The old multiverse of superheroes was destroyed, and the amalgam kingdom of the false god that followed it has also been replaced. This new universe renews itself eternally, just as superhero comics themselves do: though the larger structure of the events of the world remain consistent each time, the details of history and characters are redone, reset, and rebooted on a regular cycle.
In this world, you exist. In this world of superheroes, you are a superhero (or someone like them). Below details the optional contents of the world (the who, what, and where), followed by the events of the world (the when).
The World and the People, Places and Things in It:
You are a superhero, and the details of this story are yours. You might be like one of the other characters described below, or have a different backstory and superpower. Don’t worry if the version you’re imagining now isn’t to your liking: just like many superhero comics, this universe’s timeline and continuity are rebooted every 12 years, so you’ll automatically get the chance to write it all over again.
Star-Man is a human-like alien that lives among the humans of Earth, and is the world’s first superhero.
Leading and training a network of vigilantes lacking superpowers is Red Spider, head of the Spider’s Web network of crime-fighters and their side-kicks, who typically fight non-powered though often insane super-criminals endemic in the city of Sparta. They also sometimes work alongside master archer Trick-Shot and martial arts master Tie Shan.
Bodhisattva and Dharmapala use their powers as traveling supernatural heroes for China, India and wider Asia.
The Guardian Alliance is an ad-hoc team roster that includes nearly any recognized and registered hero.
The Teen Force is a junior division of the Guardian Alliance that coordinates side-kicks and heroes-in-training that are under the age of majority, usually ages 13-17.
Watch-Team 5 is a (usually) five-person team of superheroes trained to coordinate missions together.
The Quartermain family is a quartet of superheroes that goes on exploration missions to catalog strange parts of the world and space, battling supervillains along the way.
The Crime League is an ad-hoc team roster that coordinates supervillains, usually in opposition to the Guardian Alliance.
Lord Iron, with mastery of technology as well as powers over metal, schemes to place himself as a world leader of growing power. Other mad scientists also fight to dominate the world through one branch of technology or another.
The Speedster is a superhero whose power is super-speed (and all the extra necessary powers that go with it).
Each country that is able to appoints a super-soldier that leads their country as a national symbol: Major Washington, Major Beijing, and Major London are some of the most significant actors.
Humanity has moon colonies (in addition to native lunarian city-states), and has made explorations of Mars. The galaxy is home to many extraterrestrial races: the human-like telekinetic platinians and destroyed home-world refugee rhenians, and the alien system-ruling post-singularity A.I. (SAIs), four-armed spell-casting gelp, and the shape-changing reptilians. The Space Enforcers are a centralized interstellar police force that allocate representative officers to each civilized planet, at a rate of 1 per billion inhabitants, equipped with unmatched and shape-able nano-tech constructs.
Many people have innate psychic powers, making them psychics, that lets them read and influence minds, use ESP, or move objects through telekinesis (almost always skilled in manipulating one focused substance, like iron, wood, or stone, over all others). A school for psychics exists, under the guidance of the acclaimed psychic principal Headmaster.
Animal totem Champions (particularly Champions Monkey, Eagle, Lion, Ant, and Human) are superhumans whose animal-like powers come from a bond to a totem animal spirit. They often battle against the Twelve Serpents, a reptile-themed terrorist group bent on world domination.
Doctor Dimension discovered a new branch of super-science that allows them to shrink to insect-like size or grow to colossal stature.
The Arch-Mage, trained in wizardry and the lore of dozens of supernatural treasures, battles rival mages, immortals, vampires, spirits, and demons to protect non-magical humanity.
In Japan, China and Korea, giant robot pilots fight daikaiju. The fortified Chinese stronghold of Xindijing was built to withstand any daikaiju or superhuman attack.
As the USA leads North America, the UK and Russia lead Europe, and China, Japan, and India lead Asia, Swazaiba leads the African continent as a preeminent superpower; it has tenuous relations with Ape City, home to a civilization of intelligent apes.
