META-4 timeline

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META-4 timeline

Postby XLS » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:54 pm

For those nostalgic for the good old days of the 1e setting produced alongside Freedom City-- as I am-- I have put together a comprehensive timeline of that setting. It may be edited as I flesh out a few things.

Note that characters in Italics are my own; the rest should be considered canonical. Finally, notes-- indicated in parentheses-- are at the end of the list.

1780
London parlor magician Prescott Wynne is possessed by the spirit of Kalak the Mystic. Later victims include French noble named Madam Dufayel, and an assistant to Napoleon named Montmarche.

1864
Italian sorcerer Father Luciano summons the demon Balshamon to aid the Confederacy. Christened Johnny Reb by Luciano and Confederate President Davis, the demon was pursued by European adventurer St. Germain and finally subdued.

Early 1920’s
Career thief and mass-murderer Springheel Jack begins to terrorize the streets of Dublin, Ireland.

1922
A man dubbed the Pugilist by a local newspaper puts an end to Springheel Jack’s murder spree.

1925
Dr. Montague Mesmer discovers mystical rings of Andach while exploring ruins of a pre-Columbian European settlement off the shores of Newfoundland.

1926
Operative Nine, a member of the alien Walorian race, comes to earth to secretly observe humans and human behavoir (1).

1927
Daredevil pilot Richard Everleigh gains fame as a champion aviator.

1928
Inspired by Everleigh’s exploits, Henry “Hap” Holiday uses a customized P-26 Peashooter to stop Doctor Inferno from destroying a munitions depot (2). Hap Holiday is soon credited with thwarting dozens of criminal schemes.

Having unlocked some of his newly-found ring’s mystical power, Mesmer, calling himself Doc Mesmer, joins the ranks of other costumed adventurers in fighting crime.

1929
Stock market crash devastates Arcadia, and crime and poverty plague the city as its fantastical futuristic buildings and mass transit system fall into disrepair. Operative Nine, seeing so much crime, breaks his oath to be a passive observer on earth and takes to the streets to restore justice.

1931
First appearance of Mr. Mystery [Note the contradiction in Noir, where the entry for Doc Mesmer says he was influenced by Mr. Mystery in 1928]

Arch- villain Victor Slaughter kidnaps wealthy industrialist Carson Welles , but his plan is foiled by Mr. Mystery, the act of which appeared on the front page of the Arcadia Chronicle, the city’s biggest and most influential paper

Early 1930’s
Carson Welles recruits Doc Mesmer and Mr. Mystery to form the Scorpio Circle to combat crime in Arcadia

1932
The Pugilist moves to Arcadia and battles villains such as the Cannoneer and Doctor Triumph.

First appearance of Lady Hex, the ghostly companion of Mr. Mystery (3).

1934
Occultists accidentally summon the Carrion Queen, the ruler of an extra-dimensional realm of the dead called the Larval Lands. She is eventually defeated by Mr. Mystery.

1935
The Pugilist joins the Scorpio Circle.

An alien race known as the Skoviak begin assisting Nazi Germany with the hopes of ultimately ruling Earth, which holds an important strategic position in the galaxy. [Note that in Crooks! it says the Skoviak came to earth in the 1940’s, but the entry for Iron Cross says mid-1930’s.]

1937
The US government creates Scorpio-2, a top-secret agency tasked with studying paranormal phenomena.

1938
Doc Mesmer takes on a young apprentice as a student in the mystical arts. The boy quickly earns the nickname the Ouija Kid.

1940
After undergoing several experiments, famed aviator Richard Everleigh is transformed by Scorpio-2 into Everyman, one of the country’s first true superheroes.

Early 1940’s
Super villains such as the Isolationist and the Silver Shrike appear (4).

Through its own secret programs, the US military creates a half-dozen superheroes including the Green Knight, the Human Rocket, and Commander Courage.

1941
The US government introduces the Homefront, a team of “Super Americans”. Team members included Everyman, Johnny-on-the-Spot, Doc Mesmer and his side-kick the Ouija Kid, Trick Shot and Hap Holiday.

After the death of her husband, blue-collar firebrand Esther Hughes gains the attention of Scorpio-2 and is trained to fight crime as the country’s first superheroine Swing Shift.

Charlie Cartwright joins Homefront, taking the name the Agrarian, the country’s first African-American superhero.

December 8: After Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt splits the Homefront into three groups: American stalwarts such as Everyman and Doc Mesmer joined European heroes such as the British druidic legend Menhir and the immortal St. Germain, to form the Victory Legion, while lesser-known heroes joined Commander Courage in the Pacific as the Liberty Brigade. A new group took over the name Homefront to defend America stateside, led by the Human Rocket, and including the explosive powerhouse Dynamite Damsel and the whirlwind called the Hurricane (5).

