Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Silver Age

By the mid to late 1960s paranoia against Superheroes gave way to a new resurgence of costumed heroism, aided by fantastic leaps forward in science and experimentation of a super powered counter culture. While Freedom City and other East Coast locales saw a huge upswing in the  superhuman population, Emerald City remained fairly untouched by the Silver Age of Superheroes. The only superhumans active in Emerald City at the time were a number of counterculture notables collectively coined the Fascinating Folkheroes by the local newsppaper, The Courier Express. The F.F., as they were more commonly known, did not fight crime or dress in traditional costumes. Instead the majority of them lectured, peacefully protested, supported local bands and responded to weird events that signified superhuman activity in Emerald City in the sixties and seventies. The Fascinating Folkheroes didn’t even consider themselves to be a team, rather a free collective of like minded intellectuals drawn to freakish happenstance in all forms. During their time the F.F. defended Emerald City from attacks by giant monsters, extra dimensional invaders, the god Ardhanarishvara and a particularly mutative form of brown acid. The Folkheroes’ membership included:

DR. SPECTRE II (Karlton Kovack): Son of the original Golden Age hero and gifted with similar abilities, the Silver Age Dr. Spectre was also an accomplished magician and dimensional traveler. Dr. Spectre investigated crimes with unlikely causes, particularly those that law enforcement refused to follow up on. It is believed that he died banishing the god Ardhanarishvara from Magic Hill Amusement Park.

MISTER NORMAL (Bob Normal): A mystic guru known for his aphorisms on the evils of the modern world and the salvation to be found in supernatural living. Having renounced the material world Mr. Normal lived off anything he could get in exchange for his words of wisdom. Mr. Normal’s career, if you could call it that, ended in controversy over a porn film shot in 1974 called Down in Flames that he starred in with the Fairly Fur-covered Freaks. His whereabouts today remain unknown.

THE EXPANDED MAN (Paul Bunyon): Nearly a hundred years since his legendary adventures as the Giant Lumberjack, Paul Bunyon returned to Emerald City with a new persona, a size shifting war protestor called the Expanded Man. Bunyon stood out among the Folkheroes in his choice of spandex costume but his attitude was clearly counter culture. Expanded Man was at the center of drug experimentation on the West Coast, attracting rock musicians, hippies and alternative chemists to Emerald City in droves. He even occasionally fought crime, including apprehending the notorious masked villainess Madame Joy who had been active along the West Coast since the 1940s. Eventually he was implicated in a domestic terrorist bombing and disappeared again before being apprehended by the federal authorities.

PACK RAT (Benjie Carver): A teenage urban explorer known for popularizing the Undercity beneath the normal sunlight streets of Emerald City. For years Pack Rat and his gang of meddling kids disrupted weird goings on inside of the maze of subterranean structures. It is believed he is still down there today.

DRAGONEYE (Larry Chin): A little known Chinese immigrant hero who spent much of the 1970s working against the Golden Dragon Society crime syndicate. By modern day Larry has died and his mystic dragon infused abilities have transferred into his child, the new Dragoneye.

• THE STEPDAUGHTER OF SATAN (Lily Ether): A teenager who waged a secret war against the shadows of Emerald City for decades. Eventually she would fund her nocturnal mission by hosting horror movies as the overtly sexualized Madame Macabre, an alias we would eventually adopt in her battle against the Devil. She hasn’t aged since the early seventies, retaining her youthful beauty to this day.

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