In the 20th century, the then Green Lantern of sector 2814—Alan Scott
—became the center of a plot by a shadow organization to make the “metahuman conflict” seen as a threat to the then President of the United States, Richard Nixon. The shadow organization was headed up by Adrian Veidt
as he led along several high profile heroes (Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Albert Pratt, Rex Tyler, Ted Grant, Lee Travis, Gregory Sanders, Ted Knight, Ted Kord and Terrence Sloane
) through acts of subtlety to form a organized effort that the government would deem threatening for years. The shadow organization succeeded when the heroes formed the Justice Society
due to shadow society-funded supervillains working together. A detective named Walter Kovacs
began to connect the dots by the nineteen eighties but by then it was too late and the United States Government became aware of the conflict of interests as the Justice Society operated outside of the law (despite having the full support of the people). Kovacs deduced the shadow organization which he dubbed “Checkmate”
was already in stage two of their plan. The details from there become riddled in cover-ups and fades as the Justice Society disbanded in 1987 for their benefit. Many JSA members went into retirement, but Kovacs wouldn’t rest until he knew the truth. “Checkmate” had succeeded in their plan to make the government aware and cautious of superheroes - eventually founding S.H.A.D.E
, the D.M.A
, as well as Project: Cadmus
while the heroes of old sacrificed their coalition. Things got worse from there when the then president of the United States, George H. W. Bush, signed a bill (The Dickerson Act) sent from Congress to “outlaw superhero vigilantism”.
The truth was that Veidt and his organization plan wasn’t to remove superheroes and vigilantes from the public eye but actually to appropriately set up counter-measures for when they went rogue or against government mandates. However, the damage was done. But Kovacs wouldn’t quit and he continued to operate to pick apart the truth; moving his investigation of “Checkmate”. He grouped together with like-minded characters such as ex-JSA member Edward Blake
; a self-proclaimed genius, Adrian Veidt
; a son of a banker who had superhero envy, Daniel Dreiberg
; a brilliant scientist, Jonathan Osterman
; and the offspring of an ex-JSA member, Laurel Juspeczyk
. Together they formed a group to peel apart the anti-superhero agenda and the political machine that ultimately had created a dark age in the history of vigilantes and metahuman’s alike. They called this group The Watchmen.
At the end of it Veidt admitted to Kovacs of his position as a member of “Checkmate” and told him of how this was how the world had to be; give and take. Kovacs threatened to expose the truth and is confronted by the rest of the Watchmen; realizing that Veidt had "convinced" everyone else he tells them that they'd have to kill him to stop him from revealing the truth and he is subsequently killed. Osterman, guilty of this action goes into exile in space while Veidt goes back to his society, and in the end Dreilberg/Juspeczyk disband the Watchmen due to the cost it held.
Thus began the dark age of superheroism.
But the world has a funny thing about repeating history as the rise of superheroes become evident just around the corner. The government frightened of significant powers running independently have designated Slade Wilson
and King Faraday
to be tasked as part of S.H.A.D.E
to understand—predict—and prevent a superhero crisis.
As NASA travels to Mars… they would unknowingly awaken something in the near future that they would regret.
But as that looms in the future... men and women have donned their illegal cape and cowls all over the United States.
A man debuted in Gotham, NJ that the press is dubbing “The Batman”.
A man debuted in Metropolis, DE that the press is dubbing “Superman”.
A man debuted in Central City, MO that the press is dubbing the return of “The Flash”.
A man debuted in Star City, CA that the press is dubbing “Green Arrow”.
A man debuted in Fawcett City, IL that the press is dubbing “Captain Marvel”.
A man debuted in Opal City, MD that the press is dubbing the return of “Starman”.
A woman debuted in Gateway City, CA that the press is dubbing “Wonder Woman”.