SEATTLE (Nighthawk, The Defenders, Cadaver)
Multimillionaire Kyle Richmond made his fortune in the avation business, but his expertise in engineering didn’t help him when his own foolishness resulted in the death of his girlfriend. Wracked with grief, he vowed to turn his life around and fueled his efforts into becoming a superhero. First, he researched some ancient texts and brewed a potion that gave him superpowers, but only at night. Then he built himself a special exoskeleton that gave him the ability to fly. With this set of abilities, he combats crime in Seattle. Despite his money and powers, Nighthawk never garnered much respect among the superheroic community, and even allowed himself to blackmailed into working as a supervillain for a short time. Eventually though, he hitched his reputation and heroing career to The Defenders, an unlikely superteam that consisted of Dr. Strange, the Sub-Mariner, the Hulk and the Silver Surfer.
Notes: I set Nighthawk in Washington to make a connection between him and Bill Gates. In the Marvel Universe, think of him as just that, an ultra-rich smartguy who only makes the news when he gets richer. Unlike Tony Stark, Richmond doesn’t get much coverage by the paparazzi. Instead, he gets interviewed in Wired. And because he’s so rich, he has all he needs to make himself into a superhero. In my version, Nighthawk would keep his secret identity completely under wraps.
Upon being accepted as a member of the team, Nighthawk worked incessantly to better organize the team and soon the four original members left the team. Nighthawk moved the team to Seattle where he outfitted it and organized it. The team’s current core membership is Nighthawk, Hellstorm, Valkyrie, Gargoyle, Cloud, Moondragon, Cadaver and Hellcat, although only Cloud resides permanently in the team headquarters. The group meets on a twice-a-month basis and specifically addresses threats to the region with a strong focus on quelling subersive groups (such as the Secret Empire, Watchdogs and AIM) and tackling mystical threats to the world.
Notes: Though the Defenders were originally a non-team, Nighthawk wasn’t interested in letting it stay that way for long. He took control, poured millions into the operation and now tasks himself with monitoring the “militia builders.” By giving them an official homebase, Nighthawk really cemented the team as the Northwest’s super group. This works really well, as that region has never had much before. Since it has a strong mystical bent to it, the group naturally helps out with those sorts of problems.
Possessing the ability to retrieve the fabled Sword of Bone, the young man known as Cadaver resides in Seattle and works with Nighthawk to keep superhuman threats to the city in check. Truth be told, Cadaver is a rotten superhero, as he picks just as many fights as he saves the city. Still, Nighthawk is slowly working to build Cadaver’s sense of morality and Richmond would much rather have Cadaver on his side rather than work against him.
Notes: Cadaver is one of those guys I dug up by scouring the Marvel Universe wiki. Though he’s morally ambigous, he’d still make a great superhero. And I don’t mean casting him as an anti-hero either. Instead I seem him as a comedic hero. He’s always trying to do the right thing, though his heart just isn’t in it. His lack of excitement for being the good guy means that he only does things half-assed at best, and his “heroing” efforts have a lot of unintended consequences.
Damian Hellstrom, also known as Hellstorm and even the Son of Satan, resides in Tacoma where he studies the mystic arts, demonology and other arcane lore. Hardly a “man of the people,” few residents of Tacoma are even aware of his presence in the city. Sure, he might tackle local problems every once in a while, but he’s not the type to advertise his work. Instead, he just works behind the scenes, particularly with the Defenders, where he hardly ever operates in the field. Instead, he gathers data for the team and offers advice on supernatural threats.
Notes: Boy, talk about a character that makes you squirm. Yep, he’s the son of the Devil, and, yep, he’s fought side-by-side with Spider-Man and Captain America. How in the world is he a hero? Well, by the 1990s, writers were asking exactly that question and they transformed him from a bare-chested nice-guy to a scheming jerk with questionable morals just like DC’s John Constantine. And surprisingly, this actually worked. The Son of Satan should be a jerk, even if he’s got honorable intentions, people should always wonder just who’s side he’s on. Sure he’s morphed into a carbon-copy of Hellblazer, but that’s really the only way someone like this can exist.
Dropping Hellstrom into Tacoma separates him from Doctor Strange and several other magic-users that pepper the U.S. Also, Tacoma is out of the way enough to keep him out of the limelight of any super-heroey activities. Instead, he just slinks around his little burg and does what he needs to do.
SPOKANE (Alyssa Moy)
A long time rival of Reed Richards, super-genius Alyssa Moy runs multiple companies out of the Spokane area, including research firms that tackle a number of sciences and production facilities to mass produce her greatest inventions and discoveries. An expert in robotics, dimensional physics and DNA manipulation, Moy uses inventions in these areas to keep Spokane nearly completely free of superhuman activity.
Notes: Once again, I’m copying the Bill Gates mode here AND the “out of sight, out of mind” theory. Alyssa Moy keeps her city clear of any supers so she can secretly work on her own projects. If she can keep the Fantastic Four and the Defenders away, she’s got free reign to build her own arsenal against them.
VANCOUVER (Adam Warlock)
Sitting on the border of Oregon, the city of Vancouver, Washington, is the U.S. home of Adam Warlock, the celestial savior. At one time, Warlock spent nearly all his time in Vancouver, but events involving the Infinity Gauntlet and the Infinity Gems forced him to mostly relocate to Monster Island, an island in the Pacific Ocean. Still, Warlock is occasionally seen in the area and maintains a secluded, yet humble, residence there.
Notes: If you read some of his 1970s appearances, Warlock seemed to exist in a vacuum. He was on his own for most of his adventures, and tucking him into Washington makes sense. I don’t mean to make it sound like Washington is a no-man’s land or something, but placing him there just makes sense. His more recent appearances in the 1990s certainly pulls the image together for me — with his message of peace, love and what not. Likewise, the vast forests of Washington and Oregon give him plenty of wandering space to demonstrate his disconnect from humanity.