Characters: City of Heroes

Heroes: The Good

Freedom Phalanx

Founded by Statesman and other heroes in 1932, the Freedom Phalanx are the world's premiere crimefighting supergroup, dedicating to battling any threat to humankind. The modern iteration is sometimes also referred as the Surviving Eight, since its membership is of eight of the greatest heroes to survive the Rikti War.


The man formerly known as Marcus Cole, Statesman is the leader of the Freedom Phalanx and one of the most well-respected heroes in the world.

He was killed by a villain seeking to steal his powers, leaving a void within Paragon's hero community. His granddaughter Ms. Liberty has taken over his task force.

  • Bad Ass: For all the jokes that are flung around about him on the player base, there's little denying Statesman is this, since his existence alone tends to keep Lord Recluse from entering U.S. soil personally. In-game, he can one-shot bosses one level higher than him with his Megaton Punch or flatten a whole mob with his Signature power, Hammer of Justice — and all this while shrugging off damage that would floor other even other characters of his NPC rank.
  • Big Good: One of the oldest canon characters in the lore and, presently, one of the most powerful...
    • The Worf Effect: ... Also prone to getting his ass handed to him a lot in Villain strike forces, high difficulty-high level mayhem missions, VEAT arc finales, off screen in either of the task forces involving Reichsman, gets captured at the end of the Maria Jenkins Praetorian story arcs (twice in canon), one of the two new Task/strike forces coming with issue 19, and is dead in just about every possible future you go to. The guy just can't catch a break.
  • The Cape: At least after Issue 1 when his appearance was updated to have a cape.
  • Captain Ersatz / Alternate Company Equivalent / Expy: He's a bit of a cross between Superman and Captain America; one of the writers of the comics even described that they were trying to write him as a cross between two specific incarnations of the aforementioned characters.
  • Flying Brick
  • The Hero: At least within his circle's Five-Man Band, and also seen by this by most of the world.
  • Killed Off for Real: As of the 5 act of the first Signature Story Arc series, he has been killed by Darrin Wade and Word of God says he's not coming back. He never could catch a break.
    • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: You can try to resurrect or revive if you check his body but it doesn't work since the previous cut scene showed his soul had moved on.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Hey, great job on destroying that HUGE Rikti saucer looming over the neighborhood, but next time make sure it's not hovering over a bustling neighborhood before you make it crash!
  • Really 700 Years Old: He fought in World War One, meaning he must be about 110 years old by now.

Sister Psyche

A prominent member of the Freedom Phalanx, Sister Psyche (aka Shalice Tilman) is also known for being one of the world's most powerful psychics. For a time, she was incapacitated by wounds suffered during the Rikti War, and the young heroine Aurora Borealis offered her the use of her body until her own could recover.

Ultimately, this proved to be Sister Psyche's undoing, however - an imprint of Aurora Borealis remained within Sister Psyche's mind and with support from her former sidekick Malaise it sought to break free. With her psychic powers raging out of control and threatening everyone in Paragon, Psyche told her husband to kill her to stop it.

Her former taskforce is now only available through the flashback system.


Dr. Raymond Keyes is a brilliant scientist who developed a high-tech battle suit that allowed him to fire beams of anti-matter. Injuries sustained during the Rikti War forced him to wear the suit at all times to keep his powers under control; after a specific event, he was "cured" of this condition and can now take it off.

With the deaths of Statesman and Sister Psyche during "Who Will Die?", he has become the new leader of the Freedom Phalanx.


Steven Berry was once a normal accountant hired by Crey Industries. When he noticed they were evading taxes and attempted to investigate, he was kidnapped and tortured for days, overloaded with electricity to the point where he couldn't take it anymore. He eventually managed to harness the electricity and escaped with Dr. Keyes, who eventually became Positron — and with his new ability to harness lightning to channel it into electrical blasts and super speed, Steven became Synapse.


The premier android hero and a member of the Freedom Phalanx.

  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Somewhat averted in the comics. While he looks human, (aside from being huge and green skinned) he actively programs his own dreams before he sleeps (which must allow for some awesome nights) and once bought a toothbrush just to feel more human.
  • Genius Bruiser


Justin Sinclair is a prominent and very powerful billionaire whose parents were brutally murdered by a villain named Protean. When his nanny told him the story, he took up the bow of his father and vowed to bring villains to justice. He is a trusted member of the Freedom Phalanx, though he tends to butt heads with Statesman.


A magic-based hero who sacrificed herself to save the world. Her magic powers were so great that her consciousness was trapped within the villain she defeated. After his death, her astral form was free to once again take up the role of a hero.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: This is technically not accurate since she's not quite a ghost. She's actually an astral projection of herself who lost her body some time ago.
  • The Medic: While Sister Psyche seems able to heal minds, Numina's the only one with actual healing powers.
  • Official Couple: With Positron.

