-Europe's had a fun little time. It's culture started out as a bunch of random Pagan tribes, but centralized first under the Greeks (then the most advanced culture around), then the Romans (the most militaristic). Rome eventually spread it's grip over nearly all of Europe and plenty of North Africa, forming one of the largest empires of all time. Things would falter later, sending Europe into the Middle Ages, which was bad or good depending on where you were from and what century it was.
-A few smaller empires sprouted up, but for the most part Europe was in recession, and was in danger from the Muslim & Mongol hordes for a while. The Rennaissance and Industrial Revolution changed things, and soon Europe roared back with a VENGEANCE, with a dozen countries eventually controlling basically the entirety of the globe. The Colonial era was pretty bad for a lot of people, but Europe was here to stay, and it's culture (and descendants in the Americas) soon dominated everything.
-Europe lost prestige and power after two World Wars to America, but among the continent are some of America's staunchest allies (especially England), other World Powers (France, Germany) and former Big Bad Foes (Russia).SPAIN
Reno de EspañaPopulation:
El Aguila, Empath
, VargasFun Facts:
-Called Hispania by the Romans, but was conquered by Germans, then Muslims, in the Middle Ages. Rolled back the conquests and was THE world power in the 16th and partial-17th centuries.
-A century of being the first World Power led to a huge chunk of the Earth speaking Spanish, leaving it the second-most-commonly spoken first language in the world (behind only Mandarin, just ahead of English).
-Famous for the "Spanish Inquisition", a period of religious dominance and anti-heresy that wiped out over 2,000 people, including many, many Jews ("convert or die/leave", basically).
-Fell apart gradually, being conquered by Napoleon, then suffering general instability, eventually losing all it's American colonies, and it dropped from the world scene.
-The Spanish Civil War in the 1930s led to General Francisco Franco taking control of the entire nation with his Fascist forces. It was neutral during World War II, but supported the Axis Powers.
-Francisco Franco died in 1975, and is still dead after all these years. King Juan Carlos I has reigned ever since, though Spain is now a democracy, as he became a mere figurehead. He remains very popular.
-Football is again the most popular sport, with Real Madrid being one of the most dominant teams in the world.
-A very regional country, with many old groups that have some degree of autonomy. The Basque Country (containing Europe's only language that is not only non-Romance, but non-Indo-European) is somewhat violence-ridden, and was recently blamed for terrorist bombings later revealed to be al-Quaeda. It's ETA group is the last continental European terrorist/separatist organization that has any degree of power.
-This breaking news just in: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead, and his situation appears unlikely to change anytime soon.FRANCE
Le Peregrine, Batroc the Leaper
(Masters of Evil), Exodus
, Surrender Monkey, Tarot
(Hellions), The Grey Gargoyle
, Princess PythonFun Facts:
-Populated by the Gauls during Roman times- they waxed and waned against Roman rule (Julius Caesar's forces defeated Vercingetorix's, most notably), occasionally fighting for independence.
-Later ruled by the Franks from the Northern portion of Gaul, from which "France" is named. Converted to Christianity quite early.
-The famous Charlemagne ruled a huge Empire than united much of the old Roman Empire outside of Italy, but it didn't last more than a few generations.
-Was consistently a huge power thereafter, with many famous rulers and wars (often against England). It's history features both Jeanne d'Arc (a female leader against the English during the Hundred Years War) and Napoleon Bonaparte (a Corsican general who took a vast swath of land in Europe until being unmade by a land war with Russia, and later Waterloo).
-Famous for it's French Revolution, a guillotine-ridden revolt by the people and a new elite that saw the King Louis XVI decapitated (along with his infamous wife Marie Antoinette). The First Republic would not last, nor would Napoleon's reign, a new Monarchy, the Second Republic, nor Napoleon III (nephew to the first)'s Second Empire.
-The Third Republic lasted through World War I at a tremendous cost (1.4 million soldiers dead), only to be faced with a massive German war machine in World War II, which broke the already-weakened nation badly (giving them an eternal reputation as cowards). Charles de Gaulle, leader of the French Resistance, would become a dominant President at war's end, leading the Fourth Republic.
