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As one of the great Metropolitan areas of the United States, Manhattan is no stranger to bizarre activity involving super-powered individuals, great advances in science and threats of the supernatural. One of the earliest examples of which took place in 1933 when the Empire State Building became

Manhattan is one of the five Boroughs of New York City.


As one of the great Metropolitan areas of the United States, Manhattan is no stranger to bizarre activity involving super-powered individuals, great advances in science and threats of the supernatural. One of the earliest examples of which took place in 1933 when the Empire State Building became the target of a giant-sized gorilla of unknown origin. Bi-Planes succeed in shooting the creature down and its body was remanded to the care of Professor Mazursky of Project M.[1]

At a time when radio personality Orson Welles was creating inadvertent chaos throughout the streets of New York with his broadcast of War of the Worlds, media magnate Lee Travis began donning a cape and fedora and became known as the Crimson Avenger. Travis is one of the earliest examples of a masked "mystery man" operating in the 20th century. He was often accompanied by his chauffer and sidekick Wing How. Travis was not the only driven man to don a bizarre costume and set forth on wild adventures. In 1938, playboy Wesley Dodds donned a gas mask and began terrorizing the criminal underworld as the Sandman. Within short order, other heroes began to emerge like Rex Tyler the Hourman and the blind physician Doctor Mid-Nite. These men, along with those from other cities banded together in 1941 as the Justice Society of America. Originally, the Justice Society operated out of an anonymous hotel room, but soon relocated into their own brownstone headquarters.

At the end of 1941, America entered the second World War. The Justice Society was renamed the Justice Battalion and worked hand-in-hand with the greater wartime unit the All-Star Squadron. Although the Squadron was based out of Flushing Meadows in Queens, many of their adventures took place in Manhattan.

In 1943, a British turncoat named Death Mayhew attempted to destroy the city of Manhattan with an atomic weapon. New York was but minutes away from suffering a nuclear holocaust but for the timely effort of Polish fighter pilot Janos Prohaska. Prohaska was better known as the squadron leader of the international Blackhawk Squadron.[2]

During the 1960s, a group of ambitious young men banded together as a pastiche of the Justice Society, calling themselves the Justice Experience. Among their number was Walter Chase, the Acro-Bat and the Martian J'onn J'onz who had operated under the name the Bronze Wraith. The career of the Justice Experience was short-lived however and the group disbanded after only a few missions.

Decades later, a new age of heroes began to emerge and American cities saw the likes of super-powered individuals such as Metropolis' Superman and Coast City's Green Lantern. Only a few short years later, the protégés of these seasoned heroes banded together to form the Teen Titans. Originally based out of Gotham County, the Titans later re-established themselves on their own island in the East River. A headquarters was built on the island and these "new" Teen Titans operated out of their Titans Tower for several years.

Also illuminating the Manhattan skyline was the super-hero known as Firestorm. Firestorm was a gestalt being comprised of the fused physical forms of scientist Martin Stein and high school student Ronnie Raymond. As Firestorm, he protected Manhattan from threats such as Multiplex, the Hyena and Typhoon. He was occasionally assisted by his lover Lorraine Reilly who had become the nuclear-powered heroine Firehawk. Firehawk divided her time between Manhattan and Washington, D.C.

Years later, the Justice League of America regrouped under an international charter and established an embassy in New York City. At this time, the team consisted of Batman, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire, Guy Gardner, Ice, the Martian Manhunter and Mister Miracle.[3] Other members included Captain Atom and Rocket Red, though they soon relocated to Paris as part of the teams European branch.

Following the events of "Emerald Twilight", neophyte Green Lantern Kyle Rayner moved from Los Angeles to Greenwich Village in Manhattan. He took up residence in an apartment above a coffee shop owned by Radu Stancu. During his years working in the city, Kyle worked closely with two super-powered love interests. The first was Donna Troy, former Darkstar and Titan. The second was the former Infinity Inc. member known as Jade. Although Kyle was the most visible Green Lantern working in the city at this time, he was not the only hero with connections to that particular legacy. Former ring-bearer Guy Gardner established a trendy theme restaurant in Manhattan known as "Warriors".

