Once again, we’re back with another “Great Curve Classics” … and another of Kevin Melrose’s At Sixes & Sevens feature. Enjoy!
Coming up with a nifty base of operations has to be the toughest part of being a supehero. Well, after saving the Earth while holding down a paying job.
I mean, most of the cool headquarters are generally spoken for, or out of reach: The Fortress of Solitude isn’t convenient to public transportation and, bad ’90s story ideas aside, Dr. Strange isn’t putting his Sanctum Sanctorum on the market anytime soon.
So, what’s left? The dregs, apparently …
JLA: Secret Sanctuary
It’s difficult to imagine a team that eventually would be based in a satellite 22,300 miles above the Earth — mind you, it did resemble a big nipple — and in watchtowers on the moon started out in a cave in Happy Harbor, R.I. Yes, Rhode Island. Sure, it was a spacious cave with showers and a trophy room. But still, Rhode Island?
Teen Titans: Gabriel’s Horn
In the mid-’70s, the Teen Titans were based in a secret headquarters beneath a disco in Farmingdale, Long Island, called Gabriel’s Horn. Because, y’know, all the hip kids hung out at discotheques — and called them discotheques. Roy Harper’s band, Great Frog, even played there, when our boy Speedy wasn’t busy shooting heroin.
JLA: The Detroit Bunker
Talk about adding insult to injury: As if it’s not bad enough that they fill the Justice League’s ranks with a bunch of nobodies — c’mon, Vibe and Gypsy? — they have to move the team from the nipple-rific satellite to … an underground bunker in Detroit. I bet they sat around the kitchen, eating Dale Gunn’s cooking, and asking Aquaman and Martian Manhunter how great things were at that cave in Rhode Island.
When the Federal Aeronautics Association revoked the Avengers’ airspace privileges, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes moved their quinjets from the swanky midtown Manhattan mansion to the Hydro-Base, just outside of territorial waters. Soon, the Avengers were taking full advantage of the floating island’s artificial beach and, um, artificial mountain. Unfortunately, that same beach provided the odious Dr. Druid with an opportunity to wear his pee-colored speedos. There’s just no excuse for that.
The Outsiders: Station Markovia
The Avengers, unfortunately, weren’t the only ones to take to the sea in the mid- to late ’80s. Witness Station Markovia, an energy and marine research station off the coast of California that the original Outsiders called home for a while. The thing about the station is that it was fully automated and no one, besides The Outsiders, knew that it was their top-secret headquarters. So those of you in Santa Monica who think you saw five figures in brightly colored uniforms flying toward a research platform — well, you were wrong. I’m not sure what you saw, but it definitely wasn’t The Outsiders.
The X-Men: Outback town
Let’s see how well I remember my late-’80s X-Men history: In the “Fall of the Mutants” storyline, the X-Men are thought dead, but pass through the magical Siege Perilous gem — meh, I give up. Anyway, they end up in the Great Australian Desert, where they defeat a group of cyborg criminals called the Reavers, then take over the dusty, forsaken town their opponents had called home. If you’re looking to keep on the down-low, the Outback is the way to go. But it’s hot — oh, so hot — and those Reavers weren’t the best housekeepers. In fact, the town was so nasty that Storm had to whip up a monsoon just to clean the place. I feel your pain, Dazzler. “Ugh,” indeed.