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Stronghold is a prison for supervillains in the Champions Universe
Location: Devil’s Head Mesa, New Mexico
Number of inmates: 576
Warden: Arthur Wildman
Assistant Warden: Rebecca Rothschild
Chief of Security: Fredrick Grasse
By the mid-1970s, supervillain crime was taking a vast toll on the American economy. Supervillians were stealing billions of dollars in cash and property each year, and destroying billions more. One reason was that it was difficult to keep superpowered villains incarcerated – catch a few, and it would be only a matter of time before they busted out of prison or were freed by their cohorts.
In 1976, noted penologist Dr. Charles Wildman proposed Stronghold – a super prison designed to hold supervillains.
Stronghold would be buried deep in an isolated New Mexico mesa. Its massive stone walls would be strong enough to withstand superpowers, but more importantly, the super-technology within the prison would block superhuman abilities and be capable of containing even the worst threats.
Soon all the states were sending their superpowered convicts to Stronghold, and with its power inhibitor technology, breakouts became a thing of the past. Supervillains were caught, convicted and served their sentences. The public was safe.
As the 1990s dawned, Stronghold suffered the worst disaster in its history. After a freak thunderstorm knocked out a portion of the prison’s power grid, the prison descended into chaos. A group of inmates led by Blackstar of the Ultimates made a break for the surface, freeing as many villains as they could along the way. By daybreak, more than 40 hardened supervillains were on the loose. This was known as the Great Stronghold Breakout.
Wildman was forced to resign in disgrace, and a new, tougher warden was brought in to rebuild the facility. Peter Kennedy ran Stronghold with an iron hand, and soon gathered many enemies amongst the prisoners and staff.
In 2001, a disgruntled guard released the monstrous Grond from his hot sleep coffin. The giant irradiated supervillain smashed his way out of Stronghold, killing multiple guards in the process. After an investigation into the incident, Warden Kennedy was removed from his post by the Bureau of Prisons.
To get Stronghold back on track, the government turned to a familiar name: Wildman. Arthur Wildman, son of Stronghold’s founder and a noted academic and prison administrator, is now in charge of the facility. Arthur Wildman has revised security procedures, lobbied for technology upgrades and revamped the psychological evaluation that all employees must undergo before being hired. Whether that will be enough to keep Stronghold secure remains to be seen.
The prison itself is buried deep within the rock of the Devil's Head Mesa. Its isolated location was picked so that the public would be protected by distance as well as stone and steel.
On top of the mesa are living quarters for employees, support facilities and a hangar for the prison’s vehicles. Prisoners are kept below ground, with the most dangerous inmates in the lower levels. Underneath tons of rock is the “hot sleep” chamber, where the most powerful supervillains are kept in a form of coma for the length of their sentences.
Currently, the most fearsome supervillain in Stronghold is Menton, a powerful mentalist capable of commanding legions of mind-controlled followers.
Recently, there is a surprising amount of activity in the windswept desert surrounding Stronghold.
There has been increased activity at Area 51, and strange beings have been reported in the area. PRIMUS has established a base in Uranium Flats for Project Greenskin, a team dedicated to the capture of the renegade supervillain Grond and studying the effects decades of nuclear testing have had on the area.
There’s a new owner at the nearby Snake Gulch dude ranch, and whoever it is has been moving in some unusual equipment for a would-be tourist trap. And people have reported restless spirits in the abandoned community of Burnside. Is the old ghost town living up to its name?
Alchemica (until 2009)
Red Jack McCall's TestimonyEdit
"My trial was a joke. The judge, the jury, my idiot lawyers? They’re dead men – they just don’t know it yet. When I get out of here, what I’ve got planned will make that spree in Millennium City look like a preschooler play date.
I started planning my escape the second they handed my sentence down. But then the guards slapped those inhibitor cuffs on me. They say it’s just an energy field, but I can feel it hanging on me. It presses down on my shoulders and smothers the power in me like dirt kicked on a campfire.
Getting my powers sucked away messed with my head, and before I could react, I was in the transport and on my way to Stronghold.
If you get caught and lose it all like I did, savor those last seconds of freedom. Smell the fresh air as long as you can. Drink in every bit of the desert view. Get a picture of that painted sky in your mind and lock it in. And take a long, last look at the sun.
Because if you’re going to Stronghold, you’re going down in the ground. You’re not going to see the sun for a long, long time."