It’s not old Mexico, it’s New Mexico ….
With extensive holdings throughout the Southwest, Thomas Fireheart has his company’s headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M. While Rich, he’s not the billionaire that Tony Stark is, but his company does well enough. Primarily a security firm — probably the best in the world, in fact — Fireheart Security Systems offers everything from high-tech devices (such as robotic sentries, check-in stations and monitoring equipment) to your standard “rent-a-cop” security forces. FSS serves many of the top companies, celebrities, and most indian casinos and as such, Thomas Fireheart travels throughout the country. Whenever trouble erupts at any of Firehart’s operations, the Puma, Fireheart’s alter ego, often investigates. Likewise, Thomas Fireheart uses his influence to assist the Navajo Nation and other American Indian affairs, meaning that the Puma is often spotted at reservations throughout the country.
Notes: On my list of favorite Marvel characters, Puma ranks pretty high. He’s a great anti-hero, and it’s always aggravated me that he’s largely been left fallow. In this scenerio, I set him up as a security expert. This gives him plenty of adventuring opportunity. I’ve also given the Fireheart company a high-tech and a low-tech angle, meaning you can do sci-fi pieces and gritty-street level stuff as well. Linking him to casinos seemed a natural. Placing him in Albuquerque was largely a random selection, as he’s listed as being from “near Hartsdale, N.M.”
SANTA FE (Firebird)
The one-time Avenger known as Firebird makes her home in Sante Fe. There, she serves as a typical hero, protecting the populace and its assets from trouble and crime. However, aside from her loyalties to Sante Fe, Firebird also works for America’s Catholic Church, and often works for the church’s interests in America and abroad. In particular, she’s used to thwart terrorist activities, “Satanism” that hides in the church and the apprehension of known super-human Catholics that are engaging in criminal activities.
Notes: I really respect religious characters that aren’t made out to look like morons. Firebird is a prime example of respectfully treating a character with religion as it is far more important to her than being a superhero. With that in mind, I wanted to stress her religion, but maybe “Vatican Secret Agent” is a little over the top.
NAVAJO NATION (The Black Crow)
The Black Crow serves as another powerful protector of American Indian affairs. Operating out of the multi-state Navajo Nation reservation, the Black Crow spends much of his time battling simple street crime among his people. However, Black Crow is also an expert in American Indian religion and mysticism and is often pulled into more occult activities. In fact, he is often consulted by occult experts such as Dr. Strange and Dr. Druid, which in turn draws him out into the rest of the country.
Notes: Poor Black Crow, he probably has less than a dozen appearances. That’s too bad, because he’s a very cool looking character with an equally cool concept. Since Marvel (and DC) love their American Indian characters so much, I figured I’d make him protector of the Navajo Nation, the biggest reservation in America. From the success Vertigo’s Scalped has seen, I can imagine a gritty, yet magic-laden comic about the MU’s Indian population might be well-recieved.
CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK (Batwing)
Serving as the unofficial protector of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Batwing spends much of his time deep in the earth. Batwing has a bat-like look, complete with pointy ears, wings and near-black skin, and while hideous to many he’s well-respected as knowledgeable, friendly and a fierce fighter. The human mutate is a relative unknown among the superhuman community, but slowly his reputation is building as the go-to guy for cave exploration and subterranean search-and-rescue. While mostly undocumented, Batwing has quelled several near-invasions by Mole Man and other hereto unknown subterranean threats. Batwing also works throughout the U.S. exploring areas inaccessible by typical spelunkers.
Notes: I picture Batwing as Marvel Universe version of Cave Carson. At the same time, his freaky appearance would make for a great addition to a monster book. Give him a girlfriend and a trusty sidekick, and you could even turn a Batwing book into a Hollow Earth sword-and-sorcery tale. Batwing first appeared in Untold Tales of Spider-Man. I can also picture him traveling to places like Mammoth Caverns and uncovering lost civilizations and such.
SOUTHWESTERN BORDERS (Annex)
Located on a secret base in Southern New Mexico, the U.S. super soldier named Annex works for the government as its man in Central and South America. Using his morphing technology, he’s often called upon to help with clandestine operations, whether it’s assisting in the extraction of operatives, rescuing kidnap victims or tracking down criminals who’ve fled the country. His New Mexico base is completely black ops, and he has little contact with any official government workers. Instead, he gets a stipend and an occasional mission. This leaves him with a great deal of free time, most of which is spent wandering the Southwest, stirring up trouble by picking fights and stirring up trouble. Officially a rogue agent, Annex fosters that image quite well while off-missi
on, but when he’s called to duty, he’s all business.
Notes: Annex first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 27 from 1993 and was pretty much immediately forgotten. I figure warping him into a black-ops agent isn’t a big stretch.
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