Early History of the Singular Universe
In the beginning there was nothing but Good and Evil, two diametrically opposed forces at constant war with one another in the void of nothingness. Then, the spark of creation came to reality, and the cosmos busted with light and life. In the beginning of time, the great beings of Asgard, Olympus, and New Genesis settled in the highest branches of the World Tree, Yggdrasil, while Earth was still cooling and then overrun by the dinosaurs. It was also during these times before Humans that the great gods clashed and bickered, shaking the World Tree to its roots. At the end of the greatest of these wars, Uxas, a member of New Genesis, was cast down from his home into the fiery Musphelheim. Other beings and entities escaped into the dark corners of reality, with the beings known as Parallax and the Darkness waiting for their time to emerge.
This was at the time of the dawn of man in the Realm of Midgard. The fledgling race was protected by the Gods of Yggdrasil from the dangers that surrounded Midgard. The great Asgardians Odin and his son Thor battled back the Frost Giants of Johtenheim, and Zeus and his Olympians sired demigods that became the first heroes of men. And indeed, around the galaxy the humans were not alone. Other mortal races were born and died in the galaxy, and the beings known only as The Guardians began to form a force of protection for the young cosmos.
Evil was also present on Earth and the Universe, however. Men and their fellow mortals were easily corruptible, and the dark beings of the universe quickly discovered this. Villains and rogues from all over began to emerge and challenge the heroes of the early age, and they would continue to do so throughout time.
Earth seemed to be a lynchpin in the fabric of reality. Located at the base of the World Tree and the focus of so many with great power, it was visited by many of the early space faring civilizations and interdimensional beings. They were drawn to it by its power, but none were sure of its source.
Happenings in the Universe
As humanity began to pick itself out of the mud, other great civilizations around the Universe flourished. The Skrulls, Thanagarians, Kree, and Shi’ar were all powers, but none matched the awesome might of the Kryptonians. When the Kryptonians discovered they could harness the energy from a yellow sun, their armies began spreading across space, conquering and colonizing races at will. That is until the conquered races joined with the Guardian’s Lantern Corps in a last, desperate attempt to save the universe. In the struggle, the planet of Krypton was destroyed, and the Kryptonian race along with it.
From there, the Skrulls became the most advanced space faring species, and they toured the galaxy in search of other intelligent life. They found it on Thanagar, though their new discovery was much more vicious than they had expected. The Thanagarians slaughtered the Skrulls and stole their technology, starting a war that would last eons between the two races.
Meanwhile, the planet of Xandar is consumed by an unknown force, and its elite fighting force known as the Novas are absorbed by the Lantern Corps of Oa. And in a remote corner of the universe, a civil war erupts on the planet Cybertron, leading to its demise and its peoples scattering.
The Great War and the Birth of the Superhuman
Time progressed, and the battle between good and evil continued to play out in both a global and universal scale. But it was in the 1930s and 40s when things on Earth truly began to change. Adolf Hitler and his Nazi army began running roughshod over the European continent, and in order to combat his great strength, the Allied Armies came together to formulate a plan born from escaped German biologist Abraham Erskine. Erskine had developed a serum that would be able to turn soldiers into the form of perfect humanity if used on the right subject. An exhaustive search was undertaken before the serum was tested on Steven Rogers, a skinny, frail young man from Brooklyn. Rogers was transformed into Captain America, Project Rebirth’s first success. It was its only success, however, as Nazi operatives from the top secret Hydra force infiltrated the test, killing Erskine.
Captain America was introduced into the field, leading a multiethnic team called the “Howling Commandos”. They hit high target Nazi instillations as well as Hydra facilities, but a discovery on one mission and the death of Cap’s best friend Bucky Barnes led the allies to realize they needed more supermen. Adolf Hitler had discovered the legendary Spear of Destiny, and his Hydra scientist and leader Johan Schmidt had developed a deadly warplane that could level the allied powers.
The Allies responded by developing a team of costumed heroes that had sprung up after the advent of Captain America. The All-Star Squadron, as it was called, was led by Cap and featured Union Jack, Starman, Hourman, Mister Terrific, the Human Torch, the Atom, Sandman, and Wildcat. The All-Star Squadron and Howling Commandos, with an army division backing them up, infiltrated the base were the Spear and Valkyrie plane were kept. The team managed to destroy the plane and retrieve the spear, though Captain America fell in the process, lost in the frigid North Sea.
Rise of the Mutant and Global Threats
When the All-Star Squadron returned home, they went about forming the Justice Society of America, fighting flamboyant and costumed criminals in the late 40s and early 50s. The team disbanded at the advent of McCarthyism, however, as they were believed to be enemies of the state. The former heroes went into hiding, forgoing their costumed ways in favor of their civilian lives.
The 60s and 70s saw a new development on Earth, as the rise of the X-gene and the mutant population rose dramatically, first bringing the new form of humanity to the public’s attention. Many people reacted with fear, but most seemed to believe they deserved equal rights. This led to a secret conference of the United Nations dedicated to discussing a way to keep the burgeoning superhuman population in check. The decision came as the formation of SHIELD, a multination task force set up to contain superhuman threats.
