Millennium City

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Millennium City is home to the superteam The Champions.

In Game


‘We hope for better things; it

shall arise again from the ashes.’
—Father Gabriel Richard, pastor of Sainte Anne’s

Church, after Detroit burned to the ground in 1805.

Founded in 1701 by the French as a fort and fur-trading outpost, Detroit was captured by the British in 1760 and passed to the control of the United States following the Revolutionary War. Although mostly destroyed by fire in 1805, it was quickly rebuilt and became a major commercial center. Its position on the Great Lakes made it a prominent port and trading center, and later home to industry and manufacturing. The presence of Henry Ford and other early automotive pioneers made it “the automobile capital of the world,” its name synonymous with cars and vehicle manufacturing. Detroit’s first costumed hero, Mr. X, made his debut in 1939 as part of the wave of costumed adventurers who sprang up around the country in that year. Unlike most adventurers of the day, he had no superhuman powers and eschewed a flashy costume; instead, he wore a plain suit and tie, with a respectable hat and only a domino mask to hide his identity. A brilliant detective and formidable brawler, Mr. X was the alternate identity of crime reporter Peter Dix, and he regularly battled mobsters and thugs throughout the war. He even helped the Defenders of Justice on one notable case in 1943 when a supervillain called the White Knight used subsonic broadcasting devices to foment race riots in neighborhoods where African American's had recently moved in to work in munitions and equipment factories. After Mr. X’s retirement in the mid-1950s, Detroit had no superhuman champions until 1966, when football star Reggie Morgan became the [[Scarlet Shield]]. Throughout the civil rights struggle (including the devastating 1967 riots that caused $150 million in damage), Scarlet Shield tried valiantly to keep peace while battling racism, with limited effect. Morgan died in 1974 when he was shot by assassins working for organized crime. But by that time, several other minor heroes had made Detroit their home, though they never coalesced into a superteam. Detroit’s next prominent hero was Shadowboxer. Joey Greene was a moderately talented boxer who had crossed the mob and gotten shot in 1981— his body was dumped at a construction site that was also the location of some illegally-dumped toxic waste. Greene eventually awoke with the ability to generate fields of black energy around his hands and lower arms that could expand to fill a small area, blinding his opponents, and enabled him to deal out devastating punches that could flatten a brick wall. Shadowboxer became a highly effective vigilante, crippling the mob in Detroit as well as thwarting several attempts by VIPER to establish a Nest in the area.