1942
First appearance of Miss Moxie.

1943
Everyman disappears in Europe (presumed dead).

First appearance of the Nazi superhuman trio known as V3.

1944
V3 is trapped in the Void Dimension by the Victory Legion

Nazi superhumans Blitz, Bion, and Iron Cross appear, as does Kalak the Mystic, having possessed the body of a Nazi commandant

The Homefront defeats several Japanese superhumans off the American West Coast, but at the cost of the life of Miss Moxie.

1945
Axis superhumans—including a freed V3—battle the Victory Legion in London. Blitz and all of V3 perish, as do several Allied heroes including Swing Shift.

1947
UN resolution bans nations from employing superhumans in war.

Iron Cross establishes Neu-Schwabenland in a secluded arctic refuge as a haven for Nazi war criminals and sympathetic German scientists and artists.

Early 1950’s
Emergence of Nazi organization called ODESSA

Kalak the Mystic claims the Polish town of Gorzow. US, British, and Russian mystics and psychics manage to overcome Kalak and his mask is turned over to Scorpio-2.

Doc Mesmer and the villain-turned-hero Silver Shrike face scrutiny during America’s “Red Scare” as do other heroes such as the Agrarian and the lesbian Victory Girl.

Phenomenon of children born with beneficial mutations is observed, with such children being called “parahuman”

1952
Commander Courage, Doc Mesmer, and several former members of the old Liberty Brigade form a new team called Courage Unlimited and leave this dimension via the Difference Engine.

A blue-skinned child nicknamed Adam Century is the 100th documented parahuman.

1954
Dr. Harold Hamilton, nicknamed the Atomic Brain after his body is destroyed in a massive accident, leaving only his brain, is given a robotic body. Almost immediately, the Atomic Brain turns on his Scorpio-2 colleagues and destroys their secret labs.

1955
A new agency dubbed META-4 subsumes Scorpio-2 and the super-secret government agency ANTAG (Applied Neural Technology Advancement Group). Former Scorpio-2 agent Gavin Pierce charged with running the agency.

Alien fugitive Nyra Gazz crash lands on earth evading capture from interstellar police.

1957
Gavin Pierce given the name Everyman.

Trick-Shot, now a Hollywood actor is killed during the academy awards by his communist rival Marxman (6).

1958
Aided by an alien named Aton—who had been dormant in a self-preservation chamber beneath Easter Island—Gavin Pierce and Johnny Calhoun defeat the Iron Cross. Now called the Ancient Alien, Aton leaves earth.

1959
The Ancient Alien returns to earth and exposes Nyra Gazz—now going by the name Miss Martian—as a fugitive from the Myriad, a peaceful union of planets throughout the galaxy. META-4 agents fail to capture her and suffer high casualties. Miss Martian flees again and remains at large.

Early 1960’s
The superhero Jack the Lad appears in London.

First appearance of the arch villain known as No-man. After several defeats at the hands of Jack the Lad, No-man goes underground and is not heard from again.

First appearance of an “alternate United Nations” called Unitrol led by the Unifier

1963
Super team known as the Happening forms in San Francisco, made up of Black Cherry Stone, the Clown Prince, Camo Kid, the Tantric Avenger, and Adam Century.

First appearance of super villains Stereotron, the Brass Dragon, Bad Trip, and Red Queen.

1964
Johnny Reb reappears, defeats the Happening and attempts to launch a new race war in the United States.

Marvin Sneed uncovers alien armor during an illicit excavation at the Serpent Mount State Memorial, becomes Dr. Dungeon and turns to a life of crime.

1966
A reunion of Homefront members Victory Girl, Ouija, and the Agrarian defeat Johnny Reb.

Dr. Dunegon defeats the Ancient Alien by sending him to Hellworld

1967
The Atomic Brain threatens to destroy 12 American cities with nuclear bombs, but the collective effort of the country’s super heroes thwart his plan.

1968
First appearance of Dynamite Girl

1969
Dynamite Girl joins the Happening

1970
Dr. Dungeon is defeated by the Happening with the help of META-4, but only after the Tantric Avenger and Adam Century were exiled to Hellworld.

The Happening disbands

1973
Cameron Friday sells soul to the devil, using his new arcane powers to fight evil as the Luciferian.

1974
Arcadia’s mayor relaxes laws regarding costumed vigalentes.

1976
Government founds the Statesmen with a core team of Trinity, Skyscraper Joe, Kittyhawk, Calamity Jane Doe and Bigfoot headquartered in Arcadia. Smaller teams were set up throughout the country.