-Had a large number of nations in it's Empire for decades, but lost all of them in the mid-1900s during instable times. This includes French Indochina (Thailand, Viet Nam & Laos), Algeria, and others, leaving these parts of the world massively destabilized. Has a reputation for being utter dicks to their old colonies (they even take the Quebecois of Canada for a semi-liberated bunch of pilgrims).
-The stereotype of the rude, egotistical Frenchman holds for most of the world, but within France, that stereotype is held towards Parisians themselves.
-Currently has the third or fourth-largest military on Earth, so don't think you can screw with them.
-Contains the famous Louvre, Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral and more- a major tourist destination of Europe, and arguably it's largest cultural centre.
-Has a large (6%) Muslim minority, a controversial group (basically a poor minority group, with all that entails- poverty, crime and prejudice), often leading to riots and civic disturbances.BELGIUM
The Kingdom of BelgiumPopulation:
Dutch (also French, German)Super-Powered Representatives:
Mr. M, REM-RAM
(The Acolytes), The Belgian Brain, Jean-Claude Van DammeFun Facts:
-Defeated the French in the Battle of the Golden Spurs (among the first victories by infantry over cavalry), and they massacred a lot of French noblemen (hence the name of the Battle) instead of just holding them for ransom. Split from The Netherlands after the Napoleonic Wars, as the French part of Belgium was under-represented in the government.
-Was kind of a sticking point in Europe, bouncing from Spanish control to Austrian, and eventually declared it's independence. Complicated alliances and promises to not become a pawn of another nation (as was the fear in Europe) led to England & France both promising to defend Belgium if it were ever attacked (this becomes important later), as long as it was forever neutral.
-Was a major Industrial Revolution-era power, and carved a mini-Empire. Was not-so-nice to the people of the Congo (think "Heart of Darkness").
-It's right next to France. And it makes a perfect launching-point for an invasion. So... when Germany declared war on France & invaded in World Wars One & Two, guess who got used as a back-door? Thus, England was also forced to declare war against Germany both times.
-Belgium got it's ass handed to them quickly by the Germans, and is the setting for MANY, MANY horrible conflicts (Ypes & Passcendale are both in Belgium). Contains Flanders Field, the subject of the epically-sad War poem about dead soldiers and the poppies growing on their graves.
-Is famous for chocolate, beer, and invented French Fries. Jean-Claude Van Damme (karate/kickboxing champ, actor) and Audrey Hepbrun (possibly the cutest woman ever to live) are Belgian. The famous "Tintin" comes from Belgium as well, as do The Smurfs. Comics are big business in this part of the world.
-A political crisis (stirred by economic disparity) has split the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-Speaking Wallonians, and could lead to a partition of the country.
-Famously considered bland in various parts of the world, thus Agatha Christie made Hercule Poirot Belgian to avoid national stereotypes imposing upon him, they're mocked in "Austin Powers" as raising Dr. Evil, and "Belgium" is the vilest profanity in the known universe, everywhere except Earth, in "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".THE NETHERLANDS
The Kingdom of The Netherlands/NederlandPopulation:
DutchSuper-Powered Representatives: King Cobra
, The Flying Dutchman, KlawFun Facts:
-Quite small and flat, on the tip of Northern Europe, and well below sea level. Contains the provinces of Holland, which people often mistake the whole country for.
-Was once part of the Spanish Empire, but got conquered by Napoleon not too long after independence. Used to have Belgium in it, until they split off.
-Had a large colonial empire, including the Dutch East Indies, ie. Indonesia. Their attempts to hold on to this country proved rather... deadly, for a great number of people. De-colonizationn wasn't an easy process for anyone.
-Stayed out of World War I, but was not so lucky for the sequel. Nor were 100,000 Jews (including Anne Frank).
-Famously liberal country that legalized gay marriage, pot smoking, nudity on television and other things well before the rest of the world got around to it. The Hague is the largest centre of law & politics, despite Amsterdam being the largest (and most famous) city.POLAND
The Kingdom of PolskaPopulation:
PolishSuper-Powered Representatives: Magneto
, The Rattler
, Bloodlust, The Blue BulletFun Facts:
-Fairly large European nation with the absolute CRAP luck to be placed right between Germany & Russia.
