The DCU States Contest - Drawing the Map!

Last week, the SBG was all about trying to find room on the U.S. map for all those extra DC Universe cities. And then we went a little crazy and I suggested we create Obama's 10 extra states, one for each of 10 fictional cities. With suggestions from readers like you and some of my own ideas, I drew this (click for more detail):DCU cities represented by red dots. So here's what's what and with credit where credit is due:

1-Metropolis, Jefferson (JF): It may be hard to see (darn overloaded Eastern seaboard!), but I've redivided the Chesapeake Bay area, pushing Delaware (where the DC Heroes RPG places Metropolis) up and extending it west into Maryland to make room for Jefferson. The name proposed by Eric TF Bat said something about liberty and the American way, which is good for Superman's hometown. I liked Teebore's Plymouth, but once I decided Metropolis was going to be a more southerly city than the dreary Gotham City (despite many suggesting I do the opposite), the location got too far from Plymouth Rock. I also like how Jefferson is near Washington D.C., as that city has figured prominently in the Superman books, either thanks to Senator Pete Ross, or President Luthor, but it's still not facing it across the bay, being on the ocean front instead.

2-Gotham City, Gotham (GT): I went with Jeff R.'s suggestion that Gotham City, which is in Gotham County, should be in Gotham State. Gotham is Gotham is Gotham. For its location, I went for north of New York not just because of the dreary weather, but also because I wanted Blüdhaven to be near it. Blüdhaven is an old whaling town, which immediately connected it to Hartford, Connecticut for me (it is the most easterly red dot in Gotham). Gotham eats up half of Connecticut, and is just a boat ride away from New York City, perfect for Robin's commute to Titans Tower.

3-Central City, Lakota (LK): Suggested for Keystone City by Flying Tiger Comics, I liked it better for Central City. Teebore pushed it aside for being to specific and went for Sioux instead, but I think Lakota just sounds more like a state. Since the real world model for Central/Keystone is Kansas City, straddling Kansas and Missouri, I also divided their respective states with the Missouri River. Lakota goes from Sioux City to St.Joseph, with Central City at the midpoint, facing our own world's Omaha (but see below). The other frontiers are more blocky, following I-35 for the most part.

4-Keystone City, Omaha (OM): Lakota is a strong Native name, so I wanted Keystone's state to also be one. I looked at maps of Native tribes and found Omaha in southern Nebraska where I'd put the state, then went back to my U.S. map and Omaha was right where I was putting Keystone! Though the state becomes blocky like a lot of the western states at the end, it initially follows the Platte River west.

5. Midway City, Chippawa (CH): The northern half of Michigan is already physically separate from the more populated part of the state (as Quilty mentions), so was perfect for statehood. "Superior", suggested for any state on the border of Lake Superior, just never worked for me. Midway City, Superior? Imagine people from that state; they would be insufferable. I was on a Native roll, and remembered Gordon Lightfoot's awesome, awesome song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" about a real ship wreck in Superior. As the song goes, stories of the Great Lake's dangers are told "from the Chippawa on down". Done deal. And since Midway is meant to be in Michigan anyway...

6. Coast City and Gateway City, North California (CF): Teebore's suggestion is the simplest, especially since California is such a large state to begin with. More than one reader also suggested I keep Gateway City in the same state as another west coast city. I folded (#8 is now another city entirely, see below) and turned Gateway into a sister city to San Francisco, since it shares many of its landmarks and in the spot, becomes the "gateway" to the state. Coast City is thus more to the north, replacing Eureka. The state line follows I-80 until it connects with Nevada.

7. Star City, Columbia (CL): Another Teebore suggestion (what can I say, he did his homework), I nevertheless put Star City more to the north than he did. Columbia mirrors Canada's British Columbia and is across a straight from Victoria Island. Star City is on the coast, and it's a poke at Green Arrow that it replaces our world's Cape Disappointment. The other side of the state faces Seattle where Green Arrow and Black Canary once lived.

8. Dakota City, Dakota (DK): I pulled Gateway City from its own state, but I still needed 10 extra states. Dakota City, recently (but quietly) integrated into the DC Universe seemed like a natural, especially with a name like that. In the original Milestone Comics, Dakota City seemed to be on the east coast, and when "worlds collided", was just across from Metropolis. That won't work on New Earth, and since the Milestone heroes haven't really interacted much with DC characters, it made sense to locate it far from the usual stomping grounds. There's a North Dakota and a South Dakota, so if there's a plain, simple Dakota, it would be in the same area. The new states takes from both of its cousins, with Dakota right on Lake Traverse, which I imagine a little wider and wetter than on our Earth (to help make the Milestone stories "happen", Paris Island, etc.). Note that this Dakota City has nothing to do with similarly named towns in Iowa and Nebraska.

