22]

Batroc once again broke into the Museum, this time to steal a precious diamond. He ended up fighting Fantomex who had come for the same reason.[23]

Alternate Universes

Earth-12041

In this universe, Hydra appeared to break into the musem, using robots to blow up the pavement in front of the building to get to a vault which was filled with ancient artifacts from other realms. However, this turned out to be the work of Nighthawk, who was trying to take out the Avengers one by one.[24]

On Halloween, Spider-Man decided to visit the museum to see an exhibit on Camelot, given that the holiday allowed him do so in costume and mostly by himself. Coincidentally, Jessie Prescott and the Ross family visited the museum for a homework assignment at the same time. They accidentally freed Morgan Le Fay from her magical imprisonment, who promised to bring darkness on Earth. Spider-Man intervened and fought Le Fay, but couldn't stop her from transforming the hallways of the museum to look like a castle. She also animated some of the exhibits, such as a giant worm, and transfromed a security guard into a flying jack o'lantern. However, working with Jessie and the Ross kids, Spider-Man managed to defeat Morgana. [25]

Earth-53759

In the dystopian future of 2053, the museum lay in ruins, only a few statues remaining in the rubble.[26]

See Also

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