-After gaining an alliance with Lithuania to get rid of the lame Teutonic Order of Knights, formed a massive empire (the largest in Europe at the time), with cool winged hussars as part of their military. This "Golden Liberty" would not last, and it was legally broken-up by Austria, Prussia & Russia, with the Poles split between them. The Poles in Russia had it especially bad, and were crushed after trying a couple uprisings.
-Got the absolute living CRAP beaten out of them by Germany during World War II (after being all independent post-War), with the Holocaust hitting here hardest of all (Auschwitz is in Poland). They never gave up fighting, but it was a bloodbath. 7 million people were killed (one-fifth of the population!), and only 300,000 Jews were left of the 3.3 million at war's beginning. Think about THAT.
-Was annexed by Soviet Russia post-War, who didn't treat them any better. They were instrumental to the break-up of the Soviet Union, however, and are now currently independent.
-Famous for sausage, being the butt-monkey of TWO evil World Powers for decades, and having a really, really hard language to pronounce (my friend works with a guy named "Pzchek"). Were a common memetic "it's OK to be racist against them" ethnic group in Post-War America, but this eventually went away.GREECE
The Republic of Ellada/The Hellenic RepublicPopulation:
The Olympian Pantheon (Skyfather: Zeus), Hercules
, Elektra, Avalanche, OracleFun Facts:
-Famous as a huge centre of European culture, creating the most advanced civilizations in that area. Ancient Greece sprang forth from Mycenean and Minoan beginnings to include huge advances in math, science and learning. Various city-states sprung up, with the philosophical Athenians and the war-like Spartans opposed the vast Achaemenid Empire (Xerxes' Persians).
-Famously-common was homosexual relationships between men and young boys, though various philosophers decried the subject as immoral and silly. Women were usually viewed as more lustful and sex-crazed than men, and were watched carefully. The joke in "Lysistrata" was that a WOMAN withholding sex was an impossible idea.
-World-famous individuals like Hippocrates, Sophocles, Socrates and Plato brought new levels of genius into the world. Gave the world democracy, the Phalanx, and countless awesome myths about it's morally-insane foolish Gods (which makes them much more interesting than most other cultures' Gods), including the Illiad, Oddysey and the story of the Trojan War. Alexander the Great's Macedonian forces overran the world and forged a HUGE empire, which quickly faltered after his death, resulting in multiple lineages across the world, sprung from the loins of his Generals (such as the Ptolemies of Egypt, from whom we got Cleopatra).
-The Hellenistic Period partially-died under Roman control a few centuries later, and later was the centre of the Byzantine Empire, which kept Roman culture alive for generations after the fall of Rome itself. Produced the Eastern Orthodox Church, and fell to the Ottoman Empire. They fought them off centuries later, in the Greek War For Independence in the 1800s. Still neighbors modern Turkey, which produces some bad feelings, though they're trying to make it better.
-Modern history consists of a lot of wars (the lost to the Germans in WWII, after trouncing the Italians) and feuding with Turkey, as well as various political upheavals and inter-party fighting.SWITZERLAND
Schweiz/The Swiss FederationPopulation:
GermanSuper-Powered Representatives: The Kleinstock Brothers
, Arnim Zola, Flag-SmasherFun Facts:
-An early tribe, the Helvetii, were among those conquered by Julius Caesar, the people's earliest link to world history.
-Created the International Red Cross (which you can sorta see on their flag, with the colours reversed).
-Famously neutral and dull. Invented the Swiss Army Knife, and haven't been in a war for over a century. Maintained absolute neutrality even while Hitler was devouring all of Europe (thankfully for them, they weren't an easy backdoor to France). It helps that it's surrounded on all sides by mountains, lakes and tunnels- attacking it would be a drawn-out siege on a massive scale.
-Has referendums for EVERYTHING, and loves having an open democracy. A recent one led to the banning of minarets in the country (very few nations in Europe like Muslims, as a rule). It's so neutral that they only joined the United Nations fully in 2002, and have yet to join the European Union.
-Gave us Carl Jung (the other famous father of modern psychiatry), Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Roger Federer, and Martina Hingis.ROMANIA
Dracula & his entire family, Lilith, Baron Mordo, Gypsy Moth/Skein
, Werewolf by NightFun Facts:
-Easily most-famous for it's history with Vlad the Impaler, a prince in the Wallacian principality (the other two principalities were Transylvania & Moldovia) known for doing what his name implies to thousands upon thousands of invading forces, as a method of terror (likely exaggerated). Legends about him grew until the ethnic folk monster, Dracula, was born.