SHIELD’s top priority was to attempt to recreate the Super Soldier Serum created for Captain America. They were not the only ones trying the feat, though. At the height of the Cold War, it was believed that over twenty countries were attempting to create their own super soldiers with varying results.
SHIELD would soon find itself tasked against other enemies as well. The remnants of Hydra and other international malcontents formed the organization known as SPECTRE, which was dedicated to destabilizing the world for the benefit of its members. SHIELD found itself being pulled in multiple directions, and decided to diversify. The agencies of SWORD and SHADE were then born. SWORD was developed to defend the world against extraterrestrial threats, SHADE threats from the occult, and SHIELD would deal with all terrestrial threats.
The Seeds are Sown
As the latter half of the Twentieth Century rolled on, the seeds of the great age of the superhuman began to be planted. In Gotham City, a young boy watches as his parents are gunned down in front of him. In Kansas, a small spacecraft is found in a field by a childless couple, and inside is a baby boy they decide to keep as their own. An heir to one of the greatest technology companies in history begins tinkering with parts in his basement. An Amazonian princess trains in her home to be the greatest warrior in the world. The great warrior Thor is banished from his homeland by his scheming brother. And a man in a wheelchair opens a school for gifted youngsters.
All across the planet the future champions of Earth are being formed.
Singular Universe: Year One
Then, in late 2012, the world changed forever. First, rumors of the Batman began to seep out of Gotham City’s criminal underworld as the masked vigilante finished his one man war on organized crime in the city. Later in the same week, Superman appeared in Metropolis, saving an entire city block from a raging inferno before extinguishing the flames.
The trend continued in the first months of the year. The hero dubbed Iron Man began patrolling the skies of California. Keystone and Central Cities were protected by the red blur known only as “The Fash”. New York saw an explosion of superhero activity with the arrival of Spider-man, Dare Devil, and the four creatures called the Turtles. SHADE employed the demon turned hero Hellboy to fight the things that go bump in the night. James Bond, the world’s most dangerous spy, struck out at terrorist organizations from MI-6 in Britain. The X-Men emerged as the face of mutant kind, helping protect humans from dangerous mutants. And all the while SHIELD struggled to keep up with the increased activity.
For months the heroes were celebrated as the world quickly seemed a much more harmonious and optimistic place. Action figures, t-shirts, and comic books began to circulate as people now saw crime as something that could legitimately be stamped out.
Unfortunately, good things never last. Four months after the advent of the superhero, a new breed of criminal emerged: the super villain. Gotham was terrorized by a fiend calling himself The Joker. Superman tussled with the Toymaker. Spider-man and the Ninja Turtles subdued the Lizard. The Flash had his limits tested by villains he called The Rogues. Iron Man battled the villainous Iron Monger. Wonder Woman appeared on the shores of man battling a beast from legend. And the mutant terrorist known only as Magneto emerged to extract terrible vengeance on the human world. This continued for months.
SHIELD, however, had finally formulated a plan. Captain America had been found frozen in suspended animation by an expedition to the North Pole, and around him SHIELD constructed a response team. The Helicarrier was also deployed, allowing Nick Fury to apprehend super powered threats around the world. SHIELD began holding these villains at their new, high-tech prison known as the Triskelion, re-purposing Alcatraz Island for the facility. The location also served as the home base for SHIELD and its agents. The ability to incarcerate these threats help stem the tide of super crime, but not stop it completely.
Things ramped up to higher gear towards the fall of 2013, however. Superman faced off against the Parasite, a being from space that had lost its race thanks to the Kryptonian conquest. After defeating the beast, Superman was given a clue to where he came from. Following it, and with the help of Reed Richards, he opened a portal to a location where the last remaining Kryptonians had been in suspended animation.
They showed themselves to be the conquerors they were quickly, though. Zod, their leader and Superman’s true father, imprisoned his son and fired on Richards’s ship before threatening Earth. Superman escaped thanks to the help of J’onn J’onnz the Martian Manhunter. Returning to earth, he and Captain America put together a team to repel the invaders.
Superman sent Iron Man, The Flash, and Martian Manhunter to the Kryptonian ship in order to disable its guns, while Superman and the other heroes on Earth fought the Kryptonians that made their way to the surface. Clark took on Zod, in a knock-down, drag-out fight that brought him to the brink of death until the intervention of Earth’s Green Lantern and reinforcements from the Lantern Corps.
Superman and Doctor Strange drew all the heroes and Kryptonians to Metropolis, where Strange used the city’s life force to banish Zod and his minions to a hell dimension where they would spend the rest of their lives. The heroes had been successful. The Earth was safe.
But it came at a cost. The attack from aliens against the Earth struck fear in the hearts of the people. They now knew just how powerful the heroes of the earth and their enemies could be if they banded together. The humans felt like ants in the wake of such strength, and they called out for action. Nick Fury was cast out as the director of SHIELD, and the UN started to take a harder stance on metahumans. The United States themselves decided to consider a Superhuman Registration Act in order to more easily take stock of the mutant and superhuman population.
The time is now in 2013. Superhumans are no longer the saviors they were considered when they first appeared on the planet, and the villains of the world are ready to take advantage of that.