Shoring up the Walls of Metropolis
Rumbles. That's the term that now seems to be the generally accepted one when referring to encounters between 'powered' beings, or the involvement of the Special Crimes Unit. So-called because of the noise and damage which tends to occur as a result of these clashes, many now re-name them 'Krumbles' once a certain Kryptonian gets involved. The tongue-in-cheek humour of the Metropolitans.
Rumbles and Krumbles are nothing like 'traditional' clashes, and many have commentated that even damage from riots do not compare, especially in light of the short time-frame rumbles and Krumbles take place over. It's because of the scale of the damage that many folk left Metropolis in the first year of Superman adopting the city as his home – and when you have experienced being abducted by an alien entity and miniaturised along with the rest of the city, wishing to move on and away is quite understandable. Many others, though, didn't.
K-tech, a start-up company which has been in business for 18 months now, has seen a massive demand for its range of construction material. Initially started as a joint venture between two university research teams (Met U and MIT), it has resisted the repeated (and sometimes aggressive) interest of LexCorp, N.O. , The Edge Group, Queen Industries and WayneTech. Rumours abound, though, that K-tech is looking to launch a Metropolis-only IPO – a number of legal teams are, apparently, currently working through and around a number of issues – in a bid to raise capital, provide a good return to the investors, and develop a new range of 'kinetic walls'.
Since the arrival of Superman, Broadway is now known as 'Science Mile'. Massive investment by LexCorp prompted other companies to also contribute to the revitalisation of the area and it is now the 'Nerd Capital' of the world (sorry New York). That Lex Luthor, founder and CEO of LexCorp, has been off the radar for several years has not gone unnoticed. Some have speculated that, like Simon Tycho, Luthor has decided to live on a geo-synchronous space station…
Metropolis has seen immense changes in its skyline in recent years, with several landmark buildings disappearing in their entirety including, recently, the famed Daily Planet. The Environmental and Planning Board have recently put forward new zoning areas, separating such things as animal research astrophysics, in a bid to prevent incidents like 'the Negative Monkey' from occurring again. The success of these new areas waits to be seen, however it's the residential areas which have seen the most change.
Seven years ago, the Wilkins family lived on the edge of formerly affluent and formerly Jewish area known as Shuster Gardens – as a result of the recession of the 80s there were hundreds of foreclosures and the area steadily went downhill. Two years ago, their house was destroyed when a missile fired by the army at a group of invading parademons was deflected. K-tech offered to rebuild their home (and a dozen others in Shuster Gardens) for free provided they could use the property as a showcase for their products for the next five years. Last year, when the anti-meta terrorist group Xeno triggered 411 50lb car bombs in Shuster Gardens simultaneously, every property rebuilt by K-tech remained standing.
Downtown, the offices of several dozen corporations were partially repaired by K-tech and a number of other companies (some with ties to companies mentioned earlier) after the abduction of Metropolis by The Collector, whereas two others were demolished and rebuilt from scratch. The result? Two Buck Rogers-esque buildings changed the face of Metropolis' postcards.
The development of these new kinds of walls and structures has aided elsewhere in the world, too. Government buildings in Afghanistan, along with the barracks of armies there; prisons in Thailand and England; superlabs in the Tropics and the Antarctic. The world is changing, and Metropolis is the initiator.
As the sign says: 'Welcome to Metropolis. Welcome to tomorrow.'