The most successful role playing game on all of AH.com, the Metroverse has a run that includes five separate RPs. Prominent players include Sigma7, 99lives, Cambyses the Mad, BlackWave, TheDarkMessiah, Georgepatton, and randomideaguy. The Metroverse was named after the thread that started it all, which was a DBWI thread in the ASB forum which discussed the death of Captain Metro, the most prominent hero in the Metroverse. It has since grown from it's humble origins to the 10,000+ post juggernaut it is today.
It won the Best New Shared Worlds Turtledove Award in 2010, and then later the overall Best Shared World award alongside 'AH.com Eternals'.
Up until the 20th century, the Metroverse and our world are very similar. The biggest change from a modern perspective is the War of 1812. In the Metroverse the war went significantly better for the United States, resulting in the acquisition of the whole of OTL Canada, The Bahamas, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands by the United States. For the most part, however, history moves in familiar ways.
Things start to get strange in the late 19th century, as Sherlock Holmes battles Aleister Crowley in a war of wits, nerves, and arcane secrets. By the 1930's the notion of the ‘masked vigilante’ or ‘costumed adventurer’ (based on Holmes' precedent among others) is a part of Western culture.
NOTE: The time period during which Metro Noir and War Heroes takes place.
The Golden Age starts with Captain Metro. He is not the first metahuman, but he is the most powerful and the most heroic. He is the first to operate out of the shadows to uphold both justice and the law, the first true 'superhero'. Others follow him; the Angel, the Tempest, the Mariner and the Bullet in the U.S. and Lord Albion in the U.K. Following the heroes are the first 'supervillains', most notably Nazi Germany's Kaptain Krieger.
World War II begins normally. The Battle of Britain is the site of the first clash between metas. In addition to Pearl Harbor, the U.S. is attacked by German metas at New York and Philadelphia, with massive loss of life and property each time. Germany also possesses the Spear of Destiny, which prevents the Allied metas from attacking directly. Instead, they provide support at home and in the shadows.
After the War, the Cold War starts, despite Stalin's death in 1946. The Silver Age brings new heroes, new technologies, and new problems. Heroes like Phalanx, Trinity, the Aquarian and the Jovian Judicator deal not only with supervillains and criminals, but with narcotics, civil rights issues, and the Vietnam war.
America here does not lose its innocence in Dallas in 1963. Rather, it happens in Saigon in 1968. While John Kennedy is still president.
The Tet offensive opens with a massive explosion that takes the lives of several American VIPs, include the First Lady. The U.S. responds with decapitation strike mounted by elements of the U.S. Army's 1st Meta Division and the direct service of the armored champion known as Phalanx. This is the first public demonstration of the use of 'meta-soldiers', humans given enhanced physical and mental abilities, by the U.S.. 'Payback Company', as the task force is nicknamed, leads the precision assault, eliminating most of the governing regime and military high command. In July of 1972, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam raises their flag over Hanoi, ending the war and reuniting the country as an ally of the United States and a future 'Asian Tiger'.
America's sense of security is short-lived, as the 1970s brings the Hoover-Kennedy scandal. Heroic FBI agents and journalists reveal that the Director of the FBI and the Attorney General have been monitoring and manipulating key figures at all levels of society to increase their own power. Robert Kennedy is arrested and jailed. J. Edgar Hoover dies before he can be sentenced. America is left shaken and distrustful of the government.
1976 sees the White Event. The source of the mysterious white light seen around the globe is unknown to most. Its effects are not. The number of metahumans in the world explodes. Germany in particular receives a huge influx, and is finally able to enforce the reunification promised at the Second Potsdam Conference, nearly fifteen years earlier. Adhering to the terms laid out by Second Potsdam, German is officially (and effectively) a neutral state in the Cold War, leveraging its unique geopolitical position to become a political and economic powerhouse. There are other, less noticed effects, as governments attempt to study the event and leverage it for their own purposes.
Following Captain Metro's retirement in 1980, the Dark Age begins to set in. Heroes become more violent. The line between hero and villain becomes blurred as more and more metahumans grow up with no training or idea of how to use their gifts. Some, such as the IMAGE team and Professor Pyro, at least attempt to be heroic. Others like Eradicator just want to see things burn. The Dark Age lasts into the 1990s. It is finally stopped by a combination of public outcry, a new generation of 'white hats' led by the NextGen team and the resurgent Justice Force, and the public reappearance of Captain Metro. Also, the brutal murder of a half million people by an alien demigod.
NOTE: This is the time period during which the Original RP and One Year Later take place.
It is called the VoidWalker Crisis. In 1994 an extraterrestrial life form of immense power arrived on Earth with the sole intent of conquering the world. The world's military and heroes respond, and fight, and die. VoidWalker, along with another called the VoidMind, kill over a half million people. Battles are fought in New York, in Los Angeles, and in Leningrad. The last results in the total destruction of the city. Ultimately they are driven off, but at a terrible price. Ten years later, VoidWalker returns, perhaps seeking revenge. This battle is fought just as hard, but this time without as much death, and the world breathes a sigh of relief.
New heroes like the Sentinel, Kinetix and the new Phalanx rise. The Modern Age proceeds fairly calmly until about two years ago. At that time the world reels from the news that Captain Metro, the first and best of the heroes, has died from simple old age. As the world mourned, events began to unfold quickly. Apollo, insane member of the transdimensional race known as the Daemon, appears. He states his intent as nothing less than to lead the Horrors, abominations from outside the universe, in destroying all of reality. The first battle against him levels a good chunk of Manhattan. The second, in the desert, sees him mortally wounded, but frees the Horrors with his dying breath. The third battle takes place in the plane of Stygia itself against overwhelming odds. Human armies and their heroes join the Daemon in battle. The Horrors are routed, just barely.
The world celebrated then, but behind the scenes plots were put in motion. The two premier metahuman teams, The Institute for Advanced Metahuman Studies and the Justice Force, were manipulated into fighting each other. Most of the Justice Force died in the conflict. The Institute then took the fight to the real enemy: Century, a cabal of vampires going back to the darkest souls of the Third Reich. In the streets of Washington D.C., in the Oval office, their plot to take control of the government was smashed.
Instead of rewarding them, the country, numb and frightened, turned on their heroes. The Rodham-Giuliani bill was pushed through. Metahuman Registration, often by arrest and coercion, became law. Instead of SWORD, the new organization STRIFE was formed to enforce the new laws. For the past year the nation became more and more divided as STRIFE became nearly a law unto itself. That ended when another 'transdim', Lilith, appeared at STRIFE's headquarters and tore the place up. Unlike Apollo, Lilith appeared to just want to destroy the organization, and did an effective job of it. Rumors appeared that there was more to it, that STRIFE was planning to eliminate every meta on the planet, but those were just rumors of course. Still, enough evidence of unconstitutional activity came about that the government, no longer afraid of STRIFE's power, was able to take it apart.
That was three months ago. Now the darkness seems to have passed, at least for now. It is a time for new heroes, new legends. A New Dawn.