Back Alley Brawler

A semi-retired hero who now mostly devotes himself to training the next generation of heroes. In game, he is the only member of the Freedom Phalanx to not have a task force, serving as a trainer instead.
  • Badass Normal: His powers of invulnerability and superstrength, gained entirely through training.
  • Semi-Retired Badass: He's described as being in "semi-retirement" but it sure doesn't stop him from dishing out plenty of hurt to plenty of villains of a regular basis.
  • Scary Black Man: Even for tougher villains, the dude's pretty intimidating.
  • Token Minority: He was the only non-Caucasian member of the Freedom Phalanx. He's also not officially really a member of the Phalanx either.

Penelope Yin

The newest and youngest member of the Freedom Phalanx is possibly the most powerful psychic in the world.


A superteam that generally consists of younger heroes, mostly the sidekicks or former sidekicks of the Freedom Phalanx. Founded by Ms Liberty, the group believes strongly in the idea of the redemption.

Ms. Liberty

Grand-Daughter of Statesman, Daughter of Miss Liberty


A result of Crey's genetic augmentation experiments who managed to escape, living off the streets until Synapse found her and got her registered as a superhero.





  • Mad Artist
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: He's only a hero when he's on his meds.
  • Heel Face Door Slam: helping kill the former Miss Liberty and trying to drive Sister Psyche insane seems to have pretty well settled him as a villain. And in any case, Sister Psyche ripping his mind apart in self-defense makes it fairly permanent.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: I will be immortAAAGH!

Shooting Stars

A novice superteam who can recruit the player character early on in the hero side.




  • Attention Whore: She can't stand not being the center of attention, and will try and steer any conversation towards her.
  • Brainless Beauty: Like you would not believe.
  • The Chick: For the Shining Stars' Five-Man Band. Seeing as she's worried more about her own looks than about investigating an important clue, she also doubles as The Load.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Anyone who's played tip missions since issue 18 know that her descent into villainy is a Fore Gone Conclusion
  • It's All About Me: She's more concerned about making herself look good and having the spotlight than stopping the bad guys or listening to what her team-mates are doing or saying. By the time you're done with the first mission, it's already clear that Flambeaux thinks that she's the center of the universe.
  • Playing with Fire: As glory-hogging and shallow as she is, Flambeaux does hurl a pretty mean fireball.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: With her self-absorbed behavior, you'd think that she believes that she's the player character, while the player's an NPC. But she's most assuredly not the star of the show.



  • Cloudcuckoolander: He's easily one of the more mysterious and unusual members of the Shining Stars, and his repeated references to things that would require the senses of his race to recognize certainly helps.
  • Petting Zoo People: Being an anthropomorphic wolf could qualify him as this.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Prone to this, for example saying "Let us engage the Spidery ones in mortal combat" instead of just "Let's battle Arachnos."
  • Sinister Scimitar: Subverted. He wields a curved, jagged blade, but he's one of the good guys.
  • Sixth Ranger: The only one to join in later than you, and wasn't properly invited into the group beforehand. In fact, counting yourself as a Shining Star—the fifth member to join, specifically—makes Grym a literal Sixth Ranger.
  • Wolf Man: He's an anthropomorphic wolf



A former hero who defected to Praetoria after being captured, Eddie Polstra is willing to go to any lengths to protect his utopian new home from the chaos of Primal Earth.

Villains: The Bad


Lord Recluse

The Master of Evil, the Count of Cruel, the Archvillain of Anarchy — Lord Recluse has been known by many names, but he is undoubtedly the leader of the villainous Arachnos organization and perpetually in conflict with Statesman of the Freedom Phalanx. What is little known is that he and Statesman were once companions, and that Recluse once went by the name Stefan Richter — but a strange event left them eternally estranged and forever archenemies.

  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: He IS the Lord of Arachnos. Though given Arachnos' laws, it might be more accurate to call it Ass Kicking Equals Authority.
  • Big Bad and Evil Overlord: DUH!
  • Flunky Boss: His official AT is Mastermind, which he lives up to in most of his encounters by summoning several of his Bane Spider Elite Mooks.
  • Good Counterpart: Averted - It is explicitly stated at one point that Tyrant killed the Praetorian version of Lord Recluse many, many years ago - and that Arachnos is becoming involved in Praetoria with the very specific aim of getting revenge.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Same as Statesman.
  • Rival Turned Evil: His backstory with Statesman. With some elaboration; he always felt that Statesman saw himself as better than the two and was a control freak. Lord Recluse also did not appreciate Statesman marrying his sister.
  • The Social Darwinist: It wasn't him that introduced the 'survival of the fittest' into Arachnos, but he definitely became the group's standout.

His four lieutenants, patrons of various villains:

Ghost Widow

Former assassin Belladonna Ventrano, now a ghost.

