The Good, The Bad, The Unusual...
Part4: THE IRON AGE
In the summer of 1990, two of the world’s most potent metahumans clashed in the desert of Iran.
The United States’ Liberty and The Hammer of the former Soviet Union had long been preeminent heroes of their countries, and had developed a rivalry that could not be set aside with world politics.
Scientists would later suggest that their titanic battle merely set off an already unstable fault, but the world at large merely saw television clips
played over and over of two powered individuals devastating the land for fifty miles in all directions with their vainglorious feud.
The worst that had come of metahuman battles before had been fractured infrastructure and a few lost lives, often in the pursuit of saving more.
None of the truly powerful heroes and villains had ever managed to engage in such a direct opposition of forces, nor demonstrated that the effect they could have on their environments was on the order of a warhead rather than artillery. The body count was extensive, and with it the nightmares of the first world: what if such a battle was to take place in the heart of a populated city?
in a spirit of cooperation designed to distance themselves from the feud of their heroes the US and Russia both passed legislation, hurriedly copied by many other countries, giving new powers to deal with such threats in the future, and heavily curtailing the vigilante freedom of heroes.
That law quickly became known simply as the M.S.I., or Meta-human Security Initiative, and the world’s law enforcement was encouraged to cease cooperation with heroes as much as possible and to strongly hold costumed individuals to the letter, rather than the spirit, of the law.
One small ray of light remained for metahumans in that attempts to completely overturn the Lehrman Act failed: costumed individuals retained their immunity to having their private lives unearthed by the government.
Many heroes retired immediately, while others weathered the rest of the decade by continuing their activities without police assistance or knowledge.
Most villains simply forwent their costumes and returned to the currently less noteworthy world of organized crime.
Others continued to terrorize society only to find themselves being put down hard: those few that survived their often violent arrests were consigned to new, high-security super-prisons without public trial or hope of release.
But like all public opinion, the disillusionment with heroes would fade with time.