First appearance of Professor Panic

1977
Statesmen defeat Professor Panic and take over his orbiting base, the Stargoyle, when it crash lands in Arcadia.

1978
The Carrion Queen is freed by the Luciferian, but is soon sent back to the Larval Lands.

Archaeologist Benjamin Bloom finds an ancient alien artifact that imbues him with great power. He becomes the hero Moonquake.

1979
Soviet researcher Aleksandr Solokov is submerged in psionically charged electrolyzed heavy water and emerges as the USSR’s more famous state- sanctioned hero, the Proletarian. Unfortunately, most of the city of Akademgorogok is destroyed, taking with it most of the sovier supersoldier program.

Soviet “parahuman” Piotr Gregov dons the mantle of Blazing Star and battles along his comrade Proletarian.

Statesmen defeat Professor Panic for good by banishing to a parallel universe known as Earth Adrift.

Statesmen member St Elmo becomes unstable and embarks on a terror spree.

1980
The superhero Hype founds EXCISE (Extreme Crisis Intervention and Security Enterprise) along with Strobe, Moonquake, the Flea, Hustler, and Cyclone.

1982
The Statesmen battle the Atomic Brain but suffer massive casualties, especially in the form of one of Trinity’s “triplicates” with whom the villain absconds and rechristens Singularity.

The Proletarian shakes off his KGB programming and abandons the state, taking the name Protonik and dedicating himself to protecting the citizens of the world [Note that Crooks! provides two dates for this, one in the main narrative (1984) and one (the date used here) in the Neutronik write-up]

1983
The Statesmen disband.

1985
December 15: Terrorists take an entire concert hall in Bangkok hostage. Unitrol soldiers attempt to intervene at the same time that heroes of the team EXICSE attempt a rescue. The resulting crossfire killed thousands including EXICSE members Moonquake, the Strobe, and Hype. The UN ushers in the Moratorium, a 5-year band on parahuman interventions.

1986
Emergence of humans-first terrorist group Baseline.

1991
Immediately following the collapse of the USSR, Blazing Star and other hard-liners attempt a coup to revive the communist state. Eventually confronted by Protonik and a handful of the earth’s greatest heroes, Blazing Star agrees to a self-imposed exile in space.

Several former members of the Statesmen, including Hotrod, the Jersey Devil, Bunyan Babe, and the Connecticut Yankee, are found dead in their homes after returning from a mission to rescue American POWs in southeast Asia.

1992
Blazing Star returns to earth to stop a malfunctioning nuclear reactor in Belarus from causing a major catastrophe. Worried about suffering like Chernobyl, Belorussian officials bury the reactor—and Blazing Star—under tons of earth and concrete.

United States creates the Endgame Initiative—a strikeforce of powered and nonpowered operatives to secure national interests in the former Soviet states. Members include META-4 agent Talia Thorne and ANTAG scientist Chase Anthony.

1993
President Ben Farmer creates the Front, a Presidentially-appointed super team that serves to protect the President and the interests of the Administration.

Protonik and the Endgame Initiative yet again thwart the Atomic Brain’s attempt to destroy the world.

1994
Multinational corporation Octopus Umbrella develops Kelvex, a nearly indestructible self-repairing textile material.

1995
President Farmer is assassinated by supervillain known as Fuse while the Front battles drug kingpins in Columbia.

1996
[NEW PRESIDENT elected, adds new members to the Front] (7).

1997
The Blazing Star emerges from the old nuclear reactor in Belarus calling himself Czar and forms the Blazing Protectorate out of southern Belarus and northern Ukraine.

Emergence of the anti-globalization terrorist organization GAN (Global Anarchy Now!), led by Chokechain.

1999
ANTAG scientist Chase Anthony gains various powers, takes code-name Chimera, starts the Man-Myth Project to repeat the experiment with others. Successful transformations included the powerhouse Minotaur, the voice-powered Mainticore, the water-born Undine, the albino stonemaster Cockatrice, the winged and clawed Griffon, the chameleon Snipe, the beastly Behemoth, and the Jabberwock.

At the request of the citizens of Earth Adrift, Professor Panic sends his robot champion Damocles to earth to steal the abilities of local heroes in an attempt to create a new robot army to defend Earth Adrift from an impending invasion by the alien conquerors known as the Broan.

2000
Bert Lando elected President, names Alpha Male, Primute, Radiomega, Bombshell to the Front; Minotaur joins META-4.

September 11: Terrorists fly planes into World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Another crashes into a field in Pennsylvania.

Lando names several cities as “Free Cities” loosening restrictions on superheroes and parahumans.

2001
Damocles tears a swath of destruction through Washington, DC, to lure heroes whose power he might steal. He is defeated by the Front.

