Back in the 1970s a little town in Illinois, which was named Metropolis long before Superman even existed, rebranded itself as being the home of Superman. The fact that it resembled Smallville more than Metropolis didn't seem to matter.
DC Comics was on board with the idea of rebranding the town, and they helped set in motion a plan to build a Superman theme park called Amazing World of Superman.
It all started when in 1972, a group of DC Comics representatives showed up with a guy wearing George Reeves’ actual Superman suit to declare Metropolis, Illinois the official hometown of Superman. That eventually led to the planning of the theme park to help the town out of its economic slump. The plan would have cost the city $50 million, or roughly $270,000,000 in today's dollars.
Everything was moving forward and it was going to happen, but it all fell apart when OPEC proclaimed an embargo on oil exports to the US as retaliation for aid to Israel. That raised gas prices, and the future of car travel and vacations seemed uncertain. Mark Engblom explained,
"The gasoline crisis of the early 70's dramatically impacted tourism throughout the country. Leaving many families unable to afford the long drive to play in the Bizarro Playground and shop for groceries in the Amazing World of Superman supermarket."
Here's a collection of art that was created for the Superman theme park by comic artist Neal Adams. The park would have included a 200-foot-tall statue of Superman that would serve as an entryway.
To read more about the history behind this little town, head on over to Gizmodo.