Here’s why you don’t mess with Texas …
HOUSTON (Ms. Marvel, Mighty Avengers, Rage, Americop)
Ms. Marvel is seen by most as Texas’ biggest star. As the primary hero of Houston, she regularly helps out around the city and state in any number of ways, including disaster relief, apprehending supercriminals and even helping out with more mundane things, such as assisting construction crews. Officially, Marvel is stationed in Houston to assist NASA (and SHIELD) as its alien liason. In that capacity, Marvel is assigned as monitor to all alien activity in the United States. This duty, which includes being field commander of an Avengers squad, leads her to travel across the country.
Notes: I really like Ms. Marvel. She’s got easy to understand powers. Her name is a bit clunky, but at least it’s got the company name in it. She’s also cool looking. With all those factors at play, I feel plenty comfortable placing her as the prime hero in one of America’s biggest cities. I also like adding a patriotic flair to her by linking her to the military and NASA.
The Mighty Avengers is the SHIELD-assigned squad of heroes that is specifically organized to respond to alien threats within the U.S., though it doesn’t shy away from responding to more Earthly threats when need be. Its members currently include Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, Sentry, Wasp, Ares, Spider-Woman and Wonder Man. In lieu of any threats, the team meets on a bi-weekly in its Houston headquarters, meaning that its members make semi-regular appearances in the city.
Notes: Setting the second Avengers team in Houston seems like another natural fit. Though a second team once was set in Los Angeles, this seems just as natural. I also added the “alien threat” to their mission statement because it helps separate them from the regular squad.
The former Avenger known as Rage is also a Houston resident and to the locals, a major celebrity. While secretly still a minor, Rage helps address more mundane concerns among the locals, including taking on minor supervillains and mob and street gang activities. Rage attends a private school in Houston, where Mr. Willis, his English teacher, has been informed of his extracurricular activities. Willis helps smooth out problems arising from Rage’s activities with his other teachers and headmaster.
Notes: Rage is kind of like the Marvel equivalent of Captain (Shazam!) Marvel. A youngster who’s trapped in the body of a powerhouse. Shielded from the worst threats to the city by Ms. Marvel and the Avengers, Rage has an opportunity to shine for locals before making it onto the national superhero stage.
The violent vigilante Americop is also a Houston native, and is believed to maintain secret headquarters in the city. He largely keeps his activities outside of Houston as to not attract attention of local authorities.
Notes: I don’t know a whole lot about Americop, other than he resides in Houston. I figured he could stay there. I like his costume.
DALLAS (X-Force, Cable, Domino)
As the secret, proactive wing of the X-Men, X-Force has intentionally split itself geographically from the grounds of the Xavier Institute and relocated to Dallas. There, it operates its base and training facility that it uses to hunt down problem mutants and other threats to mutantkind. While the team is out of the area most of the time, it does address local incidents from time-to-time. The team currently includes Wolverine, X-23, Wolfsbane, Caliban, Hepzibah and Warpath, all of whom maintain at least a part-time residence in the city.
Notes: Another fairly big shake up here. I wanted to boot some of those extremely hard-to-follow mutants out of New York City. Once again, a Texas town seemed like a good place to let them settle. Back in the 1970s, setting a team in Texas would have meant that they all wear cowboy hats. I think by now people have a more accurate vision of what the state is like.
Another mutant presence in Dallas is from Cable, a former member of X-Force, who operates independently from the current team. Like X-Force, Cable is often globe-trotting on various self-assigned missions and keeps his local activities to a minimum, hoping to maintain his Dallas facility as a safe haven.
Notes: Cable was initially the driving force of X-Force, but (at least for now) isn’t affliated with the team. I figured he’d stick around, and they would stick around too. Makes it a natural when they let him back in.
Arriving in Dallas on the heels of Cable, Domino has, unlike Cable, grown fond of the city and is quite protective of her new home. As such, Domino has found herself in the awkward position of actually being liked by the authorities and residents, and acts embarrassed about the attention, while secretly relishing the role. Outside of Dallas, the mutant is often portrayed as a cold-blooded killer, but within the city she aggressively works on softening her image, often using no-kill techniques to apprehend criminals and malecontents.
Notes: Originally one of Cable’s hangers-on, Domino actually turned into a pretty cool character. I still see her as a bit lost without him though. Not that she’s needy, she’d just continue to work with him out of sheer momentum.
AUSTIN (Diamondback, Black Mamba, Asp)
The semi-team known as BAD Girls Inc. operates out of Austin, the hometown of member Diamondback. While more of a group of friends than an official superteam, the trio, which also includes Black Mamba and Asp, are very active in combating local supercrimes as well as regular street crimes. Considering the group has a villianous past and tend to use rather heartless methods, they’ve been poorly recieved in the city and work to keep a low profile.
Notes: Again by sticking with a character’s established hometown, things just make sense. She and her fellow snakes wouldn’t have any problem keeping the peace here.
SAN ANTONIO (Shooting Star, Texas Twister, The Rangers)
The husband-wife team of Shooting Star and Texas Twister reside in San Antonio, where they are well-loved and highly appreciated. The two also work across the entire state in a variety of ways, including assisting disaster recovery, making public appearances and addressing other threats that seem to be ignored by more high-profile heroes.
Notes: What was that I said about cowboy hats? Well of course we need the Twister to be somewhere in Texas! Anyway, these relatively small-time heroes fit nicely in a smaller locale. The current Marvel Universe places them as leaders of Texas’ state-run supersquad. I’m sorry, but Texas is just a little too big and too important to trust to these guys. And might I say, I always thought the Shooting Star was a top-notch character that has been sorely ignored. She’s got a costume that is so nice, appealing and patriotic that she should have been an Avenger by now.
San Antonio also holds the headquarters of The Rangers, a group of heroes who work to battle more rural threats across the American Southwest and Plains States. The group holds monthly meetings in San Antonio, and its members include Firebird, Shooting Star, Texas Twister, Phantom Rider, Red Wolf, Living Lightning, Puma, Annex, Sundown, Armadillo and Amerigan Eagle, most of whom come from other states to attend meetings.
Notes: Following the same idea as modifying the Mighty Avengers mission, The Rangers are changed too. I figured these guys are perfect for some wide-spanning work, and attaching them to “rural threats” seems a natural. This allows thm to roam a large “unclaimed” swath of the U.S. and gves them a chance to address problems just like any other super team. They just do it for the little guys, not the big cities.
EL PASO/AMARILLO (Armadillo)
Armadillo splits his time between Amarillo and El Paso, two cities that aren’t exactly close to one another. Originally serving as the protector of El Paso, he worked especially to assist the town’s Mexican and Mexican-American population, but his efforts on every level has endeared him to most of the residents. More recently, he was contacted by officials of Amarillo, Texas, who thought he could help them too — as a tourist attraction. Glomming on the similarity between the hero’s name and the city’s name, they contracted Armadillo to appearing in the city on weekends, when most tourists could come to the town. Mostly serving as an goodwill ambassador, he even ocassionally helps out on more super-heroey activities.
Notes: I just love the Armadillo. I think he looks cool. At the same time, I have to face facts that he has a pretty dorky theme. With that in mind, I figured a humorous take would work for him. I picked El Paso (as DC did with Blue Beetle and El Diablo) because of its high immigrant population.