First appearance of the teen hero team the Upstarts, based at the West Coast Talented Child’s Center and led by Rhett Berlin, code-named Emo.

2002
First appearance of the Clique, an organization of parahuman thieves, including Boy Toy, the Crush, Jawbreaker, the Other Woman, Tangerine, and Gimmick.

2003
Members of the Man-Myth Project participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom. After discovering ancient alien artifacts in catacombs below Mesopotamian ruins southeast of Nasiriyah, the US launches missiles at the site, killing Griffon and Jabberwock and severely injuring Snipe. Remaining members form the Beastiary and plot revenge.

Gimmick and Tangerine leave the Clique. The Crush recruits two new members, a tech specialists named Wallflower and an enforcer named Pixie.


This is at as far as (mostly) official META-4 material goes. I would still like to add a bit of my own material-- the Gatesmen are under-explored and I'd like to add a few (a la DC's Green Lanterns) to the mix. It is also not explicitly stated when the Reserve show up and details about its membership aren't discussed. This is, of course, for obvious reasons since the Reserve is supposed to be a stand-in for the PC's team. Thus, I'll probably have to work things out in that regard. There is more history about Inferna and Minotaur that would flesh things out, but there's a lot left open. Again, I hope to have some sort of correspondence with the Super Unicorn guys about their own notes at some point...

(1) Operative Nine is given passing mention in Noir but no details about the character are provided. My references to his being Walorian, etc., are my own embellishments.

(2) These exploits of Hap Holiday's are my own, as is the super villain Doctor Inferno.

(3) The mention of Lady Hex as a "ghostly companion" is quite interesting in light of the "archetype" Lady Hex who appears in the 1e Mutants and Masterminds rulebook who has no real "ghostly" quality to her. There are a number of ways to explain this (e.g. the "ghostly" Lady Hex" eventually ebbs away but imbues her powers into a worthy host-- perhaps a grandchild or great grandchild or the like). One of these days, I would love to talk to the Super Unicorn guys and ask them what they have in their notes about this and a bunch of other things...

(4) The Silver Shrike is also vexing. She appears as the "totem" archetype in the 1e rulebook. And while later on, this villain will turn to good (the details of this are not mentioned), it is still almost impossible that these are one in the same. Again, there are numerous explanations (e.g. the grandfather passed on the totem-spirit to his granddaughter...), but we won't know without talking to the super Unicorn guys.

(5) Dynamite Damsel is my own insertion here; you'll see her lineage go right on up to the present. At some point I'll write up the history of her and her offspring.

(6) I can't decide if this is the coolest supervillain/background story ever (a communist archer-- Marxman?!?! PERFECT!), or if I should be rolling my eyes a hundred times over.

(7) If Farmer is killed in 1995, then presumably his Vice President-- then elevated to President-- would presumably have run for re-election in 1996. However, as it is worded in Crooks!, it sounds like this person lost to a more right-wing candidate ("The next elected president maintained the Front, replacing some members to fit his right-wing ideology"). I will fill in this person and potential Front members at a later date.
Last edited by XLS on Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby EnigmaticOne » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:30 pm

Welcome back XLS. Tis been a while. I am interested in what I see.
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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby Libra » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:45 am

Fine work XLS: I must admit that it would be interesting to learn more about the Meta-4 setting from the Super Unicorn's mouth, but this thread promises to be quite as good! :mrgreen:
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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby XLS » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:57 am

Libra wrote:Fine work XLS: I must admit that it would be interesting to learn more about the Meta-4 setting from the Super Unicorn's mouth, but this thread promises to be quite as good! :mrgreen:


EnigmaticOne wrote:Welcome back XLS. Tis been a while. I am interested in what I see.


Thanks, guys. This was really just compiling what I found in Crooks!, Noir, and the 1e rulebook. I am going to try and get in touch with the guys to see if they still have their notes and try to update accordingly...

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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby EnigmaticOne » Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:00 am

Fun. Sad that you vanished and the games went kaput. Want more. :(
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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby Kreuzritter » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:06 pm

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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby JoshuaDunlow » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:43 pm

I rather enjoyed the setting material that we did get for the Meta-4 universe.

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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby Libra » Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:24 am

As did I, although while 'Protonik and the Rest' is a fine thread, but I cannot help thinking it a poor and fragmentary substitute for a full Meta-4 sourcebook (or better yet a line of them, acting as a parallel to The World of Freedom, for those looking for Planetary instead of Astro City - before you ask, I look for both but like the latter better than the former).