9. Fawcett City, Franklin (FR): Nothing really tickled my fancy, until I looked at Quilty's more generic state names and found Franklin. I already set a precedent with Metropolis' Jefferson, so a founding father was definitely a possibility. Then it hit me: Benjamin Franklin and his kite getting hit by lightning. Shazam! As for the location, I placed it, as per many suggestions, on Lake Superior, taking a chunk out of Minnesota where Fawcett Publications started, way back in 1919. I used rivers to draw the state line.

10. Opal City, Haukins (HK): I put Opal City on Chesapeake Bay, stealing land from Virginia to create the grasslands seen in Starman while keeping the city's seaport. I was primed to call the state Chesapeake, as per Teebore's suggestion, but the more I thought about it, with Starman writer James Robinson's love (nay, passion!) for obscure characters from across the DCU's history, it made more sense to go with Jeff R.'s Haukins, naming it after the DC frontier hero and American revolutionary we know as Tomahawk.

And there you have it. My map also shows (in black) other cities that have been home to DC heroes. You'll note Los Angeles (Infinity Inc.), Seattle (Green Arrow), El Paso (Blue Beetle III), Kansas City (Doom Patrol), Chicago (Blue Beetle II, Hawkworld), Houma (Swamp Thing), Detroit (JLA), Pittsburgh (Firestorm), Washington DC (Wonder Woman), New York (Titans), and Boston (Wonder Woman).

Additional reading: Snell's census of the DCU


Quilty said...

Great ideas! Dakota State is a nice addition. I also like the idea of Jefferson being small enough for Metropolis to all but encompass the entire state. (If I weren't so bound by the DCU Atlas I would have Metropolis replace Providence, RI instead of being in Delaware.)

Austin Gorton said...

Excellent ideas!

Gotham eats up half of Connecticut, and is just a boat ride away from New York City, perfect for Robin's commute to Titans Tower.

Good thinking, I like that.

but I think Lakota just sounds more like a state

It does. I mainly went with Sioux as a commentary on the US's poor treatment of Native Americans through the years. "Lakota" is definitely more state-like.

...remembered Gordon Lightfoot's awesome, awesome song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

That is indeed an awesome song. Some buddies and I go camping on the North Shore every summer, and we invariably listen to it on the way up then spend the weekend humming it as we swim in Lake Superior.

Also, "Chippewa" certainly is an appropriate state name for just about any state in that northern Midwest region.

I nevertheless put Star City more to the north than he did.

I like it more to the north. The only reason I put it where I did was my slavish devotion to all the sources that likened it to San Fransisco, so I didn't want to go too far north. You're just strong enough to break out on your own. :)

Then it hit me: Benjamin Franklin and his kite getting hit by lightning. Shazam!

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

it made more sense to go with Jeff R.'s Haukins, naming it after the DC frontier hero and American revolutionary we know as Tomahawk.

I definitely think that fits Robinson's aesthetic.

Seriously, this was tons of fun. Thanks Siskoid!

Moriarty said...

REALLY awesome map. The positioning of Gotham & Blüdhaven is particularly inspired. In fact the only one that doesn't ring true for me is Coast City. One of the places most closely associated by proximity to GL's home town is Edwards Air Force Base, which is in SoCal a little ways north of Los Angeles. For me, that would put Coast City somewhere around Santa Barbara. Maybe carve a small state between there and San Louis Obispo?

F. Douglas Wall said...

I would have thought that the northern California state would have been called Jefferson. There actually was some talk at some point of subdividing the state, with the northern portion being redubbed Jefferson. You can check Wikipedia for more details, I'm too lazy :)

Siskoid said...

Don't worry Moriarty, it bugs me too. Maybe there should be a southern Californian state that steals that peninsula away from Mexico.

Lazarus Lupin said...

Great map, I hope DC doesn't see it though or we'll have Crisis of Infinite States.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

ShadowWing Tronix said...

Sure, Delaware gets Metropolis and we get Gotham. Like our state doesn't suffer enough these days. (See also Marvel blowing us up and the governor about to tax us out of existence.)

Siskoid said...

Well, technically, Maryland gets Metropolis on my map. Sorry Connecticut!

I suppose having Ivy University isn't much of a consolation.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

It might be fun to visit, if only because it's in our own private Eeire, Indiana. :)


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