The Coming of the Destroyer

In July of 1992, however, a menace came to Detroit far beyond the abilities of any one hero to handle. Doctor Destroyer, whose plans to take over the world had only been defeated by the narrowest of margins in the past, had just suffered his most severe setback with the loss of his island base to his enemies. Determining once and for all to eliminate the American heroes who had constantly interfered with his plans, Destroyer likewise decided the Earth would be much easier to control without the United States getting in his way. Retreating to a secret laboratory he had built beneath an abandoned factory in Detroit, Destroyer designed a gigantic tractor beam, with which he planned to draw a series of small asteroids into a collision course with Earth — or, more precisely, North America. He intended to duplicate the effect of the asteroid that had caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, but on a much smaller scale controlled by him, with the resulting ecological devastation and dust clouds rendering America helpless and likely straining the ability of the rest of the world to defend itself. Putting his fiendish plan in motion, Destroyer hired several mercenary supervillain teams across the country to distract and harass the heroes he felt might oppose him. Then he activated his beam, seizing control of a cluster of asteroids and sending them hurtling through space directly toward the Earth. On July 23rd, several heroes became aware of this threat, and joined forces to stop it, dividing into two teams. Those with powers useful in space were sent to stop the asteroids, and an earthbound team was sent to find and defeat Destroyer himself. The spacefaring team was at first unable to stop the asteroids despite multiple efforts, until the hero Vanguard sacrificed himself to deliver explosive charges into the center of the cluster, pulverizing it into harmless dust. Unfortunately, Destroyer simply selected another group of asteroids with his beam and made a second attempt to carry out his evil plan — leaving the team of heroes back in Detroit as the only hope for victory. While some heroes dedicated themselves to a perhaps-futile effort of evacuation, others located Destroyer’s well-guarded base. There, they found themselves in combat with several of Destroyer’s robotic Destroids and a horde of villains and mindless monsters he had recruited or built to hold them off , including Grond and Glacier. The assembled heroes of Earth, with more arriving constantly to join in the battle, fought their way through the awful horde, demolishing much of the city in their wake. Several brave heroes lost their lives in this battle, the largest superhuman confrontation in recorded history. But they gave their allies in space the time to find Destroyer’s tractor-beam generator, take control of it, and use it to re-direct the asteroids away from Earth. After hours of combat, a few valiant heroes won their way past Destroyer’s minions — only to find Destroyer himself waiting for them. With his own weapons, Destroyer slaughtered five of them, casually turning aside counter-attacks with his powerful armor. However, as the battle wore on, and more and more heroes arrived, it began to look as if the day would at last be won. But Destroyer could not be defeated so easily. Battered and bleeding, his armor cracked in a dozen places, he refused to give up. “Not to the likes of you,” he said when the Sentinels demanded his surrender. “If Destroyer must fall, he will fall to his own hand, not to his enemies.” With a mocking bow, he triggered his last, and greatest, weapon: an orbital bombardment cannon. A beam wider than a city block struck the ground where he stood, obliterating him and nearly two dozen superheroes instantly. Before the heroes in space could find it and stop it, the cannon swept its deadly ray across much of the city. The resulting devastation levelled most of the city — and what was left was quickly engulfed by fires, flooding, or both. All that was ever found of Destroyer was his shattered helmet. Official records of the death toll resulting from the city-wide battle and Destroyer’s suicidal strike eventually listed nearly 60,000 fatalities. Few buildings, especially in the city’s center, remained standing and intact; numerous neighborhoods were virtually wiped off the face of the Earth. Almost fifty superheroes — including such renowned paragons of justice as Johnny Hercules, Flechette II, Firefight, Amazing Grace, Eclipse, Goblin, Nimbus, Icestar, Crusher, Vigil, Tiger, and Shadowboxer — lost their lives as they struggled to stop Destroyer. Today, a memorial to their bravery stands in the center of Millennium City’s Memorial Park.