-Has a Poland-like luck to be crammed between Russia, Poland, Turkey & Austria-Hungary. Has a history of holding out against massive hordes before ultimately falling.
-Great Romania was a period between 1919 & 1940, and was a "Golden Age" of sorts, providing great wealth to the nation. It wouldn't last- it joined the Axis, then the Allies in World War II, and got annexed and overrun by the Soviet Union afterwards in the "Iron Curtain".
-Had a great revolution in the late '80s after decades of brutal repression, but are still reeling economically. Transylvania is quite famous, but is contested between Romania and Hungary, since both ethnicities are common there.ITALY
The Contessa (S.H.I.E.L.D.), Belasco, Count Nefaria, Madame Masque, Unus, Unuscione
, TyrannusFun Facts:
-The Roman Republic once ruled, having freed itself from it's last monarchs. Had a complicated Senate structure, but a lot of military power. The mighty city-state overwhelmed all of Italia, and then set sights on the rest of Europa, Africa & Asia.
-Rome defeated many comers, including Hannibal's men in Carthage (Rome salted the Earth and wiped out the civilization as vengeance- they were MEAN bastards). Despite their grandeur, their military history is filled with loss after loss, at which point they return with a NEW army and totally kick the ass of the other guys by sheer attrition.
-Julius Caesar, a lower-level noble, became a brilliant general, conquering Gaul and wiping out thousands (including Vercingetorix). This was largely illegal, and so Caesar just Crossed the Rubicon back into Rome and conquered it (after much hard fighting, and defeating an old friend, Pompey Magnus, in the process). Caesar became Dictator For Life (normal Dictators were a special six-month position in times of great need for consolidation of power), but was murdered before real power could be maintained.
-The resulting Civil War between his old allies Marc Antony (now taking Caesar's old squeeze Cleopatra as a lover) and Octavian (later Augustus), Caesar's adopted son (and in Rome, adoption was as good as blood). Augustus won in the end, forming a monarchy once again. By all rights, Augustus was a Manipulative Bastard of the highest order.
-Fabled leaders and Emperors include Tiberius, Claudius, Nero (famously evil) and Caligula (even moreso than Nero). Constantine was the first Christian monarch in the world, and started the slow conversion of the Empire. Rome eventually forged one of the mightiest Empires the world had ever seen, stretching all the way across Europe, and even into Asia (the third-largest in classical world history, behind the Achaemenid & Han Empires).
-Things fell apart with a split between East & West, and finally a sacking of Rome after increases in Gothic insurrections (and not the wrist-cutting kind), dropping European culture significantly. The Greek-influenced East would fall to the Ottomans later. Many advances brought on by Rome- the aqueducts, domes, medicine, etc.- would be lost for centuries until the Rennaissance rediscovered them.
-Is among the most important cultural centres in world history, throughout many eras. The opera, art (Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, Raphael, etc. are all Italian), literature (Dante's Inferno, aka The Divine Comedy), film (Fellini) and more are heavily-inspired by Italian or Roman works.
-Was comprised of many, many states until the 1900s, at which the entire country became unified. Was led by the infamous "il Duce", Benito Mussolini, leading a fabled mistress were murdered in the streets (and hung on meat hooks in front of a cheering crowd), and the nation became an Allied one.
-Has had a tumultuous history in recent years, with 40 premier changes in 50 years, the most political upheavals in all of Europe. The Mafia is still a major criminal force, especially on the island of Cicily.
-Is curiously under-represented in the world of comics, with mostly-minor characters coming from there. This is odd, given it's status as the centre of The Mafia, culture, etc.GERMANY
The Federal Republic of Germany/Bundesrepublik DeutschlandPopulation:
GermanSuper-Powered Representatives: Hauptmann Deutschland
, The Red Skull
, Baron Zemo I & II
, Baron Blood, Man-Killer
, Baron von Strucker, Fenris Twins
/Swordsman, Master Man, Swarm
, Wall, The Black Swan, The IsolationistFun Facts:
-Germanic tribes were found all throughout modern-day Germany, and despite numerous Roman campaigns, the entire land was never totally subjugated. The tribes found their way into the rest of Europe, forming the borders for the Holy Roman Empire under Charlemagne. They were scattered and highly regional, very rarely located under one central power. Various states, duchies and city-states thrived, often under external power (such as Austria).