  • The Baroness: Arguably one of the few people, Lord Recluse included, actually devoted to Arachnos itself
  • Dark Chick
  • Morality Pet: Wretch
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: GW is bound to "haunt" Arachnos, and cannot be permanently destroyed as long as the organization exists.
  • Soul Jar: The reason she keeps coming back after being defeated. Everyone thinks it's Wretch, The Dragon. It's not. She is actually bound to Arachnos itself. As long as the organization (or the ideal behind it, it's not made clear which) exists, so will Ghost Widow.


Former hero and member of the "Monks of the Four Winds", now evil, and under a curse that means his every attempt to do good will backfire.

  • Beardof Evil: A classical, villainous goatee
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: With the distance the camera is often put at, it's hard to notice, but when you look (not much) closer, you realize Scirocco has eyebrows so big they have their own polygons.
  • Face-Heel Turn: in his backstory
  • Mind Control: in his patron arc, his attempt at a Heel-Face Turn involved trying to mind control every villain in existence...
  • Minion Shipping: has a (rather chivalrious) crush on Ghost Widow. He doesn't seem to care that she's A) Dead and B) Incapable of returning his feelings.
  • Pelagian Villain: of a sort.
  • Theme Naming: All of the Monks of the Four Winds we know of have names after well, winds. Scirocco, Levantera, Borea and (Ice) Mistral.
  • Wild Mass Guessing In Universe example, Arbiter Daos believes that Scirocco isn't really cursed at all, but only making excuses because he can't come to terms with his villainy.

Black Scorpion

Former mercenary in a suit of power armour.

Captain Mako

A shark-like mutant ex-pirate.

The four patrons also each have their own sidekicks: Wretch, Ice Mistral, Silver Mantis and Barracuda.


All that remains of Ghost Widow's former comrade Paulo Marino, now mutated into a hideous monster.

Ice Mistral

Scirocco's protegé and former member of the Order of the Four Winds.

Silver Mantis

Addicted to body-modification, Silver Mantis ended up committing crimes to pay for her surgical operations.


Captain Mako's sidekick is a treasure hunter turned Coralax hybrid.

  • Tragic Monster: She didn't choose to become a Coralax hybrid, and the lore suggests that her cruelty is a product of the transformation.

Other Arachnos Personnel:

Dr. Aeon

Mad scientist working for Arachnos. Is a dunce.

  • Faking the Dead: Everyone knows that notorious Mad Scientist Dr. Carl Egon was executed by Arachnos after one of his experiments got out of control, the Arachnos-appointed governor of Cap Au Diable told him to stop, and Egon killed him. The subsequent appearance of benevolent genius Dr. Aeon (with a new face and paperwork) and his appointment as the new governor of CaD is pure coincidence. Really.note 
  • I Hate Past Me: It is at least implied that Aeon's nemesis Professor Echo is in fact the future version of himself.
  • Is This Thing Still On??: During the Statesman Task Force.
  • Laughably Evil
  • Mad Scientist
  • Time Travel
  • Villain with Good Publicity: while undeniably mad, Aeon has (allegedly) produced at least some beneficial inventions.

Marshall Blitz

The military commander of the island of Warburg, Blitz was a long-time advocate of using the various missiles stored on Warburg to attack Paragon City. When he found out he was dying of cancer even Arachnos super-science couldn't cure, he poisoned the civilian governor and took over.

Hearts of Darkness

A new villain group that recruits the (villainous) player character early in the game.

Dr. Graves





Independent Villains

Darren Wade

A shady mystical contact in Sharkhead Bay who's a former member of the Midnighter Club. The Man Behind the Man to Malaise in the Who Will Die? arc, as part of his master plan.

  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In the Who Will Die? arc, he managed to kill Statesman, steal his Incarnate powers, drive Sister Psyche insane, leading to her death, and puts in motion a plan to become Rularuu.


A god of death, sterility, and hate who leads the Banished Pantheon in Dark Astoria. An Eldritch Abomination with the ability to erase the positive aspects of memories, leaving only resentment and despair, his ultimate goal is to gain enough power and souls to become invulnerable and you guessed it, Take Over the World ("OF COURSE!").

  • Artifact of Doom: His idol, which he can use as a focus both for his manifestation on Earth and to inflict his Mind Rape abilities through.
  • Big Bad: For Dark Astoria and the Incarnate arc that takes place there.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Inflicts this fate on Marcus Valerius, turning him into the Sentinel.
  • Despair Event Horizon: What "tenderizes" an individual so he can eat them and gain their soul as a battery for his own powers.
  • Emotion Eater: Despair and guilt. He can also influence hatred, which is how he got the Talons of Vengeance on his side.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Averted. He's a villainous god of death, but he's more accurately a god of sterility, the death with no capacity for renewal. And that's not even getting into his capacities as a god of hatred...
  • Mind Rape: A master of this. He even tries it on your character!
  • Voice of the Legion: RANdomLY cAPitAlizEs HIS teXT.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: If he devours an individual, he gains their soul to draw on for power. Ultimately proves his undoing, as said partly-digested souls still exist inside him and help you to finally kill him.