ESPECIALLY due to the fine material posted on the thread.
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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby XLS » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:25 pm

Kreuzritter wrote:Super Unicorn Q&A thread
Thanks. I have a PDF of part of the discussion, but there's even more there than I thought.

For instance, re Lady Hex, where I noted previously:

"(3) The mention of Lady Hex as a "ghostly companion" is quite interesting in light of the "archetype" Lady Hex who appears in the 1e Mutants and Masterminds rulebook who has no real "ghostly" quality to her. There are a number of ways to explain this (e.g. the "ghostly" Lady Hex" eventually ebbs away but imbues her powers into a worthy host-- perhaps a grandchild or great grandchild or the like)."

However, Sean notes:

"Lady Hex is indeed a ghost. However, due to a strange twist of fate, she is unaware of her condition (neither are most people, including most of the heroes who know her). I'll reveal her story when I finish my modern day writeup of Mr. Mystery, but her "condition" is a direct result of the ongoing feud between Mr. Mystery and Doc Mesmer (which you get a hint of in the writeup in the appendix of Noir)."

Still lots of unanswered questions!

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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby XLS » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:53 pm

More, about the Gatesmen:

"The Gatesmen are an interstellar group of police. Not the nicest folks, after all, they do put all of their prisoners into the Hellworld. That place ain't good at all. Each costume is tied to it's wearer, and allows the other Gatesmen to know where he/she/it is at all times. They are more than a bit fascistic, and sort of pick and choose what they will enforce. A visit from a Gatesman is never a good thing. Gatesman 439, an upstanding officer among the corps, falls in love with a woman who has been decreed to be banished to Hellworld, and decides he's had enough of the jackbooted thuggery of his fellow enforcers. However, it's very easy for them to track him down. Which leads to him to a lot of conflict with Dr. Dungeon, since his costume no longer seems to have a functioning tracking device. Gatesman 439 spends a lot of time with Courage Unlimited as well."

Jack the Lad:

"Jack the Lad is a happy-go-lucky 60s hero in Britain. Along the lines of Crackerjack in Astro City. He's the son of Daylighter, a hero killed in WWII at the Battle of London, and has similar light-based powers."

And META-4:

"META-4 has been envisioned as a quasi-governmental agency tasked with tracking, policing, and if necessary, eliminating metahuman threats both in and outside of the United States. They also operate (after the dissolution of ANTAG) as a sort of superhero laboratory. ANTAG used to do all the dirty work there, but after Chase Anthony's disasterous Bestiary program, META-4 has scaled back it's create/build program, and instead concentrates on the recruiting end. The amount of money that it takes to locate, recruit, and train a metahuman means that META-4 doesn't get to fill it's ranks with gobs of supers. They have enough trouble taking care of all the administrative costs, R&D costs, and paying for the repairs of stuff damaged by the likes of Minotaur and Inferna.

Protonik is a very, very neutral. He views his roll as one of good samaritan, not as a tool of the government (he already got to play that role). He helps the Reserve when necessary, but he hates the Front (too much like the Soviet super teams). He will show up when he's really needed. Minotaur is much more of a patriot, and far more loyal to META-4 than he should be.

META-4 is headquartered in a big Pentagon type building, almost completely underground, and probably doesn't have a mobile headquarters like SHIELD's helicarrier."

Here is more on Acadia:

"It is on the west coast, between San Francisco and Portland. Population around 450,000. Though a thriving port city and showcase for American oppulance and ingenuity in the early 20th century, the city fell on hard times. Corrutpion, financial insolvency, and a number of nightmarish paranormal incidents reduced the city to a squallid warren of the feared and the fearful. In the later 20th century, a cataclysmic series of events had the unforeseen side effect of renewing Arcadia as a shining metropolis. Many of the world's greatest heroes gave their lives to bring down Stargoyle, a madman's orbital engine of destruction. Elements of the satellite's alien technology survived the impact, and have been adapted to fuel Arcadia. Its surplus energy sales, as well as robust tourism have made Arcadia one of the wealthiest cities in the world.

Largely due to the machinations of the eccentric US president Burt Lando, Arcadia has been designated an "American Free City". It does not enjoy representation in Washington DC, despite heavy taxation. The city relies largely on private security forces. In a grand social experiment, much of the city's law enforcement is provided by licensed super heroes."

A tidbit about the Statesmen (or, a Statesman):

"One of the few surviving/operational heroes from the 1970s Statesmen is Southern California's Hustler, who is somewhat Batman-esque. He isn't a brooder, and he doesn't have a motiff, but the power suite is about the same. Super-smart, durable gadgeteer/detective/marshall artist. No powers, but he does seem to age awfully slowly. Fights with a elongated tonfa/staff, bolos, smoke bombs etc.