-Under Napoleon, hundreds of states turned to "merely" fourty. Prussia soon became dominant, and under General Otto von Bismarck, the German Empire was formed in the late 1800s.
-World Power status came quickly, but a loss in World War I led to the "War Guilt" clause in the Treaty of Versailles, crippling the new German Weimar Republic for years (this is a retroactive term- the true name is The German Realm). This economic down-spiral led to a dozen revolution attempts, and finally the election of Austrian Adolf Hitler to power, with his Nazi Party based off of Franco & Mussolini's Fascism attempts.
-World War Two resulted, when Hitler's army "Blitzkrieged" across Europe. An army had been built the likes of which had never been seen, and soon France, Poland, Belgium and others went down with shocking ease and speed, and soon nearly all of mainland Europe was under Hitler's control.
-England was next- the Battle of Britain followed, Hitler hoping to crush their spirit and resistance, under-estimating the Brits. Hitler soon foolishly betrayed Stalin's Russia, provoking a massive, lengthy Eastern Front war that Germany could ill-afford. Help from "General Winter" aided the beleaguered and massacred Soviets against Germany, inflicting more casualties than even the Western Front. Hitler slowly went crazy (possibly because of anti-fart pills- no seriously), and committed suicide in the final days of the war.
-Knowledge of just what happened in Germany had been surpressed initially, and most figured something was happening to the Jews, but the full breadth of the Holocaust shocked EVERYONE. Germans were left with an ever-lasting guilt, and constantly teach their children about their dark past.
-Germany was split by the Allies into West (democratic) and East (communist), the latter under control of the Soviet Union. The famous Berlin Wall was formed to split Berlin (attempts at crossing it resulted in deadly force). There were actually two walls- 100 metres of "no man's land" separated them.
-The two Germanies & Berlins were reunited in 1989 with the Wall's collapse, and a short while later legally. Germany is now a singular democratic Republic, and one of the most trusted & beloved countries in the world. A big change from seventy years ago.
-There are lots and lots of famous Germans, partially thanks to World War II, but there are many others. Composers Bach, Wagner AND Beethoven, German War Hero (and Magnificent Bastard) Erwin Rommel, Propoganda master (and inventor) Joseph Goebbels, pretentious teenage loser-icon Friedrich Nietzche, Karl Marx (he of Communism fame), Albert Einstein, Max Heisenberg, and countless others.AUSTRIA
The Republic of OsterreichPopulation:
GermanSuper-Powered Representatives: The Ringmaster
, Dr. Faustus, Destiny (Freedom Force)Fun Facts:
-The Habsburgs arose here, and through marriage & war, ended up controlling most of Central Europe (including Hungarians, Bohemians, Croats, Czechs & Romanians), and being prone to various nationalist movements. They were never a MAJOR threat, but they were a pretty big deal. They were large and full of various nations, but tended to lose every single war.
-Austria itself is very German in many ways, including the language, and various alliances and/or wars with Germany itself. World War One pretty much saw the end of their power on a global scale, as the alliance system of Europe drew them into the biggest war in history to that point.
-Famous Austrians include Sigmund Frued, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Adolf Hitler. They're more proud of some than others (though the latter three either never really considered themselves Austrian, or openly hated on the country).HUNGARY
The Republic of MagyarorszagPopulation:
HungarianSuper-Powered Representatives: Viper, aka Madame Hydra
, Madame XFun Facts:
-Was settled in the 9th century by nomadic peoples who decided to settle down (it's one of the oldest countries in Europe). Portions of it have been controlled by the Ottomans, Transylvanians and the Habsburgs over the years.
-Pretty much got the CRAP beaten out of them by the Mongol Invasion of Europe, losing up to half of the population.
-The massive Austro-Hungarian Empire (with beloved queen "Sissi" at it's centre) attained some great power, but was split horribly by two World Wars, and lost a great deal of territory to offshoot states.