The Justice Society of America came out of a retirement for a second time and re-established themselves in New York City (the previous incarnation was based out of Gotham City). They converted the family estate of their late teammate Wes Dodds into the Justice Society Museum, which also doubled as the team's headquarters.[4] This incarnation of the JSA reunited veteran members such as Sentinel, the Flash and Wildcat, but also took in new heroes to uphold the legacy of the JSA such as the new Doctor Mid-Nite, Star-Spangled Kid, Starman and Hourman. Though the team went through several roster changes over the years, they remained at the JSA museum until its destruction at the hands of the Gentlemen Ghost. After which, they located to a new brownstone in Battery Park.

During the Sinestro Corps War, Manhattan was one of several major American cities targeted by the Sinestro Corps. Superman engaged in a protracted battle with his other-dimensional counterpart Superman-Prime which caused massive city-wide damage.

Some time later, the Ultra-Humanite attacked New York in order to capture Power Girl. His plan involved blackmailing her so that he could transplant his brain into her body. To that end, the Humanite harnessed massive telekinetic power and literally uprooted the entire island of Manhattan. Power Girl used a combination of super-speed and heat vision to sever the tow cables keeping the city aloft while Terra formed the earth below into a giant catcher's mitt, fielding the displaced city and re-rooting to its proper geological position with minimal casualties.[5][6]

Other Realities

Earth-One: Although much of Manhattan's Earth-One history is preserved in Post-Crisis continuity, there are some events that are now considered apocryphal. One of the major differences is the notable lack of "Mystery Men" during the World War II era. In the 1930s, there were a few "pulp era" adventurers such as Doc Savage and the Shadow, but there was never a Justice Society of America or an All-Star Squadron. On Earth-One, super-hero teams such as the Justice League of America and the Teen Titans began their respective careers several decades earlier than their Post-Crisis counterparts. One of the major Earth-One events to take place in Manhattan was the Earth/Mars War. The Earth/Mars War involved the return of the Martian Manhunter whose ship crash-landed in the East River, and the subsequent battle between the Justice League of America and the Martian forces under the command of the Marshal took place in Midtown Manhattan near the United Nations Building. Manhattan was also the base of operations for the Pre-Crisis version of Wonder Woman.

Earth-Two: In the Golden Age, Batman was based out of New York City (possibly Manhattan) prior to the establishment of Gotham City.

Earth-AD: In the parallel reality known as Earth-AD, Manhattan was one of the territories patrolled by the Global Peace Agency. After the coming of the Great Disaster, Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs of New York were destroyed. The ruins of Manhattan became part of the Tiger Empire.

Wildstorm Universe: In the Wildstorm Universe, the covert action team known as the WildC.A.T.s were based out of Manhattan. They headquartered themselves at the corporate office of Halo, Inc. owned and operated by team administrator Jacob Marlowe.

Points of Interest

Midtown Manhattan

Midtown is an area of Manhattan, New York City home to world-famous commercial buildings as Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and the Empire State Building. Midtown, along with "Uptown" and "Downtown", is one of the three major subdivisions of Manhattan. Midtown Manhattan is indisputably the busiest single commercial district in the United States, and among the most intensely and diversely used pieces of real estate in the world. The great majority of New York City's skyscrapers, including its tallest hotels and apartment towers, lie within Midtown.

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City between Central Park and the East River. Embedded within the Upper East Side are the neighborhoods of Yorkville, centered on 86th Street and Third Avenue, and Carnegie Hill, centered on 91st Street and Park Avenue and Lenox Hill centered on 69th Street and 1st Avenue.

Upper West Side

The Upper West Side is a neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River above West 59th Street. Like the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side is primarily a residential and shopping area, with many of its residents working in more commercial areas in Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

Bodies of Water

East River
The East River connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates Long Island, including the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, from the island of Manhattan and the Bronx on the North American mainland. Titans Island is located just off the East River. A special raft is in place to ferry visitors back and forth from the island to he mainland.
New York Bay
New York Bay is a body of water located at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York City.





See Also

Links and References