Earth 1168 - A Little History

Earth 1168 is a fragment of the Multiverse known as the Champions Universe.  A lot has happened there, this is just a selection.  Costumed Superhumans or what we call superheroes first appeared in 1938. I tried to pick an amount that might be fun to read about.  So we start at the beginning of what is considered the "The Bronze Age" of Superheroes, the mid-70s, with the first appearance of possibly the most infamous superhuman of all Dr. Destroyer:

The 70s:

1975:  Dr. Destroyer first appears. His attempt to conquer California and the world is narrowly defeated by a large group of superhumans; Kid Chameleon and Ocelot are killed.  David Ward's wife, Sharon, dies. David never remarries, and since he has no son, assumes the Mask will either pass to another family or the legend will end with him.  Mark Whitaker (Nighthawk) is born in Detroit.  Kenji Hayashida (Shugoshin) born in Japan.

1976: Queen Mara's twins, Prince Marus and Princess Thalassa of Atlantis, are born.

1977: The Gadroon attempt to conquer Earth and are driven off by a force of Earth's superhumans that includes many supervillains (Dr. Destroyer among them).

1978: The United States completes the construction of Stronghold, the world's first prison designed solely to contain superhuman criminals.  Canada establishes an official superteam, the Northern Guard.  Dark Seraph first appears.  Great Britain passes a law concerning the registration of superhumans.  Scirocco succumbs to mental illness and becomes a supervillainness.

1979: General Lorenco João Garrastazu e Silva takes power in Chíquador.  The Slug appears, and nearly succeeds in transforming everyone in New York City into Elder Worms.

The 80s:

1980: The Advanced Research Group changes its name to the Advanced Research Group Enterprises (ARGENT) as a marketing ploy.  Following an attempt by Dr. Destroyer to conquer the United States using several supervillains as pawns, Congress passes the American Superhuman and Paranormal Registration Act.

1981: The gorilla who will be known as Dr. Silverback is captured by mercenary animal traders in Rwanda and sold to Dr. Phillippe Moreau.  Corazon Valenzuela (Sapphire) is born in Los Angeles.  DEMON lures four superheroes and several UNTIL officers into an ambush, slaughtering them all as a sacrifice to dark underworld gods.  The first Northern Guard team splits up.  Scandal rocks the New Knights of the Round Table, significantly diminishing the group's reputation.

1982: Don "Captain Patriot" Randall dies of a heart attack.  Annette Berkelheimer founds the Institute for Human Advancement (IHA) to champion the cause of "true humans" over mutants and superhumans.  

1983: ARGENT is exposed as a criminal organization.  Its leaders flee the United States.  All members of Ameriforce One, the United States's superhuman SEAL team, are killed when a Soviet sub they are trying to recover explodes.  Danar Nicole quits the European Parliament in disgust, undergoes the treatments that transform him into the villainous Fiacho, and begins forming Eurostar.

1984: Dr. Phillippe Moreau's experiments in "genetic advancement" have their first, accidental success when he grants superhuman intelligence to the gorilla who will become Dr. Silverback.  The second Gadroon invasion is easily defeated.  Canada forms a second Northern Guard.  Doctor Sebastian Poe founds the Parapsychological Studies Institute (PSI) to study superhuman phenomena.

1985: Mechanon first appears, attempts to destroy humanity with America's nuclear arsenal, and is defeated by the Sentinels.  Doctor Silverback is rescued from Professor Moreau's labs by the New Knights of the Round Table. He is taken in by Dr. Dina Morrison and other employees of Cambridge Biochemical Labs.

The Secret Crisis, a war across space and time involving almost all of the heroes that had ever existed, occurs.

1986: The United States government founds PRIMUS, an anti-supercrime law enforcement agency roughly equivalent to UNTIL.  A terrible industrial accident creates the monstrous Grond.  The French government passes a law requiring the registration of superhumans.  Thomas Cassidy founds SNN, the Super News Network.

1987: In a landmark ruling for nonhuman intelligences on Earth, Dr. Silverback wins his independence and legal status as a citizen of the British government.

Andros, Prince Consort of Atlantis, dies in a tragic accident while exploring.  Takofanes the Undying Lord arises in Oklahoma and begins marching toward the East Coast.  After he kills several superheroes who try and stop him at the Mississippi River, a larger group of superhoeroes band together to defeat him in eastern Kentucky.

