The 1930’s saw the dawn of superheroes, as they begun to make themselves known to the world. The first of which was the Statesman, who’s example soon inspired other heroes such as The Dark Watcher, The Dream Doctor and Maiden Justice to emerge. With this new breed of justice, it inevitably brought out increasingly more dangerous and organized villains.
Realizing this, the Statesman recognized the need to bring heroes together and form a coordinated fighting unit. Inviting other heroes to join him, he issued a challenge to those who would listen: “To make a difference, not only on the streets and in the city, but also around the world."
On that fateful spring day in 1931, the heroes who would take up the Statesman’s challenge was The Dark Watcher, Elementar, Team Vambrace (scientist and creator of the Vambrace Armour, James St. John-Smythe, and the ex-football hero and the suit’s wearer, Brandon Warfield) and Maiden Justice. Thus was formed the first worldwide hero organization; dedicated to fighting evil, injustice and tyranny wherever it would arise.
Using inspiration from both The Statesman and the shoulder-to-shoulder discipline of ancient Greek soldiers in the fight against the Persians, James St. John-Smythe suggested the name, The Freedom Phalanx, which was quickly approved by the rest.
On , a day that would be known as “Brass Monday”, The Freedom Phalanx faced their first real test. Uncovering a plot of invasion by the automaton horde called the Nemesis Faction led by the Prussian Prince of Automatons, Nemesis. Rallying the authorities, The Freedom Phalanx managed to fend off the Nemesis’ army with the Statesman battling Nemesis himself. The Statesman and his The Freedom Phalanx proved too strong for the invading Nemesis as they were forced to retreat.
The victory was a defining part of history as this heralded the potential good that super heroes could contribute to the world. Co-operation between the Freedom Phalanx and the authorities became more prominent as the Police forces grew to accept and trust what was initially regarded as masked vigilantism. The growing support from authorities and public alike brought forward the Citizen Crime Fighting Act of 1937.
From 1931 to 1941, The Freedom Phalanx primarily operated within . It was not until when was attacked by Nazi super villains. The Freedom Phalanx managed to route the Nazi’s, however the devastation caused was immense. After the government declared war, The Freedom Phalanx, already with a wealth of superheroes, decided to aid in the efforts made across the in World War II.
The Freedom Phalanx continued to fight throughout the war, often engaging super-powered Axis soldiers around the world. A great number of heroes perished and were severely injured during the war. Even their greatest champion, the Statesman, who fought at the forefront suffered critical wounds that left him cripple for the rest of the war.
After World War II, the returning heroes were once again confronted by the Nemesis faction and their leader. Thankfully, The Statesman had recovered from his injuries during the war and valiantly led the group to victory once more. Despite the victories, the affects were felt by many super heroes with a many members retiring. The Freedom Phalanx managed to preserve the core members and gradually build the group again.
1950’s – 1980’s
During this time, The Freedom Phalanx faced many villains and foiled numerous conspiracies. In 1952, their continuing success encouraged the expansion of the Citizen Crime Fighting Act, allowing officially licensed hero groups the power to deputise their members.
The age of the Cold War and the nuclear crisis ushered in a testing period for the group, as member’s views were torn, those who conformed to preserve the American way of life and those who believed in the greater good. The Statesman’s resounding declaration that the team “would no longer serve just or ; it would serve all of humanity,” was heeded by its members and acted on.
In light of the Cold War, the late 60’s and early 70’s saw the members of the Freedom Phalanx take “a strong, public stand in favour of the various burgeoning Civil Rights movements. More recently, the Freedom Phalanx has chosen to involve itself in areas the government prefers to steer clear of (i.e.: the Balkans and central ).” Because of this a number of government officials have tried to tarnish the group’s reputation to the point where they have been accused as traitorous. Despite such defamatory comments, the Freedom Phalanx’s popularity remained high due to such high public support.
Drug abuse was a prominent issue from the late 70’s onwards. Carrying on into the mid-80’s, it had evolved and the street corners were plagued by the drug known as “Supes”, a super steroid that temporarily increased strength and endurance. It was alleged that a small percentage of abusers were able to see and even travel to other dimensions.
From this claim, research into other dimensions was set about. Headed by former Freedom Phalanx technician, Dr. Brian Webb, the project spawned the Portal Corp. they made colossal grounds into unlocking the secrets of dimensional travel. Within four years they were capable of entering dimensions parallel and other.
Headway into dimensional exploration had begun. Intrigued with the new technology and acknowledging how important this could be, the Statesman enlisted members to help with the explorations. The heroes were assigned in ensuring Dr. Webb’s safety, unfortunately they were overwhelmed while exploring an alternate world where the Nazi’s had overrun . Within this alternate, there came forth a corrupted version of ’s greatest hero, The Reichsman.
After capturing, torturing and eventually killing Dr. Webb and his exploration team, The Reichsman and his Amerika Korps ventured through the dimensional portal into . Queen Comet, member of the Freedom Phalanx and friend of Dr. Webb was present when The Reichsman and his team came through. Calling for back-up, she bravely fought off the invaders. Queen Comet managed to hold on until the Statesman and the rest of the Phalanx’s arrival, but was severely injured.
The Statesman and the Reichsman faced off to what was to be an evenly fought match. The same could not be said between the Amerika Korps and the Freedom Phalanx. With Amerika Korps beaten, The Statesman was able to overwhelm his counterpart with the aid of the Freedom Phalanx. The Reichsman currently resides within the Freedom Phalanx headquarter's containment cells frozen in suspended animation.
The Freedom Phalanx were among the first groups to investigate the appearance of Rikti teleportation portals. The hero Star Strider was tasked into investigating the phenomena. Entering the portal Star Strider was never to be seen again even to this day. With the hero not returning and having experienced a similar incident just a little over a decade ago, the Freedom Phalanx prepared for the worst. Their preparations proved insignificant as the Rikti wave from the off was relentless, killing countless of heroes ’s heroes.
The Rikti had managed to co-ordinate attacks on Freedom Phalanx buildings and other organizations headquarters. The losses to the Freedom Phalanx and other groups were reminiscent of World War II, yet they continued to fight on. The onslaught had reduced the hero population to just the Statesman and a handful of other resilient heroes.
With the United Nations Security Council, the Statesman formed the Vanguard. With the formation of the Vanguard the heroes were able to rally together and strike back. The Freedom Phalanx staged a frontal assault on the Rikti forward positions. Intended to divert the attention of the Rikti for an elite taskforce team to infiltrate the Rikti dimension and destroy the power source powering the alien technology. The diversion worked the the covert mission was a success... but at a great cost with eight hundred heroes losing their life during this mission.
In the aftermath of the invasion the Freedom Phalanx and other surviving organizations spear-headed an effort to return Paragon City and the world back to normal life.
Normality eventually emerged, but it also brought about changes as the government has cracked down on a number of freedoms and rights. Even the deputation of anonymous super-powered heroes that was amended in the 1952 Citizens Crime Fighting Act has received serious criticisms from civil rights groups.
The Freedom Phalanx uphold their policy to have no official ties to any government and remain to be one of the most open organizations in Paragon City. Unlike other groups, details about their memberships, funding and activities is entirely open to all.
Back Alley Brawler
The Dark Watcher*
Dr. Brian Webb
* Co-founders of the Freedom Phalanx