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AMAZONIA TIMELINE - copyright 1993, Darren Madigan
AMAZONIA TIMELINE - copyright 1993, Darren Madigan
1920 Dana Weingarden is born in Dayton, Ohio.
1938 Dana begins manifesting unusual abilities, including enormous physical strength, stamina, durability, and near indestructibility. A few months later, she discovers the power of flight. Frightened, she conceals these abilities from all others, and in fact, hopes they'll go away.
In the Soviet Union, Sergei Badlov, Nadya Ikrainya, and Demetrios Karakova each report to their local party officers that they seem to have odd telepathic and clairvoyant abilities. All three are sent to Moscow, and eventually recruited into the KGB as "Bureau X".
1940 14 year old Vassily Smyrnikov, who under the code name "Pravda" will become the world's most feared telepathic national agent, is discovered by Ikrainya and begins KGB training. The GRU begins its own covert search for superhumans in the Russian population. In September of 1940, Joseph Stalin authorizes a top secret superhuman recruitment program for the Soviet armed services.
1941 - America enters WWII. Determined to prove that not all German-Americans are Bundists, Dana enlists in the Woman's Army Corps. In an act that requires all her courage and which will change the course of human history, Dana confides the existence of her powers to the commander of her basic training battalion. / In the Soviet Union, the first "People's Power Squadron" is fielded, consisting of eight superhumans with extremely confrontational powers. In response, the German high command gives renegade American scientist Julius Vector a virtually unlimited budget.
1942 - After having her abilities verified, Dana is hastened through Basic Training. In January of 1942, Lady Liberty, wearing a ridiculous red white and blue costume, debuts on the American homefront, lifting tanks and flying in crowd pleasing demonstrations at bonds rallies. After three months of having her requests for combat duty turned down, Dana threatens to go to the newspapers, and is finally assigned to the front lines in Europe. / Vector completes the first rocketwing exoskeleton prototypes. Seven volunteers die testing them. Finally, to improve the crucial mass/fuel ratio, Vector decides to use young boys as test pilots. The prototypes succeed, and the Boy Blitzers are born.
1942 - 1945 Lady Liberty proves to be worth an entire brigade, as she singlehandedly destroys entire Axis offensives. During these years, several other superhumans appear, evidently inspired to make their powers public by Dana's example. For the Allies, Midnight Master, G.I.ant, Wingman and the Warhawks, Lady Lightning, Mary England, and the Young Yankees all enter the fray. Dana meets and works with all of them at one time or another, but she teams up most with Midnight Master, an expert on infiltration, hand to hand combat, and other commando skills, and G.I.ant, a black teenage American Army private who has the ability to increase his size and strength enormously. Eventually, Dana becomes close friends and perhaps more with Midnight Master. G.I.ant also obviously has a crush on Lady Liberty, but she is never more than friendly to him, a fact which he, perhaps mistakenly, attributes to their differing races. / On the Axis side, the Boy Blitzers are joined by V-2, the first and only adult ever to wear Vector's dangerous rocketwing prototype and survive. Mjolnir, Fenris, Professor Icemoon, and other "natural" German superhumans form the Thousand Year Legion, a loose military organization later joined by Maiden Japan, Kid Kamikaze and the Samurai Sailors. Professor Julius Vector becomes infamous as a freelance scientist working for the Axis; his designs are responsible for virtually all of the Nazi super-technology, including not only V-2 and the Boy Blitzers' rocket-armour, but also the Nazi high command's top secret orbital HQ, Valhalla. / On the American homefront, Old Glory, Cherry Bomb & Snapdragon, Mr. Justice, the Hooded Crusader, and Captain Phantom, among others, battle saboteurs, the black market, and war profiteers. / Towards the end of the War, Lady Liberty is instrumental in liberating the small Mediterranean Island of Onastos from Nazi occupation, earning the undying gratitude and near-worship of the small community there.
(1944) A Nazi plan to use Julius Vector's prototype atomic bombs on London, New York City, and Washington D.C. is foiled by Midnight Master, who has infiltrated the scheme in the guise of one of the Nazi pilots. Not only does he shoot down the other two rocketplanes carrying the bombs, Midnight Master also successfully brings his own plane secretly back to Allied territory. The Nazis believe the bombs themselves malfunctioned and turn to other areas of research. The Manhattan Project duplicates the Nazi a-bomb, although not in time for use in the European Theater.