1988: David Ward (Black Mask IX) retires from adventuring and becomes Police Commissioner of Chicago.  The Chaos-Beast and his horde of reality warping demonic beings attempt to invade the Earth and are defeated by the Justice Squadron.  Eurostar first appears, releasing its Eurostar Manifesto.  UNTIL founds its own official superteam, UNITY.  The New Knights of the Round Table stop an attack by Samhain, thereby restoring themselves to the public's good graces.

1989: Kristina Pelvanen, formerly the superheroine Rowan, founds the Ravenswood Academy, nominally an ordinary (if highly exclusive private school), but secretly intended primarily to train young superhumans in the proper use of their abilities.  The second Northern Guard team splits up.

The 90s (and beyond):

1990: Brin Rei Tarn dies. His replacement is the first human Star*Guardian, Andre Almena.  Juan Martinez retires as Secretary-Marshal of UNTIL, and is replaced by Wilhelm Carl Eckhardt.  The Great Stronghold Breakout occurs due to a series of unfortunate mishaps.  The Cottonmouth Incident: Authorities capture the VIPER supervillain Cottonmouth, who reveals much of the inner workings of the organization before being assassinated by his former employers.

1991: Doctor Destroyer launches his artificial island, Destruga, in an attempt to gain statehood. When that scheme fails, he turns toward Hawaii, but is defeated by the combined might of the United States military and American superheroes.  The California Patrol, an informal team of West Coast heroes, is founded.  The German government passes a law requiring the registration of superhumans.

1992: July 23 — The "Battle of Detroit": Dr. Destroyer is defeated battling Earth's superheroes, but activates a device that destroys most of Detroit. Later that year, the American government, several major corporations, and numerous charitable foundations form the Millennium Project to rebuild the city.

1993: As a response to public outcry over the destruction of Detroit, the United States signs the Tribunal Treaty, allowing UNTIL agents to operate freely in American territory.  Black Paladin first appears.  Eurostar launches an invasion of Poland with an army of cloned soldiers created by Teleios, the Perfect Man. Teleios's existence is revealed to the world in the aft ermath of the thwarted attack.  Foxbat first appears and attempts to steal the Empire State Building.  Canada forms a third Northern Guard superteam.

1994: Dr. Silverback moves to Millennium City to work at the American headquarters of Cambridge Biochem.  The Justice Squadron thwarts an ARGENT sponsored coup in Guamanga.  Kristine Griswold gains solar energy powers and becomes the superheroine Victory, working for the United States Air Force.  Annette Berkelheimer dies and is replaced as the leader of the IHA by Archer Samuels.  PSI is revealed to be a criminal organization employing supervillains with psionic powers. Project Sunburst takes place. The Warlord first appears, and attempts to conquer Vietnam.

1995: Li Chun the Destroyer is accidentally freed in China. After defeating the Tiger Squad in a twoday running battle, he mysteriously disappears.  The United States Army initiates "Project Greenskin" in an attempt to take control of the supervillain Grond; the project fails, leading to a destructive rampage by Grond and the deaths of most of the scientists involved.  The FBI completes the Stalwart powered armor suit, thus giving it an offi cial superhero to supplement its Hostage Rescue Teams.

1996: Jennifer Anne Ward, now a private investigator in Vibora Bay, adopts the identity of Black Mask X, against her father's wishes (at least at first).  UNTIL completes the construction of its GATEWAY space station.  The "VIPER-Eurostar War" begins in Europe, and lasts until 1998.

1997: Los Defensores de Méjico (the Mexican Defenders), a Mexican superhero team, disintegrates when several members are implicated in a corruption scandal.  Nightwind begins fighting crime in the still under-construction Millennium City.  Following the death of his daughter in a New York City superbattle, Senator Phillip Glassman becomes an ardent campaigner against superhumans and a supporter of the IHA.  Black Rose and Amazing Man II re-organize the Sentinels; MeteorMan III chooses to retire from the team.

Daniel James Johnson becomes the Golden Avenger of PRIMUS.  

