From Buffy to the Power Rangers and Batman to the Flash, have you ever wondered where exactly the homes of some of your favorite superhero characters are located? If you have, you are not alone. Fictional towns and cities are all over, taking up residence alongside us in the world we live in. From Google Maps to city schematics, take a look below to see 6 fictional locations where heroes hang their hats (or capes or stakes).
1. Sunnydale - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Ah, the Hellmouth: Home to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and many supernatural baddies. Founded in 1899 by Spanish settlers, the area was initially called Boca del Infierno (Hellmouth) with good reason: The area was the focal point of demonic energy and a gateway between the Earth and demonic dimensions. The town's founder, Richard Wilkins, intended the town to be a feeding ground for demons, as part of his pact to achieve Ascension (making him a pure demon).
Initially described as a "one Starbucks town," Sunnydale is a fairly isolated place roughly two hours north of Los Angeles. In 1998, series creator Joss Whedon noted that Sunnydale is located near Santa Barbara. The town is both coastal and within reach of the desert. It is home to Sunnydale High School, the University of California Sunnydale, twelve cemeteries, forty-three churches, and a hoppin club called The Bronze. Sunnydale's population during the first three seasons of the show was 38,500, a number that declined to 32,900 by the series' end in 2003.
After the events of the series' finale Chosen, a large portion of the town collapsed as the Hellmouth was destroyed, resulting in the Sunnydale Crater. Don't worry, there is another Hellmouth in Cleveland.
2. Angel Grove - Power Rangers
Angel Grove is a pretty peaceful name for a place that is constantly under threat from a variety of evil forces. Founded by Captain James Cook in 1793, this fictional California city is the original home of the Power Rangers. Ten thousand years before the city was established, Zordon and Rita Repulsa fought their last battle, ending with Rita trapping Zordon in a time warp and Zordon sealing Rita in a dumpster on the Moon. With the assistance of Alpha 5, Zordon created a Command Center in the desert outside the city of Angel Grove. While you won't find the Command Center on any Angel Grove tourist brochure, the location became significant as the base of operations for Zordon and the Power Rangers.
Angel Grove went through a period of great expansion in the wake of the Power Rangers' arrival. Despite that, it never lost that 90s feel. The city is located at the tip of the Levy Peninsula, stretching across the Santa Carta channel onto the mainland. It includes significant stretches of the Pacific Ocean and houses Angel Grove Bay. It is home to the University of California Angel Grove and Angel Grove High School.
During the Power Rangers In Space episode Countdown to Destruction, the Zordon Era came to an end and Angel Grove suffered unparalleled destruction during an alien attack.
3 & 4: Gotham City and Metropolis - Batman and Superman
Gotham City and Metropolis, the homes of Batman and Superman, are the source of ongoing debate. Just where are they? The question came up a lot after the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which depicted the two cities as being much closer than most people realized.
Comic book readers first learned that the Dark Knight lives in Gotham city in Batman issue #44. Gotham resembles New York City regarding architecture, but writers didn't want to call it New York because they wanted readers from cities all over to identify with it.
Various maps in the comic books have placed Gotham in different areas, overlaying the city upon Manhattan, Vancouver, and other real coastlines. Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy utilized areas of Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and Newark, New Jersey in his version of Gotham City limits.
Superman co-creator Joe Shuster is said to have modeled Metropolis after his childhood home of Toronto. Over time, the city has become analogous with New York City, much like Gotham. Frank Miller stated that, "Metropolis is New York in the daytime; Gotham City is New York at night." Just as New York City is called "The Big Apple," Metropolis is referred to as "The Big Apricot." The city is home to an estimated 11 million citizens living within six boroughs, each of which has its own distinct identity.
Metropolis appears in both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In Man of Steel, Vancouver and downtown Chicago were used as the setting for Metropolis. In the sequel, Detroit is used with the addition of several fictional buildings.
The Atlas of the DC Universe puts Gotham City in southern New Jersey and Metropolis nearby in Delaware. Metropolis is frequently depicted as being within driving distance of Gotham City. This is the case in the 1990 mini-series of World's Finest Comics. In the New Adventures of Superboy issue #22, a map is shown illustrating Gotham City and Metropolis on opposite sides of a large bay.
Zack Snyder, the director of Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, confirmed that Metropolis and Gotham City are in close geographical proximity to each other, at least in his depiction. As Snyder describes, “... We put Gotham and Metropolis right next to each other. It made sense to us and worked for our story that they were kind of sister cities across a big bay. It’s like Oakland and San Francisco, kind of.”
In truth, the distance between Gotham City and Metropolis has been variable for years and ranges from being hundreds of miles apart to being on opposite sides of the same bay. It is unlikely that there will ever be a fixed location for either city in DC canon, though you can usually assume they are going to be coastal cities in the Northeast United States.
5. Beacon Hills - Teen Wolf
Beacon Hills is essentially an iteration of the aforementioned Sunnydale. The town of our favorite Teen Wolf, situated in Beacon County, California, is literally a "beacon" attracting supernatural creatures and beings. Underneath the town, telluric currents run while focusing energy on the Nemeton, a sacred druid space. Weird things seem to love this.
Beacon Hills is located in a valley, with both urban and suburban areas. The town appears to be surrounded by the Beacon Hills Preserve, a large area of wilderness.
Though no one is sure where Beacon Hills is specifically located, it is believed to be between Paradise, California and Plumas National Forest, which is about 90 miles north of Sacramento. The future of the town is uncertain, as Teen Wolf announced that the sixth season will be its last and when that happens, all bets are off (right, Buffy?).
6. Central City - The Flash
Taking a look at the heartland of the U.S., we find Central City, home of the Flash. Like other fictional cities in the DC Universe, Central City is not nailed down to one specific place. In the 1970s, the city was said to exist in Ohio, where the real-world city of Athens, Ohio is located. In the late 1980s, Central City was said to be in Florida, while in 2004, Barry Allen earns the nickname the “Illinois Flash,” leading many to assume Central City was in Illinois.
The home of Wally West is most frequently depicted as being located in Missouri, across the Missouri River from Keystone City, Kansas. The current CW television series The Flash places Central City in Missouri, as noted in the episode The Man in the Yellow Suit.
Central City is bordered by mountains to the northwest and southeast and is divided into Upper and Lower East and West Sides, also containing a downtown area. The city has a thriving theatre district, a museum housing memorabilia related to the Flash (the Flash Museum), and is home to the Scientific and Technological Advanced Research Laboratories (S.T.A.R. Labs).