Coast City
First appearanceShowcase #22 (September–October 1959)
CharactersHal Jordan
Carol Ferris
Carl Ferris
Thomas Kalmaku
Hector Hammond
William Hand
Jillian Pearlman
PublisherDC Comics

Coast City is a fictional city in the state of California, created by John Broome and Gil Kane, which appears in stories published by DC Comics. It is depicted most often as the home of the Silver Age version of the superhero Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Ferris Aircraft is one of the largest employers in Coast City.

Fictional history

Coast City, which first appeared in Showcase #22 in September–October 1959, is a city located in California. This makes it one of the few fictional cities in the DC Universe to have a specifically given location from the start.

Coast City is usually portrayed as an analogue of Los Angeles[1] and San Diego.[2] Green Lantern: Rebirth identifies it as being in Northern California, though recent issues of Green Lantern list it as being twenty miles from Edwards Air Force Base.

Destruction

In the 1990s, Coast City is destroyed, with nearly all of its residents – then numbered at seven million – by Mongul. Mongul's gigantic ship appears over Coast City and releases thousands of spherical bombs which detonate simultaneously. It is then revealed that Mongul is doing the bidding of former astronaut Hank Henshaw, better known as the Cyborg Superman. Mongul and Henshaw build the second Engine City in Coast City's ashes, as part of a plot to turn Earth into the new Warworld. The two intend to strike a double blow against the then-recently deceased Superman by claiming his world for themselves and framing him as the one responsible for his planet's destruction.[3] This plan is stopped by Superman after his resurrection, with the help of Superboy, Steel, and Hal Jordan, who returned from space to find his home destroyed.[4]

Killed in the blast are numerous supporting characters of the Green Lantern comic books, including Kari Limbo and several Ferris Aircraft employees. Jordan attempts to resurrect the city using his ring and learns that his first girlfriend also died in the blast, but his ring's power is revoked by the Guardians before he can make it last for more than a few moments.

In the near-future, a government time-travel experiment attempts to go back in time to prevent Henshaw becoming the Cyborg and destroying Coast City, but Booster Gold is forced to go back in time and stop the renegade time-traveler to preserve the timeline. During his time in the past, Booster saves a little girl who will go on to become his adopted daughter (after Skeets confirms that history has no record of her death in the city's destruction), as well as his time-lost sister Michelle Carter, but they are unable to save her then-boyfriend as history records that he died in the blast.

The city's destruction drives Hal Jordan to become the villain Parallax, due to a mental breakdown from grief, though it is later revealed that he is also under the influence of Parallax, a yellow emotional entity. Jordan slaughters nearly all the Green Lanterns, absorbs the energies of the Power Battery, and tries to rewrite history. This leads to the appointment of a new Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner. A memorial to Coast City's victims is erected on the site of the city with the help of most of the major superheroes of the period.

For a time, an alien city named Haven that crashed on Earth resides on top of the ruins of Coast City.

When Hal Jordan dies saving the world, the heroes memorialize him. An eternal flame is constructed in the ruins of the city. Swamp Thing uses his powers to fill the surrounding area with greenery.[5]

When Hal Jordan from early in his career is pulled into the future during an encounter with Kyle Rayner,[6] a version of Parallax from when he attempted to restart history[7] tries to convince his younger self to go along with his plans by taking himself, his younger self and Kyle back to Coast City at the moment of its own destruction, freezing time in the second before the bombs strike. Despite his future self showing him the people who would die when the city is destroyed, the younger Hal refuses to go along with Parallax's plan. The two fight in the frozen city before Kyle convinces them that they both have to return to their own times.[8]

The villain Remnant attempts to depict Superman as a devil by blaming him for the deaths caused in Doomsday's rampage, particularly the fact that so few people acknowledge the others who died in the fight in favour of 'focusing' on Superman's resurrection. Superman confronts a reporter writing an article about the anniversary of the rampage, complimenting him on his ability to challenge Superman with hard questions, and asks him to consider one final question: if Superman weren't around, would there be fewer Doomsdays (monsters seeking to confront him), or more Coast Cities (disasters that occur because Superman was not available to prevent them)?

