Paragon City: War Begins
While the 1930's saw the rise of the American Hero, in Germany they saw the rise of a totalitarian regime. The Nazis presented a growing threat to freedom in Europe and eventually the entire world. Hitler and his followers had transformed Germany into a powerful military industrial state with one of the largest and most technologically advanced armies in the world. By the time World War II broke out, the United States had finally begun to look beyond its own troubles and realize that they had larger problems to deal with.
In Europe, Great Britain held on by its fingernails, protected from German invasion by its air force, dwindling navy and dedicated but small bands of heroes such as the Dawn Patrol. The Nazis had just revealed their own team of super powered soldiers called the Storm Korps, thus changing the face of modern warfare forever. In Asia, Japan had already occupied huge swaths of China and Southeast Asia and now threatened American holdings in the Philippines and even the West Coast. It seemed inevitable that the US would eventually get drawn into the war. The American military sluggishly geared up for war and, based on events in Europe, began recruiting heroes into its ranks.
It was almost too little too late. On December 7th, 1941 the US was forcefully brought into the war with simultaneous attacks on each of its potential fronts. In Hawaii the Japanese launched a massive air strike against naval forces at Pearl Harbor. In Paragon City a cadre of Nazi heroes made a similar, equally devastating attack. Paragon City's harbor was the staging ground for America's lend/lease program whereby it transported military equipment to the beleaguered British Isles. The largest convoy ever had assembled at Paragon City, hundreds of cargo ships protected by a fleet of US Navy warships and submarines. In the space of a few hours, Nazi insurgents struck all across the harbor. Super strong soldiers ripped apart ships with their bare hands. Flight pack equipped storm troopers zipped across the water firing high-powered rocket guns into fragile hulls. Blasts of pure energy ripped through the night, leaving death and devastation in their wake.
The Freedom Phalanx roused itself to take on the Nazi attack, but by the time they organized a response the attack was nearly over. The Germans made a fighting retreat as the sea burned with flaming oil and thousands sank to watery graves. In the wake of such disaster, Congress was quick to declare war on both Axis powers. The first into the fight were those very heroes who had been burned during the raid on Paragon City. The Freedom Phalanx, its ranks swelling with new volunteers, made a harrowing journey across the Atlantic to help reinforce the Dawn Patrol in England.
Paragon City became the main recruiting ground for super powered soldiers. The US Army set up a special training facility in the city and amended the recruitment laws to allow costumed and anonymous heroes to enlist in the war effort. Heroes from across the country and throughout the Western Hemisphere came to the city and learned to not only use their powers and abilities but also how to fight as part of an army. Fighting mobsters and costumed maniacs in the streets was one thing, but fighting thousands of armed troops led by trained, super soldiers was quite another. By 1942 the first group of new recruits was formed into the 1st Hero Brigade and was ready to ship off to England.
As the 1st Hero Brigade gathered for its send off in Liberty Plaza, the ground shook with a tremendous roar and a preternatural blackness blocked out the sun. Up from beneath he city streets came Nazi Super soldiers wearing the red and black uniforms that would soon become feared up and down the Eastern seaboard: the Fifth Column had made itself known. The Nazi troops had been in hiding ever since the December 7th attacks, waiting for a chance to strike again. This time, the villains did not have so easy a time. The fighting First Brigade rose to the occasion and won the first of many epic battles against Nazi forces both at home and abroad. Beaten but not defeated, the Fifth Column fled back into hiding, only to return time and again over the next four years. As for the 1St Hero Brigade, they shipped off to Europe to take the fight straight to the enemy.