Super-powered people are everywhere now. They are so pervasive that you might live next door to one, or be one, and not even know it. Your city might be crawling with the cape-and-mask folks. These notes are designed to help you decide if you live in a super-power city. If more than six of these match your home town, you might want to figure out your sidekick name.
1–Your city’s name has two words, and the second word is City. For purposes of this essay, I will refer to your city as Your City.
2–Your City has about 300,000 to half a million inhabitants depending on the day of the week. It has three power plants. One of the power plants is nuclear. The location of the nuclear plant ensures that if there were a serious accident or deliberate attack on it, everyone in the city would die.
3–Your City has between seventeen and twenty abandoned plants and/or factories. One was a former pharmaceutical plant. Surprisingly, these long-derelict plants all still have electricity.
4–Your City has an elaborate underground subway system with intact tracks and even hidden stations. This seems odd, because Your City has never had a subway system.
5–Your City has one state-of-the-art hospital and one hanging-on-by-its-fingertips clinic in the low-income, designated Bad Part of Town, which may have its own clever name.
6–The only real weakness in the state-of-the-art hospital seems to be its morgue, because they routinely declare people dead who later turn up alive.
7–Your City has a supermax prison and a high-security, supermax asylum for the criminally insane (whatever that actually is). One or both of these institutions has a successful escape at least once a week.
8–Your City has a vibrant, thriving waterfront.
9–Your City has a defunct, ghostly waterfront.
10–These might be the same waterfront.
11–Street drugs in Your City are almost always intravenous. They glow green, bale-fire yellow, or less frequently, danger red.
12–The syringes used to inject the street drugs are the diameter of a quarter and the plungers have huge rabbit-ear handles. While these fail as covert delivery systems, they make the glowing liquid look awesome when the back-lit villain is threatening to inject a hostage.
13–Your City has a defunct amusement park and probably a toy factory. See #3 above.
14–Your City has very few working class or middle class neighborhoods, but you grew up in Your City and have fond memories of the 1940s bungalow that was the family home; playing ball in the street with your friends; and exploring the little woods behind the house.
15–Your City has one ultra-high-end rooftop restaurant, one other fine dining restaurant, one bar (maybe two if there’s a pub that doubles as a cop bar) and one coffee place. Fortunately, the coffee place is right on your way to work.
16–No baristas are ever injured in any of the many super-powered fights that happen in the coffee shop, with one exception. If the barista tells you, “Wow, I saw this really weird thing last night, when I was out walking my dog in the abandoned amusement park, you know where all those mutilation murders happened? I’ll tell you about it when I get off work,” then the barista will be dead before the shift ends.
17–Your City has a world class university with a physics department, an expert in Ancient Languages, an Applied Sciences program, history, archeology, geology and volcanology experts, a particle accelerator and a large radio telescope.
18–Your City is somewhere in the continental United States, but there are no county, state or federal offices in Your City, and when you have a problem no state or federal aid is likely to show up, unless a Senator makes an appearance. If a Senator makes an appearance, the Senator will turn out to be a supervillain.
19–Even though there are three power plants, every precinct of the Your City Police Department is lit in a dramatically shadowy manner. The darkest areas are the interrogation rooms.
20–Your City has one “alderman,” and sometimes it has a mayor. Usually not for long. It does have a lot a elections, though. Usually for mayor.
These are just a few of the elements that exist in towns loaded with super-powered people. While this list is not exhaustive I hope you find it useful. Don’t forget to dry-clean your mask at least three times a year, and remember, capes are a safety hazard.