The aftermath, and the rebuilding

In the days following the disaster, the world mourned the massive losses. President George Bush, standing in the middle of the field of rubble that was once the Renaissance Center, delivered a passionate speech that challenged both superhumans and corporations alike to rebuild Detroit before the end of the millennium. He promised a series of tax breaks for companies willing to move to this new city once it was built, and to donate their expertise and technology toward making Detroit the leading city of the twenty-first century. American business and America’s superhumans rose to the call. Over the next seven years, Detroit was rebuilt from the ashes. Corporations such as Cambridge Biotechnologies, American Business Machinery, Harmon Industries, Duchess Industries, and countless others committed vast resources to the project. And several superheroes volunteered time and energy to the cleanup project; for example, for a month Diamond, Meteor Man, and Golem worked alongside cranes and bulldozers helping move massive girders, while Element Man transmuted rubble into harmless gas and Diadem telepathically coordinated their efforts. But the planners had more than funding and superhuman help, they had vision. Responding to President Bush’s impassioned speech, they decided not just to re-create Detroit, or to copy any other city in the world. They chose instead to take advantage of the opportunity to design an all-new city — one incorporating the latest technological advances and sociological and architectural theories. New buildings were erected with space age materials. Roads were built with transmitters designed to control the computerized automobiles that would operate within the city limits — and to minimize the need for cars, a massive and effective maglev monorail was built around and through the entire city. As the city was slowly rebuilt, residents returned. One by one, businesses began work, new universities opened their doors to students, and citizens started their lives over in all-new homes. By late 1999, the efforts of all the countless thousands of builders, planners, and contributors were rewarded when the city, renamed Millennium City, was officially declared finished and re-opened. (Though in truth, much construction remained to be done, and still does.) A special ceremony in the new Memorial Park dedicated it to the memory of all those who had fallen to protect the city. Dozens of large corporations moved their headquarters to the revived downtown, and their ubiquitous presence enabled them to elect a City Council friendly to their needs. New superheroes were drawn as well. Defender relocated to Millennium City in early 2001 and recruited several heroes to form [[The Champions]], the region’s first superteam. [[Doctor Silverback]] moved there along with his sponsor, Cambridge Biotech, in 1997. And in recent months, new heroes like the mercenary media sensation Cavalier and the skilled martial artist Nightwind, have also come to town. Of course, there have been new superhuman menaces to deal with as well. A high-tech thief known as the Signal Ghost has plagued several of the city’s corporations. The supernaturally lucky mercenary named Hazard has taunted the MCPD on several occasions, as has the criminal mentalist Brainchild. The cyborg mastermind Interface has battled the Champions twice. From Detroit’s infamous history of organized crime has come a brand-new, high tech team calling themselves the New Purple Gang. And of course, old threats like Mechanon and VIPER look on the “City of the Future” as a ripe fruit just waiting to be plucked... or crushed.


Millennium City, formerly known as Detroit, is one of the most prominent centers of superhuman activity in the Champions Universe. With a population of approximately 1.2 million, Millennium City proper takes up slightly less space than its former self. Because of the unique nature of its transportation system, the boundaries of the city are fairly easy to discern: they extend from Livernois Street on the west and southwest down to the Detroit River, over to Hayes Avenue on the eastern side up to the Millennium Highway (formerly known as the “8-Mile Road”) in the north. That border leaves some of what was formerly Detroit outside, primarily to the west; some has been subsumed into the city of Dearborn, while the section to the northwest is now a suburb called North Detroit. With large amounts of space to work with, the architects of Millennium City saw little need to build up; even in the center of downtown the largest buildings are only 30-40 stories tall. Instead, they built out, and filled each level — the most notable and ubiquitous features of the city are the multilevel walkways, ramps, arches, and bridges connecting each building. Every block in downtown Millennium City has several levels of walkways above the street, most enclosed but usually at least one with openings on the side (also allowing the wind to pass through) and some totally open to the elements (and closed to foot traffic during bad weather). Th e largest buildings are the seven that make up the rebuilt Renaissance Center, averaging 45 stories each and housing the headquarters of some of the world’s biggest and most advanced corporations. The Detroit River, which passes to the south and divides Millennium City from its Canadian sister city Windsor, connects Lake St. Claire to Lake Erie. This cold and swift river moves an enormous amount of freight, although most of the shipping business in the area actually runs through Windsor. Commuters can cross this river either by quick ferry service, by under-river tunnel, or by one of two aerial gondola lines, which are very crowded during rush hour.