Lost his leg alongside EXCEL at Bangkok '85. Tried to retire, and to this day is known simply as Kilpatrick. Arch-nemesis caught him while he was painfully hungover, tortured him almost to death, and tattooed his mask to his face. Kilpatrick now carries a gun, and wears a bullet-proof parka.

He's currently the spiritual leader of a ragtag team of misfit heroes called the Goon Squad."]

A lot more about the lineups of certain teams:

"All of the Super Unicorners should chime in on this. Expect to see a lot more of this stuff on the SU blog. Now that Sean's arm has grown back, we're getting back into it. The clone from the survivng Mona culture is 13 next month, so his ideas are pretty good now. Let me know if I forget anyone. Keep in mind teams in the M4 universe generally suffer from high rates of attrition, so lineups change frequently

The Front: Recently reactivated Home Front program. Ultra-hard pros with a mandate to protect the federal government, and maintain homeland solidarity.
Radiomega (leader)
Alpha Male
Everyman (III)
Citizen +
Primute
The Answer

The Reserve: Sean or Erik knows there current line up better than I.

The Upstarts: Young renegade heroes fighting crime for kicks and chicks.
Emo (leader)
Kid Catalyst
Blindspot
Go
The Stunt

The Initiative: the private super security agency funded by philanthropist Seamus MacManus
The Sensation (leader)
Paragon
Loop
Risk
Impact
Harrier

United:Claiming to have returned to earth, from an alternate past, after 500 years exploring the stars, the mad hero Wilde Osiris gathered a ragtag team of heroes. For unknown reasons, his team intercedes in emergencies, generally on the side of law and order. The team has a knack for confronting the stranger threats posed by super science and sorcery. Wilde Osiris seems to be grooming them for a looming cataclysm
Wilde Osiris (leader)
The Hustler/Kilpatrick
Zero 00
Dogstar [my avatar, incidentally]
Leapyear
Flood
Scatterbrain"

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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby XLS » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:55 pm

More about early teams:

"HOMEFRONT (4/21/1941 -- 1951)
Everyman I
Johnny-on-the-Spot
Doc Mesmer
Ouija Kid (unofficial "junior member")
Trick-Shot
Hap Holiday
Agrarian
Swing Shift
---- Post 12/7/1941
Miss Moxie
Victory Girl

VICTORY LEGION (European Front) (12/8/1941 -- 5/8/1945)
Everyman I
Doc Mesmer
Ouija Kid
Swing Shift
Menhir
Daylighter, The
Mr. Mystery
Lady Hex
St. Germain
Highlander
Randolpho (French midget contortionist)
Knave of Clubs
...and many others

LIBERTY BRIGADE (Pacific Theater) (12/8/1941 -- 8/15/1945)
Commander Courage
Quartermaster
Silver Shrike I
Brazen Bullet
Diamondhead
...and a few others, high attrition rate

ILL-FATED "STALINGRAD TEAM"
Primus
Pugilist
Rasputin

ACTIVE HEROES
Pugilist
Mr. Mystery
Lady Hex

ACTIVE VILLAINS
Brazen Bullet
Isolationist, The
Kalak the Mystic
Silver Shrike I
...and many more

NAZI VILLAINS
Bion
Blitz
Endlosung
Iron Cross
Kalak the Mystic
V3
...and a few more

BATTLE OF LONDON CASUALTIES
Blitz I
Daylighter, the
Highlander
Knave of Clubs
Swing Shift
V3
...and about a dozen more."

Lots to integrate into my timeline!

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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby XLS » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:04 pm

Holy crap-- more on one of my favorite teams, the Statesmen:

"THE STATESMEN
America's retreat from Vietnam sent shivers of fear through the corridors of American power. Patriotic senators who bristled at the increasing relevance of the United Nations worked behind the scenes to undermine international moratoriums on employing superhumans as military assets. While the victor of the nuclear arms race remained uncertain, America clearly dominated the realm of superhuman development, with decades-old covert origin programs, a dedicated government agency (in the form of META-4), and a young underclass of naturally occurring parahumans. Should the nation come under threat, they reasoned, surely the government would view superhumans as military resources expected to aid in the nation's defense. Why not meet that day with a government-sanctioned team of superhumans ready-made to defend America from attack, and as a consequence have a highly trained force of powered operatives on hand in case they became necessary in the international arena.

Draped in the bicentennial fervor of 1976, the Statesmen featured one superhuman from each state of the union. The flag-waving fighting force celebrated American heritage whole combating crime across the nation.

The annoucement of the team amounted to an unfunded mandate from the federal government to the states. Consequently, not all Statesmen were created equal. Some states, more concerned with local affairs, contributed only a token representative to the team. Others partnered with local academics and scientists or corporate interests to create innovative, expensive parahumans exceeding the powers of the previous generation's heroes.