During the War, Charles "G.I.ant" DeLane becomes a symbol of racial harmony and tolerance to Americans everywhere, since he is black. However, DeLane himself is uncomfortable with his role as a symbol of "his" people, and in 1944, makes the (in)famous "I'm not a Negro, I'm a goddam American" remark to a newsreel crew, which promptly becomes one of the most famous quotes of the War. Although this quote somewhat damages DeLane's popularity with American blacks, it makes him even more of a hero to male American whites of all ages - a stature that will only increase over the remainder of his WW II and post-War career.
1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki are attacked with atomic weapons; Japan subsequently surrenders. Midnight Master attempts suicide, and is stopped by Lady Liberty. Although Dana manages to talk him out of further suicide attempts, Midnight Master becomes deeply convinced that no government can be trusted, and will never again willingly work for any national service.
1946 - 1952 With the closing of the War, President Truman asks the American "super soldiers" to either join a government organization devoted to organized crimefighting and operations in the national interest, or to voluntarily retire. Lady Liberty proudly serves as the appointed Chairwoman of the National Super Squadron, which also includes such war heroes as Wingman and the newly rechristened Atlas, formerly G.I.ant. The NSS also includes Snapdragon, Old Glory, and Captain Phantom, along with former Young Yankees Whirligig and Thunder Kid - now, Thunder Man. However, Midnight Master, Mr. Justice and Cherry Bomb announce their beliefs that the President is being unjust, and refuse to either join or retire. Eventually, each of them are hunted down and jailed by the NSS. / During this time period, the NSS battles many notable foes - the first Tarot, under the leadership of disgraced black market industrialist Gideon Golden, who takes the role of the first "Emperor"; the Protectorate, a high profile group of Soviet superhumans, the American Top Forty, a group of renegade scientific geniuses who have banded together to perform illegal research in the interests of pure science and who fund their projects by selling advanced technology to criminals - the most famous member of the Top Forty is Julius Vector - the Hooded Marauder, the Ballistic Brothers, Ironmask, and several other gangland figures who use superhuman powers, high technology, and a secret identity to forge powerful criminal organizations.
1952 - The Committee on UnAmerican Activities issues a list of suspected Communists, some of which are known superhumans in retirement. The NSS is given the job of rounding them up for questioning. Dana is already suffering from conscience pangs over the Midnight Master business, and refuses the assignment. When Old Glory is appointed Chairman of the NSS in her stead, and the remainder of the Squadron carries out the order, she resigns in disgust and retires to Onastos Island.
1955 - As part of the backlash against the Communist witch hunts, the NSS is disbanded, and enforcement of the Presidential order mandating that active superhumans work for the government is relaxed, although it is never officially repealed. Midnight Master, Cherry Bomb and Mr. Justice are all pardoned by President Eisenhower and drop from the public eye. Atlas tries to reform the NSS under the name the Ultra-Americans, as a "private" crimefighting group, with little success. Over the next two years, virtually all active American superheroes retire.
1956 - 1961 Gideon Golden is released from prison and begins the process of consolidating his hold on the American underworld through a ruthless campaign of national gang wars. In the process, Golden himself is responsible for the detection and destruction of a Soviet espionage ring headed by Vassily "Pravda" Smernykov, legendary KGB telepath, as well as the imprisonment or murder of several superhuman criminals who refuse to work for him, including former members of the first Tarot.
1962 - Professor John Parkinson develops his own Unified Field Theory and builds a "Quantum Harness" meant to make practical use of the breakthrough. When Soviet spies kill Parkinson's wife in a bungled attempt to steal the harness, the professor decides that the harness is too powerful to be entrusted to any government. He becomes Champion, and within six months, has formed the New Guard, a team of new superheroes that are privately funded by Parkinson's own fortune. Included in the New Guard roster are Johnny Atom, the Tigress, Captain Thunder, the Silver Shadow and Graygirl, and a new Midnight Master. Simultaneously, a new Wingman debuts, accompanied by a team of teen age superheroes called the Boy Bullets, who are using upgraded rocketwing exoskeletons similar to those used by the Hitler Youth combat team the Boy Blitzers during WW II. Finally, in late 1962, a group of "superior intellect" teen agers who have built superdevices or given themselves superpowers through scientific procedures makes its first appearance, calling themselves "the Whiz Kids".
1963 - 1965 A revived Tarot, under the leadership of Laura Appleby, daughter of the original High Priestess, engages Tarot founder Gideon Golden in an underworld war; simultaneously, Julius Vector attempts to blackmail the world with an orbital laser platform. The New Guard, aided by the Whiz Kids, successfully destroy Vector's deathray projector, although Vector once again escapes capture. During this adventure, it becomes general knowledge that IQ of the Whiz Kids is actually Julius Vector's granddaughter. / Although the New Guard itself focuses on higher profile threats, several of its individual members - the Silver Shadow, Midnight Master II, the Tigress - take advantage of the Tarot/Golden criminal war to target underworld figures throughout America. Unaffiliated singleton heroes also appear battling in this arena, such as Night Hunter, Partisan, Laserman, and Jason Royal. By 1965, half of the second Tarot is dead or in prison, while Gideon Golden himself has been forced to flee to Europe to avoid a similar fate.
