Bonds of Steel: Background

         Lakefront City is a fictional metropolis located in an unspecified state on the western shore of Lake Michigan. It sort of a cross between Milwaukee, Chicago, and Detroit -- like Metropolis or Gotham are to New York. Superheroes are a bit like in the comics. A few supers showed up around WWII in a "Golden Age", like Minuteman and Speedstress. They started appearing again in the "Silver Age" starting in the late sixties, and then exploded in the seventies with much more power. Powerful new heroes like Dragon Knight and Ultrawoman appeared -- usually gaining their earthshaking powers in spectacular accidents, like being bitten by a chemically-mutated octopus or being in a meteor strike.

         In the eighties, dark heroes like Manticore became more prominent as well as villains more disturbed than evil. The eighties was also the age of superhero teams. Lakefront City even had it's own super-team: the Freedom Squad. Founded by Volt and Powerhouse, they were joined by skyborn champion Raven Hawk, the street vigilante Mr. Steel, the enigmatic Portal, the trickster Spinneret, and lastly by the fiery Avenger Blaze. Together they cleaned up the city.

         In the nineties, the heroes had begun to hit reality. Growing older and with their personal lives too often exposed, many superheroes cashed out to join with corporations who would pay them well and guard their privacy. Lakefront City's Freedom Squad broke up to pursue individual goals. The new SuperCorps (as they are known) appeared. Highly conscious of public relations, the SuperCorps do a lot of pro bono work, but still draw criticisms of abuse. Volt and Powerhouse had originally founded Paragon Industries PLC to do good work, but they split over how to market inventions like bio-adaptive clothing and power joints.

         Today, Lakefront City is still well-patroled by superheroes (corporate and independent). However, the new breed of criminals has learned how to avoid the costumed crimefighters. There are fewer fights in the streets, but the underground fights can be savage. It's rumored that Sacred Ghost terrorists may have a cell in the region, but nothing has been confirmed.