The result was a core team of six field operatives that served as the "face" and crisis team and a huge roster of reserve members called in on specific missions or on capers of local interest. All the while these reservists continued careers as solo heroes or regionally based sub-teams. The whole team endured tremendous turnover, as state programs ran out of money and (increasingly as the years went by) as team members died or disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

The team based themselves in Arcadia, which was both a symbol of the American superhero because of the heroic sacrifice of Miss Moxie during World War II and a burgeoning hive of super-crime thanks to Arcadia's lax enforcement of super-crime laws (itself meant to attract more superheroes). Although based on the West Coast, alien-derived teleportation technology ensured that America's Team was able to reach all corners of the country in an instant.

They lasted until 1982, when the core team was utterly defeated by the Atomic Brain. The years prior to that had been filled with humilation after humiliation, with annual funding cuts and more frequent funerals. Today the team is remembered as an idealistic novelty of the 1970s.

CORE TEAM

Trinity (New Mexico): As the Soviet Union displayed their nuclear missiles in boastful Mayday parades, America unveiled a living embodyment of its nuclear supremacy in the form of Trinity, a man who could splot himself into three cold fusion dynamos.
Matthew Archer was a brilliant nuclear physicist exposed to radiation early in his career. In order to retain his peerless mind, the government heavily subsidized New Mexico's budget for the Statesmen project.
Trinity became the first leader of the Statesmen in 1976, and remained in charge until 1981, when one of his "thirds" was captured, dominated, and warped by the Atomic Brain (see Crooks!, p. 33). As a result, all three thirds were reduced in power and intelligence. The two survivors merged once more, but the captured third, isolated from his fellows, began to lose its humanity, and became a slave of the Atomic Brain. From that point, Archer could produce only one duplicate. The warped, orphaned duplicate becamed known as Singularity, and remains a powerful menace to this day.
In 1987, agents of the U.S. government received a transmission from Chick Courage of Courage Unlimited, a team of superheroes who had vanished from Earth in 1951. The signal was traced to a distant planet, and Gavin Pierce himself asked Trinity to seek out the stranded team and bring them home, so that their knowledge and technology could be harvested for America. Archer split once again, sending one half of himself to the stars for a journey that would take several years. That being finally reached Courage Unilimied in recent years, but has not yet returned with his quarry. The remaining Trinity, much diminished, was drained of all powers by the robot Damocles (M&M core rulebook).
Trinity had a full head of blond hair and wore a blue and black bodysuit. His chest emblem varied slightly, allowing a practiced eye to differentiate between the otherwise identical beings. An image of Singularity appears on page 34 of Crooks! Trinity looks exactly the same, but does not suffer from the same warping curse as his unfortunate orphan. In his prime, Trinity's powers included triplication, radiation immunity, vacuum immunity, flight, space flight, growth, and super-strength. He was one of the most powerful superumans in the META-4 universe; although his is much diminished from his glory years, the remaining powered Trinity being currently with Courage Unlimited is a brilliant, potent opponent.

Bigfoot (Washington): Savage beast from the mountain forests of the Pacific Northwest. Completely feral and prone to uncontrollable rages, but also impish and curious in a simian manner. Only really seemed to follow the orders of teammate Calamity Jane Doe.
Bigfoot looked like a powerful, scary version of the creature seen on the infamous Patterson Film. Perhaps he _is_ the creature in the Patterson Film. His powers include enhanced resilence and pain tolerance, natural claws and fangs, and super-strength.

Calamity Jane Doe (South Dakota): Acrobatic, gorgeous trickshot with an unerring longrifle. Addicted to adventure and excitement. May have other inscrutible powers (Kyle?). Extremely coarse in manner. The teammember most likely to provoke a fist-fight.

Skyscraper Joe (New York): Anthropomorphic wisecracking gorilla who dresses in the finest designer suits and smokes the finest designer cigars. Deeply resents comparisons to Bigfoot, whom he loathes, sneeringly referring to the creature as a "gimmick character."

Kittyhawk (North Carolina): Female jetpack hero with metal wing contraption strapped to her back. Wears pilot headgear and (when flying) goggles.

St. Elmo (Massachusetts): Unstable religious psychopath possessed of strange blue-flame powers. Constantly quotes scripture. Has nebulous ties to secret societies within the Catholic Church. Extremely powerful, but almost totally uncontrollable. Never riled up. Eventually turns against the team in a terrible betrayal.