It is later revealed that Hank Henshaw chose to destroy Coast City to erase his former life on Earth. He and his wife, Terri Henshaw, used to be residents of Coast City.[9]

Reconstruction

Coast City is subsequently rebuilt in the wake of Jordan's resurrection. While the Spectre, Hal Jordan, and the Parallax parasite are wrestling for control of the Spectre's powers, all roads, street signs, and Jordan's apartment reappear. 'Haven' also vanishes from the site.[10]

Populating the rebuilt city becomes one of the latest initiatives of Jonathan Vincent Horne, President of the United States. Charities and industries around the world, including Wayne Enterprises, contribute to a fund for rebuilding the city. Despite all those efforts, Coast City remains a ghost town due to its reputation as the site of a mass murder. Among the exceptions is Hal Jordan, who lives there when he is not working at nearby Edwards Air Force Base as one of their test pilots. Hal's nephew attends a school with a student body of fewer than twenty.[11]

The U.S. Navy establishes a presence in the region, as both a domestic security and economic stimulus measure.[12]

One year after the events of Infinite Crisis, Coast City finishes reconstruction. During the Sinestro Corps War, it is targeted for destruction by Sinestro and the terrorist organization that bears his name. Hal Jordan uses his ring to contact every citizen, urging them to evacuate the city. En masse, they decide to stay. Many shine green lights from their homes to indicate their support.[13] Jordan and Kyle Rayner defend the city from the rogue Corps' attacks, and Sinestro is defeated on the rooftops of Coast City.

In the aftermath, the city's population rises dramatically, and many businesses and citizens return. Available living space is rapidly filled. The new Coast City is dubbed "The City Without Fear" by the news media. The damage from the Sinestro Corps battle is repaired by the Green Lantern Corps and Earth's superheroes.[14]

By the time of the Final Crisis, Coast City's population is cited on local promotional billboards as 2,686,164.[15]

Blackest Night

As of the beginning of the 2010 miniseries Blackest Night, the population increases to 2,765,321. A new memorial is erected to commemorate the city's history; it includes a green lantern, lighted by Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner.[16] In the course of the story, the Black Lantern Corps' central power battery teleports to just outside Coast City, bringing forth the demon Nekron, (the black personification of Death and longtime enemy of the Green Lantern Corps) the undead Guardian Scar, and Black Hand. The Anti-Monitor also emerges from the battery but is defeated before exiting. Nekron then sends forth black rings into the city's memorial, reanimating the dead as Black Lanterns.[17] Nekron is then defeated in the streets of Coast City.[18]

The population is again shown at 2,765,321, as a murderous version of Bruce Wayne attacks the city. This Wayne, wielding a Green Lantern ring, disposes of Hal Jordan and sends demonic forms to attack the populace.[19] A later view of Coast City shows many skyscrapers knocked off their foundation.[20]

Alternate Versions

In an alternate future Coast City is once again abandoned after half of it fell into the ocean along with most of California. What remains is now the domain of Poison Ivy, who has turned it into a greenhouse paradise.[21]

Geography

In the 1970s, an "Ask the Answer Man" column placed Coast City in California.[22] The Atlas of the DC Universe, published by Mayfair Games in 1990, places Coast City in northern California, between San Francisco and Green Arrow's Star City.

Ferris Aircraft is an aerospace company which Hal Jordan works for as a test pilot, it is located twenty five miles out from the city.[23] His romantic interest, Carol Ferris, is the company's manager. Coast City also includes an extensive beach, and is a popular spot for surfing. It also has a nearby mountain, called 'Mt. Pacific'.[24]

When the city is destroyed, a news broadcast in the comic shows a map locating Coast City a little south of Santa Barbara, California.[25]

In I, Vampire #3, which was part of the 2011 relaunch The New 52, Coast City is established to be in the Mountain Standard Time zone, making the city landlocked.

In other media

Television

Film

Video games

References

  1. ^ Comic Vine
  2. ^ A Guide to the Fictional Cities of the DC Universe
  3. ^ Superman (vol. 2) #80
  4. ^ Superman (vol. 2) #82. DC Comics.
  5. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 3) #81. DC Comics.
  6. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 3) #100. DC Comics.
  7. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 3) #105. DC Comics.
  8. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 3) #106. DC Comics.
  9. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 4) #13. DC Comics.
  10. ^ Green Lantern Rebirth #3 (2004). DC Comics.
  11. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 4) #7. DC Comics.
  12. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 4) #4-5. DC Comics.
  13. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 4) #23-25. DC Comics.
  14. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 4) #26. DC Comics.
  15. ^ Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns. DC Comics.
  16. ^ Blackest Night #1. DC Comics.
  17. ^ Blackest Night #4 (2010). DC Comics.
  18. ^ Blackest Night #8 (2010). DC Comics.
  19. ^ Batman: The Dawnbreaker (2017). DC Comics.
  20. ^ Batman: The Merciless (2017). DC Comics.
  21. ^ Old Lady Harley #5 (2019). DC Comics.
  22. ^ Bob Rozakis, "Ask the Answer Man," Daily Planet, Detective Comics #470 (June 1977)
  23. ^ Green Lantern Rebirth
  24. ^ Green Lantern #40 (October 1965). DC Comics.
  25. ^ The Adventures of Superman #503 (August 1993). DC Comics.