-Became part of the Iron Curtain after the last War, and came out of it with the rest of them.
-The language is unrelated to much of Europe, being more similar to Finnish & Estonian than anything else. So they fit in strangely that way. They have good relations with the Poles, but not so much with the Romanians (based off of issues with the ownership of Transylvania).BELARUS
The Republic of BelarusPopulation:
BelarusianSuper-Powered Representatives: Darkstar
, VanguardFun Facts:
-Stuck between Russia & Poland, Belarus only came about in the early-20th century (but was settled by "White Russians", or Belarusians, for generations), and was quickly Commified by the Soviets. It was stuck between the USSR & Germany during World War II, and suffered appropriately (up to ONE-THIRD of the population, and 2/3 of it's cities, were gone).
-More or less Russian, with much of the cultural identity related to Russia, and the two countries are close- there are even sort-of plans to unify legally, as long as they can agree on things.
-Darkstar & Vanguard are typically Russian characters in comics- it's just a coincidence that their hometown ended up outside of Mother Russia. Expect them to be treated as Russians in all respects.UKRAINE
-Kiev was the seat of the "Kievan Rus'", the most massive empire in Europe during the 10th & 11th centuries. Things fell apart, the nation dissolved into principalities, and they were invaded by the Turks & Mongols. Kiev was destroyed completely in 1240. The people came under Lithuanian control after that.
-It was controlled by Poland for centuries, then by the U.S.S.R.
-Was pretty much Russia's butt-monkey during most of the Cold War, being the site of most of it's industrial factories, power plants (including the infamous Chernobyl, which kersploded and killed hundreds, and poisoned the area for generations), and a gigantic (and deliberate!) famine prior to World War II, which decimated the population.
-Declared independence in 1991, and has a rather mercurial relationship with Russia to this day, acknowledging them as an ally, but not being overly friendly with them. It's a very agrarian land (the flag symbolizes golden wheat under a blue sky).
-Worshipped-by-nerds Milla Jovovich is Ukrainian, as is Mila Kunis.RUSSIA
The Russian Federation/Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, formerly Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik (CCCP)Population:
RussianSuper-Powered Representatives: Colossus
, Mikhail Rasputin, The Winter Guard/Soviet Super-Soldiers/People's Protectorate
, Red Guardian II & IV
, Red Guardian III/Starlight
, The Black Widow I
& II), Hammer & Sickle, Kraven the Hunter
(and Family), The Presence, Morning Star
, The Red Ghost
& The Super-Apes
, Omega Red
, The Rhino, The Chameleon
, CosmoFun Facts:
-The largest country in the world by a BIG margin, containing tons of ethnic groups. Very cold winters, and a vast expanse, the bane of any land army.
-Ivan III formed Czarist Russia (also Tsarist- related to "Caesar" the same way "Kaiser" is) after taking control of the old feudal kingdom. They were characterized by a massive military presence, but a lacking in modern cultural traits (compared to the rest of Europe, from which they were separated by quite a ways geographically).
-Famous situations occured all-around during World War I. The unpopular war led to the unseating of the Czarist government of Nicholas II (it also involved the fabled Mad Monk, Rasputin, who used his link to the Tsar's hemophiliac son to gain massive political favour), and the eventual rule of the Bolsheviks, now forming the United Soviet Socialist Republic, the most powerful Communist nation in the world.
-Vladimir Lenin led the Bolsheviks at first, speaking of the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx. When he died, things were taken over by Joseph Stalin, who was kind of a dick, truth be told. He rapidly industrialized the nation, but at the cost of millions of lives. Political assassinations and "disappearances" were the norm. Expect to be an "unperson" if you spoke up. "Nineteen Eighty-Four" was NOT making this **** up.
-Stayed neutral during World War II at first, but then Hitler went nuts and attacked. The Soviets took the hardest hit of all the Allied nations during the war, losing vast amounts of soldiers, but eventually won a war of attrition against the Nazis, dealing them the most casualties in turn. The Battles of Stalingrad & Leningrad are #1 and #2 for the most deadly battles in the history of humanity. About 10 million Soviet soldiers died during the war, and over 16 million civilians.
