Saturday, June 6, 2015

DC Geography--A Home For Central City?

Well, if there is anything good to come out of the new Superman arc (SPOILER ALERT: there isn't), it might be that the story at least managed to whet my appetite for fictional DC Geography!!

MINOR SPOILERS FOR ACTION COMICS #41 CONTAINED HEREIN.

If you do want to know any of this, come back later. Spoilers commence after the map of the USA:

A mostly-depowered Clark Kent, his identity doxxed, is tooling around America on a motorcycle like a cooler David Banner trying to get away from Jack McGee.

Because traveling the nation on a motorcycle is sooo much better than walking the country. Call this Grounded, the emo-biker-chic version.

Anyhoo, Aaron Kuder gives us a splash page chronicling Kal-El's journey:

Now, the perspective is clearly a bit off, so we're deep into grain-of-salt territory.

But the pair of captions that begin "Feeling my first caffeine rush" are clearly covering Michigan. Which means the "dot" representing Central City is south of the western tip of Lake Superior...

Which, depending on how you're figuring distance and direction on this goofy map, that the Flash's home town is going to be in eastern Iowa/western Illinois/northeastern Missouri.

At the very least, it's a firm rebuke to those who have tried to place Central City in Ohio. As if.

And what about Metropolis?

Well, the lack of detail presented along the east coast makes it pretty difficult to tell. But the tilt of the map suggests that the City Of Tomorrow is slightly northeast of Central City, which would put it in the New Jersey/Delaware area...perhaps even Maryland? Frustratingly hard to tell, but at least it's a little more information...

So, even in a story that presents all humans in the nu52 as selfish, ungrateful xenophobic buttheads who will completely turn on their world's greatest hero the second he's down on his luck, we can still find tidbits on the location of fictional cities.

So who says that I can't find the positive in even the stupidest stories?!?

7 comments:

Siskoid said...

Matches what we already thought was true, more or less, from the DCHeroes Atlas.

Link's wrong on the tweeter, by the way. Or was there a Crisis that retconned it?

Siskoid said...

Haven't read Bizarro #1 yet, but I sure hope there are fictional cities in the Great White North as well!

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Yep, Metropolis as Delaware and Gotham as more or less Cape May NJ, across the bay.

It makes sense that without an Earth 2 Flash to team-up with, and correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Flash in the Earth 2 comic in Michigan, there's no real reason to have Central City straddle Keystone as if they were analogues for Kansas City.

I like the idea of Flash being out in the Midwest east of the Great Plains. Like in THE NEW FRONTIER, with Ray Palmer living somewhere in Indiana, not some big lab in a big city. Maybe Central City could represent the Quad Cities and allow for the police doing more than answering nuisance calls in the Bible Belt.

Mista Whiskas said...

Hmm. I always assumed Gotham was New York, Central City was Chicago (it's the big city in the center of the US), Coast City was Los Angeles (because it's the big city on the West Coast...) I clearly haven't been paying attention!

Arynne said...

For some reason I always thought of Metropolis as Chicago. Maybe because Golden Age Clark Kent covered the World's Fair when it was there in 1938? Or maybe because a farmboy from Kansas heading to Chicago seems more evocative?

snell said...

Mista and Arynne--the thing is, those real cities--New York, Chicago, Los Angeles--also exist in the DC Universe. So while Gotham may be metaphorically NYC, you still have to figure out where it geographically fits. Well, if you're obsessed like me, you do.

You can read more of my obsession with DC Geography, and my friend Siskoid has his own take on it.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

@Arynne: in the early issues of Superman, Metropolis was Cleveland. I want to say that Cleveland came before Metropolis, but its been forever since I read any of the archives.


@snell: when I was growing up, I always thought Midway City was an analogue for Chicago. Hawkman and the Doom Patrol all in Chicago, how cool is that?