1998: Canada's latest attempt to establish the Northern Guard, a team of official heroes, fails as the team votes to dissolve itself.  Istvatha V'han fi rst attempts, and fails, to conquer Earth's dimension.  Scorpia and Feuermacher murder Professor Muerte, loot and destroy his facilities, and defect from Terror, Inc. to join Eurostar.  The United States Department of Defense reveals Janissary, a superhuman soldier it has succeeded in creating. A program is begun to test the feasability of creating more superhuman soldiers.  Thomas Cassidy launches the SNN Sidekick television network.

1999: Late this year, the rebuilding of Detroit is substantially completed, and the new metropolis is christened Millennium City.  Defender becomes a part-time superhero in New York City.  Sapphire's mutant powers manifest.  Mark Whitaker (Nighthawk) is injured in a VIPER attack on Millennium City University;  inspired by the event, he becomes a crimefighter.  A lab accident gives Brendan Grant superpowers, and he becomes Kinetik.  Shugoshin receives his Spirit Swords and begins his crimefighting career in San Francisco.  The San Francisco-based Freedom Patrol suffers a major defeat at the hands of ARGENT.

2000: Dark Seraph and the Crowns of Krim steal a valuable book from a Paris museum, in the process killing 43 UNTIL agents and the French superhero Skydragon.

2001: Defender moves to Millennium City and founds the Champions. Sapphire and Nighthawk join soon thereafter; Ironclad arrives on Earth and joins the group as well. Witchcraft joins the group late in the year.  The Binary Corporation presents Binary Man,its offi cial corporate superhero and representative, to the world. Binary Man begins fighting crime and performing heroic deeds.  Firewing comes to Earth to challenge its superhumans to combat.

2002: Firewing battles Hyperion in London; the fight ends inconclusively, but results in significant property destruction.

The Battle of Detroit:

One superhuman event worth covering in more detail (at least one page) occurred in 1992 and became known as "The Battle of Detroit".  In it are planted the seeds of Millennium City:

THE COMING OF THE DESTROYER

In July of 1992, however, a menace came to Detroit far beyond the abilities of any one hero to handle. Doctor Destroyer, whose plans to take over the world had only been defeated by the narrowest of margins in the past, had just suffered his most severe setback with the loss of his island base to his enemies.  Determining once and for all to eliminate the American heroes who had constantly interfered with his plans, Destroyer likewise decided the Earth would be much easier to control without the United States getting in his way. Retreating to a secret laboratory he had built beneath an abandoned factory in Detroit, Destroyer designed a gigantic tractor beam, with which he planned to draw a series of small asteroids into a collision course with Earth — or, more precisely, North America. He intended to duplicate the effect of the asteroid that had caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, but on a much smaller scale controlled by him, with the resulting ecological devastation and dust clouds rendering America helpless and likely straining the ability of the rest of the world to defend itself.

Putting his fiendish plan in motion, Destroyer hired several mercenary supervillain teams across the country to distract and harass the heroes he felt might oppose him. Then he activated his beam, seizing control of a cluster of asteroids and sending them hurtling through space directly toward the Earth. On July 23rd, several heroes became aware of this threat, and joined forces to stop it, dividing into two teams.  Those with powers useful in space were sent to stop the asteroids, and an earthbound team was sent to find and defeat Destroyer himself.  

The spacefaring team was at first unable to stop the asteroids despite multiple efforts, until the hero Vanguard sacrificed himself to deliver explosive charges into the center of the cluster, pulverizing it into harmless dust. Unfortunately, Destroyer simply selected another group of asteroids with his beam and made a second attempt to carry out his evil plan — leaving the team of heroes back in Detroit as the only hope for victory. While some heroes dedicated themselves to a perhaps-futile effort of evacuation, others located Destroyer's well-guarded base. There, they found themselves in combat with several of Destroyer's robotic Destroids and a horde of villains and mindless monsters he had recruited or built to hold them off, including Grond and Glacier. The assembled heroes of Earth, with more arriving constantly to join in the battle, fought their way through the awful horde, demolishing much of the city in their wake. Several brave heroes lost their lives in this battle, the largest superhuman confrontation in recorded history. But they gave their allies in space the time to find Destroyer's tractor-beam generator, take control of it, and use it to re-direct the asteroids away from Earth.  

After hours of combat, a few valiant heroes won their way past Destroyer's minions — only to find Destroyer himself waiting for them. With his own weapons, Destroyer slaughtered five of them, casually turning aside counter-attacks with his powerful armor. However, as the battle wore on, and more and more heroes arrived, it began to look as if the day would at last be won.  

