In the height of the early '90s speculator craze, Dark Horse Comics created a line called "Comic's Greatest World" (a play on DC's World's Greatest Comic, the line was later retitled "Dark Horse Heroes.") Among the titles were "Monster," "Barb Wire," "X" and "Ghost." Though "Barb Wire" became a Pam Anderson vehicle (but we'll try not to hold that against it), the book saw cancellation with the rest of the line, soon followed about a year later by the very good "X" by Steven Grant. "Ghost" was (ironically considering the name) the last survivor of this reality.
"Comic's Greatest World" was mainly set in a slightly skewed version of America, and the titles were centred round four different locations in that United States: Arcadia, Steel Harbor, Cinnibar Flats and Golden City.
Arcadia is run by an unholy alliance of corrupt politicians, organized crime and corporate robber barons. Their control is absolute and omnipresent. Almost everyone from the police to the local media are bought and sold by this dark "Board of Directors."
But mysterious figures prowl the dark waterfronts and Art Deco canyons of Arcadia, preying on the wicked. Hunted by the police and organized crime, these outcast heroes are a vigilante law unto themselves; agents of chaos in a well-ordered yet nonetheless corrupt society.
In Arcadia true heroism is about the individual fighting back against institutional corruption, social indifference and moral decline. This is a world of shadow, danger and bloody retribution. Among the heroes located in Arcadia are X, Ghost, and Monster.
Welcome to the American nightmare. A sprawling, polluted, waste of a city, Steel Harbor has miles after miles of bombed-out, crumbling warehouses, abandoned factories and dingy storefronts surrounded by an infinite sprawl of cracker-box tract homes. A cluster of boxy skyscrapers lies surrounded by ghettos and barrios. Bars cover windows and chain-link fences topped with razor wire encircle homes and prisons alike.
Steel Harbor is a post-industrial nightmare where anyone who is willing to fight the war on the streets is welcomed. It is a city under siege from drugs, crime, pollution and gang warfare.
Here rival gangs led by superpowered thugs, vie for turf. Bounty Hunters patrol the streets and alleys. Those hardy few who are willing to fight to win back the streets are eagerly welcomed and desperately needed.
Barb Wire, the Machine, Motorhead, and Wolf Gang are some of the heroes who have made Steel Harbor their home
Cinnibar Flats is home to an alien entity known as the Vortex. Vortex created a device to try to help the Earth fight a coming enemy called the Reaver Swarm. This device was located in an installation manned by robots in Cinnibar Flats.
In 1947, an electromagnetic pulse disrupted Vortex's first test of the device, the machine exploded creating an interdimensional distortion known as the Vortex. The alien scientist, Vortex, was sucked into the distortion. The military soon became aware of the distortion, and locked it down as a top secret, high security, installation. Many men and women were transformed by the distortions energies, creating useful super powers in some, and horribly disfiguring others.
Decades later, the Seekers, aliens from the Swarm, came to Earth and drew Vortex from the distortion. Ever since then, Vortex has battled the coming swarm, and has retaken his base and erected a force field around it.
Cinnibar Flats is the home to the Vortex, Division 13, Hero Zero, and many other heroes and mutates.
Golden City is a small californian town that has been under the protection and guidance of Grace. It is a Utopia transformed by Grace's extraordinary vision. No crime, no poverty, no pollution. It is an exclusive community. Golden City is the best of humanity personified; home to the gods.
But there is trouble in this paradise: dreamers, the homeless and the dying see Golden City as their personal panacea. Outside the city gates lies an increasingly restless population of people wanting to enter the Golden City and partake of its dream. They have formed a squaters tent city. To combat this influx, Golden City has barricaded itself from the rest of the world.
A continent away, the United States government views the growing power of these modern gods with fear and suspicion. And among the city's elite there is a growing disenchantment with the status quo. The revolution is just awaiting a catalyst.
Recently, Golden City has become a Sovereign City-State. It has seceded from the U.S. under Grace's and Catalyst: Agents of Change guidance and protection
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