-The took over most of Eastern Europe, forming the "Iron Curtain" bloc of Communist states. A true World Power, they were the arch-nemesis of the United States, now also getting involved on a world stage. The Space Race, the Cold War, etc. Pretty much the Big Bad of the "Free world's" fiction, unless you were REALLY left-wing (like on M*A*S*H* or something). Nikita Kruschev replaced Stalin, and decried the past regime, shocking the world with it's atrocities. Mikhail Gorbachev took over years later, and was a lot more open with the West.
-Had a famous military, with the elite Spetsnaz units, the AK-47 (most popular gun in world history), and a huge nuclear arsenal.
-Communism in Russia fell in the '90s, with Boris Yeltsin challenging the party, and the whole Eastern Bloc fell, dropping the Berlin Wall, the Germanic divide, and splitting a dozen miniature countries off of Mother Russia (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, etc.). This surprised the hell out of a lot of people, and leaves media based in the future looking rather odd sometimes, since the Soviets were so ubiquitous to people in prior decades. It was just kind of assumed they'd always be around.
-Currently led by Vladimir Putin, an ex-KGB agent and fairly high-level Judoka & Sambo specialist. He'd probably kick your government's leader's ass, no matter where you were from.
-A famously fatalistic people. It's kind of hard to surprise them with depravity, poverty, massacres or other atrocities. Vladimir Putin basically has people killed (with radioactive materials to the face!) and everyone just kinda shrugs it off.THE BRITISH ISLES:
The exact dilineations of what name belongs to which area are confusing. Here's a visual representation that works much better:
Essentially, the mainland is Great Britain, that plus Northern Ireland is the United Kingdom, and the whole thing is The British Isles.ENGLAND
EnglishSuper-Powered Representatives: Captain Britain
, The Weird Happenings Organization, Tangerine
, Dark Angel, Death's Head I
& III, Die-Cut
, Death Metal
, Wild Thing, Mys-Tech, Motormouth
, Black Axe
, [url=http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=799882#p799882[Night Raven[/url], [url=http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=801396#p801396]Spitfire[/url], Cerise
, Pete Wisdom
, Union Jack I-III
, PsylockeFun Facts:
-Celts ruled the country, but the Romans invaded and took it over by Claudius' time, forming "Britannia" as it was called. Uprisings were generally unsuccessful (Boudica was notable, but killed herself after losing), and the land was subject to many later invasions by Angles, Saxons and more.
-Many kingdoms sprouted up, but they were crushed by the Danes, as Scandinavian invasion became common. The Normans invaded afterwards, taking over the elite. All of these repeated takeovers would have a dramatic effect on what would become the "English language".
-Succession crises are very, VERY common. Norman kings would rule, and were replaced by the Tudors. Easily has the largest number of famous rulers compared to any other land, particularly in the English-speaking world (for obvious reasons). Henry VIII and his many wives, Queens Victoria & Elizabeth I, Richard III and other Shakespeare-biographized characters, etc.
-Wales was annexed in the middle ages, while Scotland voted to become involved in the 18th century (James VI inherited both lands earlier, but this made it official). This would all become "The Kingdom of Great Britain", with England as it's centre.
-England became the figurehead of the Industrial Revolution, using it's powerful navy and huge amount of inventiveness to dominate the world. The era of Colonization would see England forge the mightiest empire ever seen before or since. "The Sun never sets on the British Empire" wasn't just a cutesy phrase. They controlled India, China, chunks of North America, and half of Africa. TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT of the entire globe belonged under their sphere of influence. Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great and others, eat your hearts out.
-They were so dominant that they permanently ended the threat of Napoleon, and were integral to the Allies in World War I. Britain's relative safety from mainland Europe, being an island nation, would prove vastly important, as their navy was untouchable. Little things like losing the Thirteen Colonies were just inconveniences on the grand scale.
-This led to English becoming a dominant language on Earth, far outstripping the more-populous Chinese dialects, and it is by far the most commonly-spoken second language. Despite it being kind of a bastard child language (mixing Romance languages with Germanic & Scandinavian influences), it's worldwide, with Britain, Canada, the United States and Australia all speaking it (though often in accents different enough to be indecipherable to each other).
-Great Britain was the first nation to outlaw slavery, and was a major force in putting it down at it's source.