1967 Britain fields its first Kingsman operative; the successful completion of the mission leads to an expansion and deployment of over a dozen such superhuman agents of the British government. Kingsmen are the first, and will remain the only, public superhuman law enforcers in Britain, although no overt laws are on the books mandating such a state of affairs.
1968 Charles DeLane, formerly G.I.ant and Atlas, is overwhelmingly elected to the United States Senate - (D) Wisconsin. DeLane is universally admired and respected for his wartime exploits and post-War career with the NSS, especially by male Americans.
1972 - Several new superheroes - Captain Crusader, the Buzzsaw, the Red Condor, and Morningstar, among others - have debuted by now, and all the previously listed ones are still active, except for Jethawk of the Boy Bullets, IQ of the Whiz Kids, Laserman, and the Silver Shadow, who have all been killed in action. The Silver Shadow's cape, cowl and identity have all been adopted by former sidekick Graygirl. A secret government study reports that .01% of the American population is believed to have superhuman powers, although most of these superhumans use their powers in mundane, day to day life without adopting secret identities. When Professor Myron Madero of Yale University is found to be using his telepathic abilities to both play the stock market and influence coeds in an unseemly fashion, the scandal rocks the nation. President Nixon revives the National Super Squadron Declaration with a Presidential Directive requiring that all superhumans either join the NSS or retire, and making it illegal to use superhuman abilities in any way not sanctioned by the Federal goverment. All known active superheroes drop from sight - a handful, however, join Nixon's revived NSS, which is now a covert organization under the direct control of the President and the National Security Council. Superhuman activity continues as a part of daily life for thousands, who simply strive not to call attention to themselves.
1973 "The Protectorate", a loose affiliation of Soviet superhumans in various branches of government service, stages a military coup and becomes the official government of the USSR. Internal dissent immediately erupts between the superhumans of the Intelligence services and the superhumans in the military. Despite these internal squabbles, the USSR enters Afghanistan with full military force, including the superhuman People's Power Brigade.
1974 Governor Reagan of California initiates the Special Emergency Response Team, a group of superhumans technically enlisted in the California State Militia, directly responsible to him. Charter team members are Gillian Torres, Michael Orr, Ludwig Van Patten, Lynda Dolan, Rebecca Paneblanco, and Samuel Cheng. Public response to the team is positive, especially after Cheng and Torres bring in the so-called "Zodiac" serial killer while working with the State Police. / Nixon's resignation removes Presidential oversight from the covert NSS, bringing it fully under the control of the National Security Council, as President Ford is never informed of the NSS' existence.
1976 Michael "the Iron Badge" Mahiques graduates from the FBI Academy. President-elect Carter discovers the existence of the NSC controlled NSS, and issues secret Presidential directives disbanding the organization. In response, the NSS becomes extremely low profile but does not disband; the NSC hides NSS activities even from Presidential and Congressional scrutiny in their "black" budget.
1978 - 1980 Senator Charles DeLane initiates the Federal Special Services program, providing Federal funds for the recruitment of superhuman operatives into all branches of Federal law enforcement, and paving the way for a similar application in the Armed Services. The program also provides matching funds for similar recruitment at a State and local municipal level, effectively encouraging law enforcement agencies across the country to actively recruit superhuman officers, in emulation of now-famous FBI agent Michael "Iron Badge" Mahiques. By the end of 1979, every police force in America contains a small squad of superhuman officers, and the Special Armor Squadron has been especially trained to respond to superhuman criminals and threats. In 1980, 17 superhumans graduate from the FBI Academy, and a classified number of superhumans, mostly telepaths and clairvoyants but with a few "odd" talents mixed in, have been recruited, trained, and placed in the field by the CIA.
1980 Ronald Reagan and Charles DeLane are elected President and Vice President of the United States of America and, working together, enact legislation leading to the creation of a program called Fireteam Omega, in which superhumans are actively recruited for a special Army unit, and research into the creation of artificial superhumans is initiated. The Air Force also initiates the "Blue Lightning" project, and by 1982, has seven "flyguys" in working powered armor-pods. / Encouraged by these actions, the National Security Council reveals the continued existence of the National Super Squadron to President Reagan, who uses them as a covert arm of Presidential policy. Reagan recruits the original five members of his Special Emergency Response Team into the NSS.