RESERVE MEMBERS (Incomplete listing)
American Steel (Pennsylvania): Steel robot powerhouse.
Babe (Minnesota): Oversized bald blue parahuman strongwoman.
Connecticut Yankee (Connecticut): Time-manipulating patriot.
Diamondhead (II) (Hawaii): Indestructible native Hawaiian.
Ethanolian, The (Iowa): Ethanol-fueled advocacy hero.
Flickertail (North Dakota): The squirrel girl.
Geyser (Wyoming): Steam manipulator.
Hot Rod (Michigan): Speedster.
Hustler (California): Acrobatic adventurer. Brian Kilpatrick.
Jersey Devil (New Jersey): The genuine horse-headed freakish article.
Manatee, the (Florida): Something dredged up from the water.
Minute Man (Virginia): Able to use any one power one minute at a time.
Quorum, The (Utah): Morman multiple-men.
Weevil, The (Alabama): Insect hybrid. Failed experiment.

AFFILIATED MEMBER
The Smithsonian (Washington, D.C.): American cultural artifact hero.

FREQUENT VILLAINS:
Atomic Brain, the: The infamous nuclear nutcase. See Crooks! for more on this major villain.

Damocles: Robot creation of Professor Panic. Currently tracking down retired Statesmen and draining them of their powers. Many live in fear of a visit from the robot. See M&M core rulebook.

Professor Panic: Robotics genius who vexed the Statesmen more than any other enemy. His orbiting base, the Stargoyle, was forced to Earth by the team, and crashed in downtown Arcadia. The vessel shortly thereafter became the Statesmen HQ, and although the team no longer exists the Stargoyle is still there, and its mysterious power reserves fuel much of Arcadia's energy needs. Currently stranded on Earth Adrift, an alternate Earth so distant in planar terms from that of the Statesmen to be almost completely inaccessible.

Red Ramesses: Egyptian-style villain who popped up during the American tour of King Tut's treasures in the late 1970s and who vexed the team on several later occasions."

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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby Libra » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:14 am

It never ceases to astonish me when I consider just how MANY characters populate your average superhero universe; it's a wonder the population have enough time to live a reasonably-normal everyday life between outbreaks of the outlandish.
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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby EnigmaticOne » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:18 am

Libra wrote:It never ceases to astonish me when I consider just how MANY characters populate your average superhero universe; it's a wonder the population have enough time to live a reasonably-normal everyday life between outbreaks of the outlandish.


Yeah... given the size of the world population, I've done the math, and Magneto's Brotherhood should be far more terrifying than written. 7 billion people. Assuming 0.1 percent of the population are mutants...

7,000,000,000 -> 7,000,000. 7 million mutants isn't anything to sneeze at. Even if only the top 10 percent were X-Men level, that's another 700,000 total powerful mutants in a world of constant blind abuse of mutants.

Even another 10 percent thereof joining makes - 70,000 X-Men+ level mutants. Magneto would have an army that would just crush anything in his way. So yeah, superhero writers don't do the math.
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Re: META-4 timeline

Postby XLS » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:00 am

EnigmaticOne wrote:
Libra wrote:It never ceases to astonish me when I consider just how MANY characters populate your average superhero universe; it's a wonder the population have enough time to live a reasonably-normal everyday life between outbreaks of the outlandish.


Yeah... given the size of the world population, I've done the math, and Magneto's Brotherhood should be far more terrifying than written. 7 billion people. Assuming 0.1 percent of the population are mutants...

7,000,000,000 -> 7,000,000. 7 million mutants isn't anything to sneeze at. Even if only the top 10 percent were X-Men level, that's another 700,000 total powerful mutants in a world of constant blind abuse of mutants.

Even another 10 percent thereof joining makes - 70,000 X-Men+ level mutants. Magneto would have an army that would just crush anything in his way. So yeah, superhero writers don't do the math.
Whenever I've started my own homebrew universes, the first thing I do is figure out what percentage of humans are "enhanced" through mutation like the X-Men (or, to be thread appropriate, like META-4's "parahumans"). You end up coming with a pretty small percentage for anything to make sense. Rounding down, the US has ca. 300 million people. If 1% have a mutation, that's 3 million people-- way too many, even if you assume that most of those are the equivalent of the old Morlocks like Annalee, that's still hundreds of thousands of PL7+ mutants. And that's just mutants-- add in the "Altered Hero" types (e.g. the Fantastic Four or Spiderman) plus the tech types (e.g. Iron Man) and then the normal-people-turned-hero (like the Punisher or Hawkeye) and you're running around with loads and loads of powered individuals. So yeah, turning down the percentages is a must.

That said, I don't think META-4 is too out of control. Remember, it's 70 years of history or so, and they do seem to kill off their heroes quite a bit...


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