Atlantis is an underwater kingdom ruled by a magical aristocracy of merfolk and aquatic humanoids. They have their own oceanic animal totem Champions: the Emperor and Empress of the Oceans are Champions Fish, while other denizens are Champions Dolphin, Crab, Octopus, and Shark.
Punch-guns are used as a non-lethal energy-based firearm, and powered armor, invented, regularly improved, and used by Armor-Master, are otherwise bullet-proof.
Some heroes develop “energy powers” to shoot beams of concussive energy and craft weapons (blades, explosives, etc.) from solidified energy.
Despite being a superhero universe, the ability to fly is extremely rare: less than 1% of people with powers have flight as a power. Instead, people use flying cars or other technological means (though some cheat by having powers that are almost like flight through gravity manipulation, telekinetic force, or energy projection).
When people die, the do not come back: resurrection is impossible. Instead, the death of a hero (or villain) sometimes leads a successor to uphold the legacy. Even to exalted theurges and magically-empowered sages of all things spiritual, existential questions about death, the afterlife, and theological answers about God(s) are not empirically concrete, remain ambiguous, and are left to faith. (Unless you really want a world of resurrections, ghosts, and gods.)
To determine the current calendar year for this world, take the year in which you, the reader of this text, were the age you imagine starting your superhero career (many superheroes start around ages 16, 21, or 30 years old, but you may have started younger or older). Subtract that year from the current year when you are reading this today. Add 1 to the difference. If the difference after adding 1 is less than 13, then this universe is currently in that year. If the difference after adding 1 is more than 12, divide the number by 12, and the current year for this universe is the remainder of that division.
By differing accounts of otherworldly multiverse scholars, this universe has already reset itself at least 3 times, roughly 6-10 times, or even as many as 340 times stretching back to antiquity and Gilgamesh, depending on who you ask.
The First Year
Early in spring the first superhero, Star-Man, appears, fighting injustice with his super-strength and other superpowers; non-powered Red Spider and magical duo Bodhisattva and Dharmapala also debut. You also awaken your superpowers, masquerading as a moralistic crime-fighter with a secret identity. Mostly you fight street criminals and similar non-powered foes within your home town, dispatching them with only modest difficulty. You adjust to a life that includes added hours patrolling for crime, and you reduce crime in your city.
The Second Year
Urban legend of a superhero fighting bad guys begins to spread, and notoriety of your superhero alter ego increases. You have a run-in with the police and authorities, being labeled as a vigilante, but one friendly allied cop keeps you from getting arrested. You also adopt a side-kick, a younger vigilante apprentice, to help you fight crime. In addition to aliens, monsters, and robots, mad scientists like Lord Iron also threaten peace. Contact between Atlantis and the surface world.
The Third Year
The number of people with superpowers starts increasing (including scientist replacements of previously lost heroes, and the emergence of varied psychics), meaning you are far from the only superhero; supervillains also emerge, having powers of their own. You accidentally battle other heroes on your first meeting sometimes, often before teaming up to defeat an actual supervillain. As superhumans become more common, agreements with the authorities have you stay out of police business and instead deal only with supervillains. Formation of the Trinity. Powered armor and super-soldiers debut. Contact with the Space Enforcer Corps, and the induction of Earth’s first officer.
The Fourth Year
Your developing powers are now mostly at full strength; you have gotten very experienced using them. Many superheroes, including yourself, have a rogues gallery: your own dozen or so foes that you regularly fight over the following years. Emergence of powerful supervillains prompts a superhero team-up, and by summer the Guardian Alliance of superheroes is established. Some of your silliest adventures take place, often with fabulous and temporary power-ups. The Quartermain family begins their adventures, making contact with the African state of Swazaiba. World-wide morale is high, as superheroes apply their powers to solving people’s problems and bring prosperity across the Earth and space.