Leave the Driving to us

Upon entering Millennium City, the first and most notable landmark one encounters are the Gates. Millennium City is a “closed system”; there are only four entry points to the city by road, and each has a gate where sensors check each entering car to confirm that it is equipped with a “control chip.” These chips allow the computerized roadways running through Millennium City to interface with the car. (If a driver’s car does not have a chip, extensive and well-guarded parking garages are available at every Gate, along with stations for the People Mover monorail. It is also possible to rent a chipped car at stations just inside the Gates.) Chipped cars can receive direct signals from transmitters along the roadside, which send information regarding traffic conditions and other hazards. Furthermore, only chipped cars are allowed on “The Loop,” the freeway running along the perimeter of the city, where control of the cars is relinquished by the driver to a massive computer, which keeps traffic zipping along at a standard 70 mph with each car at a uniform distance and shifting lanes to exit at the destination the driver entered in advance. The Gates themselves are also stops on the new highspeed rail system installed in the mid-1990s covering almost all of southern Michigan. The city itself is designed to be friendly to pedestrians. There are extended walkways connecting buildings, each lighting up at night when motion sensors detect movement nearby. The walkways, streets, and sidewalks contain powerful heating elements that keep snow, ice, or even standing water from accumulating. Many buildings have rooftop parks or gardens, taking advantage of the space available at higher levels to create a more comfortable urban environment. It is quite possible to cross Millennium City in several directions without ever descending to street level, and some citizens take pride in doing so as little as possible. As a visitor walks through Millennium City, he notices the flashy video billboards, some of which utilize three-dimensional “hologram” technology. Large displays are mounted on the sides of tall buildings, but there are smaller ones on walls at ground level as well. On most street corners one can also find “Info Kiosks,” small stands where vendors sell newspapers and snacks while large screens broadcast news and advertisements. Each of these kiosks also features private phone/Internet access booths, separated by screens which turn opaque when a user enters. Visitors who stay for extended periods learn about some of the other unique features of Millennium City. The libraries and schools have state-of-the-art computer systems and store the vast majority of their data electronically. Every building within the city limits is wired for ultra-high-speed Internet access. The city’s governmental systems use the latest equipment; for example, the voter rolls are online, and voting itself is fully automated and can be done from the privacy of home, vastly increasing turnout. Obviously, a city as wired as Millennium City draws an enormous amount of power, and the electricity supply is an ongoing concern. The city is covered with solar panels, which take much of the roof space of taller buildings. Northeast of the city along the shores of Lake St. Claire are numerous “windmill farms,” each with thousands of small turbines spinning in the breeze. The primary sources of electricity remain the two nuclear plants in Monroe, thirty miles south (known as “Fermi 2” and “Fermi 3”) and a dozen fossil-fuel plants. Several scientists in Millennium City, including [[Dr. Silverback]] and his colleague Dr. Abnel Ali, are committed to solving the city’s energy supply problems.


Millennium City is the largest city in Michigan and the county seat of Wayne County. The mayor, elected in 1996 and reelected in 2000, is [[Calvin Biselle]], a Democrat. Biselle is a African American man, 46 years old, divorced with two children. He receives strong support from the local unions, the casinos, and the young, “hip” workers who’ve moved to Millennium City in the last few years to take high-paying programming and engineering jobs. Biselle is notorious for his public “misstatements” — he regularly mangles the English language and makes numerous factual errors in speeches and other public appearances that his staff immediately corrects in hurried “clarifications.” However, Biselle strongly supports the arts (both classical and contemporary — he numbers among his personal friends several rap artists, actors, and writers, and dated actress Leah Ross for several years), is socially progressive, and projects a youthful, energetic image. While the Mayor controls the executive functions of city government, the City Council handles the legislative and fiscal considerations. The nine-seat Council is largely made up of moderate conservatives selected and supported by the corporations that built and run Millennium City. One notable exception is Councilman Brianna Cook, a Chippewa Native American who represents the 5th District (which includes two of Millennium City’s three Native-run casinos). The City’s Police Commissioner is Ruth Arnold, formerly head of Old Detroit’s Organized Crime Task Force and a thirty-year veteran. Well-regarded for her ability to tie mob heads up in administrative red tape, Arnold has inherited a force deeply divided between young “techies” armed with the latest cutting-edge science and equipment and an aging force of Old Detroit’s veteran cops holding on for their pensions. Millennium City has a police force of 10,000, approximately 70% of whom are officers. Millennium City’s internal government frequently finds itself competing with Wayne County’s government, including the County Executive Leonard Berman and County Prosecutor Daniel Watson. Compared with the city, the rest of Wayne County frequently considers itself underfunded, especially the cities of Dearborn, Livonia, and North Detroit.


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