But Destroyer could not be defeated so easily.  Battered and bleeding, his armor cracked in a dozen places, he refused to give up. "Not to the likes of you," he said when the Sentinels demanded his surrender. "If Destroyer must fall, he will fall to his own hand, not to his enemies."  With a mocking bow, he triggered his last, and greatest, weapon: an orbital bombardment cannon. A beam wider than a city block struck the ground where he stood, obliterating him and nearly two dozen superheroes instantly. Before the heroes in space could find it and stop it, the cannon swept its deadly ray across much of the city. The resulting devastation levelled most of the city — and what was left was quickly engulfed by fires, flooding, or both. All that was ever found of Destroyer was his shattered helmet.

Official records of the death toll resulting from the city-wide battle and Destroyer's suicidal strike eventually listed nearly 60,000 fatalities. Few buildings, especially in the city's center, remained standing and intact; numerous neighborhoods were virtually wiped off the face of the Earth. Almost fifty superheroes — including such renowned paragons of justice as Goblin, Icestar, Vigil, Tiger, and Shadowboxer — lost their lives as they struggled to stop Destroyer.  Today, a memorial to their bravery stands in the center of Millennium City's Memorial Park.

THE AFTERMATH, AND THE REBUILDING

In the days following the disaster, the world mourned the massive losses. President George Bush, standing in the middle of the field of rubble that was once the Renaissance Center, delivered a passionate speech that challenged both superhumans and corporations alike to rebuild Detroit before the end of the millennium. He promised a series of tax breaks for companies willing to move to this new city once it was built, and to donate their expertise and technology toward making Detroit the leading city of the twenty-first century.  

American business and America's superhumans rose to the call. Over the next seven years, Detroit was rebuilt from the ashes. Corporations such as Cambridge Biotechnologies, American Business Machinery, Harmon Industries, Duchess Industries, and countless others committed vast resources to the project. And several superheroes volunteered time and energy to the cleanup project; for example, for a month Diamond, MeteorMan, and Golem worked alongside cranes and bulldozers helping move massive girders, while Element Man transmuted rubble into harmless gas and Diadem telepathically coordinated their efforts.

But the planners had more than funding and superhuman help, they had vision. Responding to President Bush's impassioned speech, they decided not just to re-create Detroit, or to copy any other city in the world. They chose instead to take advantage of the opportunity to design an all-new city — one incorporating the latest technological advances and sociological and architectural theories. New buildings were erected with spaceage materials. Roads were built with transmitters designed to control the computerized automobiles that would operate within the city limits — and to minimize the need for cars, a massive and effective maglev monorail was built around and through the entire city.

As the city was slowly rebuilt, residents returned. One by one, businesses began work, new universities opened their doors to students, and citizens started their lives over in all-new homes. By late 1999, the efforts of all the countless thousands of builders, planners, and contributors were rewarded when the city, renamed Millennium City, was officially declared finished and re-opened. (Though in truth, much construction remained to be done, and still does.) A special ceremony in the new Memorial Park dedicated it to the memory of all those who had fallen to protect the city. Dozens of large corporations moved their headquarters to the revived downtown, and their ubiquitous presence enabled them to elect a City Council friendly to their needs.

New superheroes were drawn as well.  Defender relocated to Millennium City in early 2001 and recruited several heroes to form the Champions, the region's first superteam. Doctor Silverback moved there along with his sponsor, Cambridge Biotech, in 1997. And in recent months, new heroes like the mercenary media sensation Cavalier and the skilled martial artist Nightwind, have also come to town.  

Of course, there have been new superhuman menaces to deal with as well. A high-tech thief known as the Signal Ghost has plagued several of the city's corporations. The supernaturally lucky mercenary named Hazard has taunted the MCPD on several occasions, as has the criminal mentalist Brainchild. The cyborg mastermind Interface has battled the Champions twice. From Detroit's infamous history of organized crime has come a brand-new, high tech team calling themselves the New Purple Gang. And of course, old threats like Mechanon and VIPER look on the "City of the Future" as a ripe fruit just waiting to be plucked... or crushed.

That's it heroes.  Enough reading about history, be here next issue when it's time to make some history and unleash...

The Mortality Algorithm