1981 The United States Supreme Court rules that telepathically acquired evidence is admissable in court, although testimony based on clairvoyant visions is ruled inadmissable. / Afghanistan is annexed by the USSR. President Reagan issues a strong warning to Soviet Premier Arkady Lermontov, declaring that any attempt by the Soviet Union to further expand its borders into the Middle East will be taken as an act of war by the United States.
1982 Quebec officially secedes from Canada. After a short but bloody civil war, Canada re-establishes sovereignity over the dissident province. British Kingsmen operatives make a decisive difference on the field of battle. The Treaty of Ottawa makes it illegal to bear arms of any sort within the borders of Quebec until 2012, and a Royal Force of British superhumans from the Kingsman Cadre is permanently detached to duty in Quebec.
1985 Reagan's "War on Drugs" culminates in an invasion of Columbia by Fireteam Omega, supported by elements of the "Blue Lightning" squadron, and with covert help by the NSS. Columbia's drug cartels are destroyed; to assure that cocaine production does not continue, the area is nuked after the American forces withdraw. The War on Drugs is over; cocaine abuse becomes a thing of the past in America. / Since Federal law mandates that employers genetically screen all job applicants for superhuman abilities, drug testing by employers is taken as a matter of course. By 1988, serious drug abuse has virtually disappeared as a social problem in America.
1988 - Charles DeLane is elected President of the United States of America, primarily on a campaign promise to return America to "the glory days of opportunity" - which translates in practice as, protecting normals from the unfair competition of superhumans, eliminating affirmative action programs that are deemed to be "unfair" by the white majority, and effectively squelching the Women's Equal Opportunity Amendment as biased. The national referendum is divided almost entirely on gender lines; American men, even blacks, strangely enough, still regard DeLane, for the most part, as the greatest hero in American history, while American women tend to dislike him. Since DeLane's Democratic opponent, Governor Michael Dukkakis, did not differ with DeLane greatly on his treatment of the "superhuman problem", the growing population of American superhumans simply choose not to vote.
1990 - Four young women with superpowers assault a group of college fraternity members, in response to an alleged rape of one of their friends. As a result of the assault, the frat house is leveled, one boy is killed, and several others are hospitalized. Three of the "Amazon Four" escape; a fourth is captured and jailed by the local police "Flying Squad". / Days later, the three "Amazons" remaining at large break into the holding area and rescue their captured member. They hijack an airliner and make their way to Onastos Island.
1991 - The four "Amazons", led by a relatively unaged and still terrifyingly powerful Dana Weingarden, appear in Sparta City, Illinois. Here they take over a three square block area dominated by pornography stores, bordellos, and topless bars, evicting the legal owners through main force and setting up a walled Haven for Abused Women. Over the next 20 days, hundreds of women flock to the Haven seeking shelter, while dozens more, imprisoned on "men's charges", are broken out of penitentiaries in the area and brought to the Haven. Other female superhumans come forward to offer their services, swelling the "Amazon" numbers to 12. Professor of Sociology Cynthia "Snapdragon" Wagner creates a national uproar when she resigns her position at the University of Chicago and enters the Haven. Due to the presence of non-powered women taking shelter in the Haven, the local authorities don't dare cut power or water to the area. The Mayor of Sparta City, Robert Dennis Dougan, is a childhood admirer of Lady Liberty and the NSS, and has a very good idea of how powerful she is; because of this, he is extremely reluctant to initiate any sort of armed conflict within his city that could well cause millions of dollars in property damage, at the very least. Cynthia Wagner coordinates a cannily calculated media blitz; the Haven starts to receive some popular support. During this time, a reporter inadvertently broadcasts the local police term for the Haven, which is Amazonia - it sticks.
1992 - President DeLane is re-elected by a narrow margin, primarily due to his promise to close down the Women's Haven and jail Dana Weingarden and her "Amazons". The election further divides America along gender lines - most men dislike Amazonia and want it destroyed, while most women support its existence and would like to see similar Havens set up as legitimate organizations across the nation. DeLane's campaign has been strongly anti-Amazonia and pro Law and Order; because of this, he has lost virtually all of the female vote. DeLane realizes that he must be seen as taking strong action against Amazonia if he is to have a chance of overturning the 32nd Amendment and being re-elected yet again, which is something he desperately desires. DeLane is secretly planning ways of doing this; simultaneously, he is planning to declare a State of Emergency and repeal women's suffrage, which will guarantee him the Presidency for as long as he cares to keep it. All of this, however, centers around destroying Amazonia...