-The unofficial leader of the Allied forces during World War II, which left London carpet-bombed by the Luftwaffe for years, and Winston Churchill becoming a national hero (despite being voted out once, and being a drunk). He's about the most quotable world leader in history, too. It took several years, and the Americans finally getting involved, to finally stop Nazism, and England took a back seat to the Americans, who now took the reigns as the most powerful nation on Earth.
-Despite losing a bit of international grandeur, it's still an important cultural force. Just ask fans of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Coronation Street, Shaun of the Dead, soccer/football, and more. British tabloids are fairly notorious, and you can expect every single celebrity in English history to be a celebrity for their entire lives- there are several celebs known JUST for going to nude beaches, for example.
-And they're still powerful- they bitch-slapped the Argentinians pretty hard to getting cute and invading the Falkland Islands. It's currently a standard democracy, with the Royal Family (led by Queen Elizabeth II) having a more token role as symbolic leaders that have no real power. This extends to the rest of the "British Empire", as Canada, Australia and twelve other nations (fifteen in total) celebrate the Queen as a monarch.
-For a ridiculously-tiny country, it's got a HUGE number of distinctive accents, with nearly every town having one. Expect British fans online to dissect the attempted accents of any Americans, or even Brits playing characters from some cities (TV Tropes writers from England will NOT SHUT UP about Jane Leeves' accent in "Frasier" not actually being Mancunian/from Manchester).IRELAND
The Republic of Ireland/Eire/AirlannPopulation:
English (though Irish is the "official" language)Super-Powered Representatives: Banshee
, Black Tom Cassidy
, ShamrockFun Facts:
-A highly agricultural island just off of bigger England, featuring more sheep than people. It's people are usually stereotyped as having red hair (it's got the highest-rate of redheads in the world).
-Formerly ruled by scattered tribes of Celts, eventually getting a series of High Kings. It was invaded by the Normans, and fully taken-over by England. The Irish Potato Famine of the mid-1800s led to a huge amount of Irish immigrants coming to the United States.
-Has a huge number of famous writers, from James Joyce to Oscar Wilde to Bram Stoker. Celtic Mythology was a major influence, and gave us the "bean sidhe", or Banshee/Fairie Woman (literal translation there).
-Has some... political troubles in it's history. Let's just leave it at that. Basically, the majority is Catholic and wants self-rule instead of rule from England, but a minority is Protestant and LIKES England, these usually living in the North-Eastern section of the island (including Dublin). An Irish Revolution during World War I was put down ruthlessly by England. The Unionists in Northern Ireland would fight the Catholics in the rest of the country.
-"The Troubles" started up in the 1970s, as the Provisional Irish Republican Army (Provos or IRA for short) fought Unionists all over the place. It's reasoning is too complex for me to mention (or understand- I can't make heads or tails of it). Only a few thousand died, but that's a big number for a small nation. Most comics from the '70s to the 1990s featuring Ireland will at least reference The Troubles (Shamrock would view Captain Britain with suspicion, and vice versa).
-Irish Pubs are famous worldwide for their awesomeness, so expect that to pop up in anything Irish-themed.SCOTLAND
EnglishSuper-Powered Representatives: Wolfsbane
, Moira MacTaggert
, Proteus, Kylun
, ClaymoreFun Facts:
-Part of The United Kingdom legally. Various groups have controlled it over the years, from the Caledonians to the Romans to the Picts to England itself. Controlling it was never easy, as various other groups resisted control (William Wallace being the most famous these days, thanks to "Braveheart"). Various succession crises, as various rulers from Scotland or England would try to take control of the entire shebang.
-The subject of Shakespeare's "Scottish Play", though the real Mac Bethad was apparently a really good king. Shakespeare just made him evil because his royal backer at the time (James VI) was allegedly descended from Banquo.
-They voted their way into an alliance with England, forming the Kingdom of Great Britain, in the 18th century, and have been linked ever since.
-Famous for the kilt (not part of everyday dress- it's used like Americans use tuxedos, ie. formal dress), haggis (a sheep's innards boiled in it's own stomach- they swear it tastes good), and the bagpipes. They get stereotyped as humorously-violent (think "Groundskeeper Willie").