The Fifth Year
As their prevalence becomes public knowledge, governments and police continue to work with superheroes to keep battles with villains limited to conflicts between superhumans and not to involve civilians. A school and training center for superhumans emerges. You begin grappling with more difficult problems than punching crooks and stopping bank robberies: drug abuse, religious topics, social inequality, and the state of your personal relationships, among others. Creation of the Teen Force and Watch Team 5, increasing the number of active heroes.
The Sixth Year
U.S. Guardian Alliance membership becomes more ethnically diverse and multinational as the roster of active members shifts. Anti-superhero sentiment and corrupt practices enter political institutions. Watchmen robots deployed by the American government to keep superhumans in check by hunting those with powers, resulting in both the capture of less-savvy villains and the needless arrest of many heroes; you have a run-in with these Watchmen robots at least once. Formation of the Crime League. Like many other heroes at this time, you become trained in increasingly popular martial arts.
The Seventh Year
The number of superhumans on Earth increases from dozens and a few hundred; there are countless thousands across outer space as well. Super-science and advanced technology become less rare. Politicians, representing non-powered civilians, push for oversight of and control over superheroes; when a natural disaster strikes your home city in autumn, these factors hinder the recovery. You become involved with the violent murders of supervillains as performed by neurotic anti-heroes, some of whose issues rub of on you. Powered armor scaled up into mecha are used to battle emergent daikaiju.
The Eighth Year
United Nations charters Guardian Alliance International (G.A.I.) to oversee the coordination of superheroes worldwide, leading you on adventures in other countries. You participate in conflicts between superheroes and coordinated teams of supervillains that lead to mass casualties; some G.A.I. members begin using lethal force against more and more villains. A few highly-visible anti-heroes obsessed with sex and violence begin to ruin superheroes’ collective reputations in public opinion. Tensions between superheroes and government oversight rises. You become friends with Jenny Everywhere.
The Ninth Year
International legislation requires the registering and government oversight of any person with superhuman powers; you are forced to either register and report for work or to do your heroics illegally and risk arrest. Many of the newer heroes coming into the Guardian Alliance are former fans that followed in their footsteps, creating a largely all-new roster and changing the way things are done. As a result, more heroes take a stance of striving towards traditional heroics (philanthropy, social improvement and morals) in opposition to anti-hero violence in attempts to regain public support. More frequently threats to the world require combined actions of more and more unrelated heroes teaming up together.
The Tenth Year
Superpowers, once possessed by accident, acquisition or heritage, become more commonly reproduced (more widespread education in magic, reduced manufacturing costs of powered armor, production of retroviral serums to grant genetic abilities, etc.); supervillains become much more common. Either because they are killed in battle or due to retirement, many superheroes are replaced with new members that take up their legacy. In winter you suffer a major defeat as a superhero: large numbers of civilian and superhero casualties result from a battle against major supervillains that you participated in.
The Eleventh Year
Battles between superhumans ravages the Earth and near space with strife, war, conquest, imperialism, plague, and famine; world-wide morale drops with declining populations of both superheroes and civilians. Superhuman teams and nations begin drawing battle-lines against each other, in some cases imposing martial law within the countries under their dominion; you are forced to pick a side, weighing your sense of duty to protect your family, friends and home. One supervillain emerges with the power to permanently take other’s powers for themselves, quickly becoming more mentally unstable and nigh-unstoppable in their quest for world domination.
The Twelfth and Last Year
Battle among the remaining superhumans results in the major countries of Earth becoming ruined and unlivable, and the deaths of billions of people, with or without powers. You survive the unwinnable fight injured but still conscious enough to witness the end of the world. Just as damaged reality itself unravels, the World Serpent activates the octahedron at the center of the Earth, completely rewinding the last twelve years of time to restart the universe over; Canon hands off the previous era’s continuity to Apocrypha’s ever growing collection of realities.
(To continue reading, go back to The First Year, above.)
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