Praetorians: Grey and Grey Morality

Emperor Cole, aka Tyrant

The beloved saviour of the world, who fought off Hamidon and created the utopian paradise of Praetoria. With the aid of his chosen Praetors, who rules the world with justice, protecting his subjects from the chaos elsewhere. He is increasingly disturbed by the threats that other realities pose to his paradise.

The near-blasphemous nickname of Tyrant is one given to him by the deranged anarchists of the so-called Resistance.
  • Fallen Hero: Having seen the worst of humanity, he believes that the people must be ruled with strength for their own good.
  • Hypocrite: Despite talking about the worst elements of humanity, a number of his chosen Praetors are exemplars of these very traits.


The Loyalists are those who are loyal to Emperor Cole, the ruler of Praetoria. They see themselves as the next hope for humanity, and work to help humanity recover from its war with the Devouring Earth after the Hamidon Wars. They are lead by a group of Praetors, supers who have distinguished themselves above and beyond even the elite of the mainline. Founded after the UN gave Cole full power post-Hamidon Wars, the Loyalists seek to create a perfect Utopia, but often at a cost.

Responsibility Loyalists

  • Loyalists who actually care about the people under Cole's regime, seeing it as a duty to do so, seeing that upholding the law is more important than gaining personal power, often directly taking on threats to the peace. To them, typically, power and prestige is just them earning their place by taking on the duties neccesary to maintain their Utopia, and greater responsibility.

In general, these Tropes are found:

  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Quite a few; Chief Interrogator Washingon, the first contact, is very reasonable and is honestly dedicated to his job. Provost Marchand also shows signs of it; When it is discovered Emperor Cole intends to lead an army to wipe out Primal Earth's superheroes, he is aghast and seeks to find a way to end the bloodshed before it happens. Doesn't mean he won't threaten you with kill-on-sight treason when you as an undercover agent, help the Crusaders steal a bomb, intending to plant it in a crowded area. It's standard territory for them.
  • Shoot the Dog: Comes up quite often; killing Cleopatra, arresting Dr. Steffard, really, the whole storyline is the tragedy of what must be done to "preserve the peace".

Chief Interrogator Washington
First contact of the Responsibility storyline; you help him face off with the Syndicate.

  • Reasonable Authority Figure: In spades; he listens to you, assists you when possible, and when you get ambushed by a trap set by Cleopatra, he offscreenly lowered the number of enemies who'd be ambushing you, taking on a considerable number of Resistance soldiers in the process.
  • Shoot the Dog: Killing Cleopatra, because she was a mole.

Praetor Tilman, aka Mother, aka Mother Mayhem

Mother Mayhem is the penultimate Responsibility contact. A strong psychic, she is the leader of the seers and leading light in re-educating those misguided members of the civilian population who think inappropriate thoughts.
  • Mind Rape: Strongly implied to be how she helps people.
  • Powers via Possession: After her death, her understudy willingly absorbed her psyche. The two are now inseparable.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She loves the people of Pretoria and is proud to help unstable psychics earn their place in society as seers.

Power Loyalists

  • Power hounds who are fully willing to abuse the law to gain personal power, spending more time working to get ahead of each other than fighting threats such as The Resistance. Many also play in media manipulation, seeking to gain ahead of each other. Not afraid to play dirty to gain power either.

In General; these tropes are found:

Characterwise, however:

Praetor Sinclair, aka Chimera

The ruthless chief assassin of Emperor Cole, Sinclair lurks in the shadows and does whatever it takes to keep Praetoria safe. By contrast to his Primal counterpart Manticore, Chimera happily became the apprentice of his parents' murderer.

The Resistance

An organized force seeking to stop Cole's Empire from spreading further and to free all from Tyrant (Cole's) grasp, the Resistance functions as the scapegoats of much of Praetoria's woes after the Hamidon Wars as far as the Loyalists are concerned. The Resistance is varied in its origins; it has regular people trying to make the world better all the way to nigh-on terrorists in its ranks. The Resistance has use slang as code words, which often come out as gibberish without context. Many of Primal Earth's villains have their mirror counterparts in the Resistance. Like the Loyalists, the Resistance has two factions: The Wardens and the Crusaders.

Resistance Wardens

  • The Resistance Warde's are members of the Resistance who are much less about direct shooting (but certainly don't shy away from it), and more about raising awareness of the truth behind Praetoria, seeking to bring a victory through less violent means when possible. They are careful about their targets, aiming to keep civilians out of the crossfire, and many truly seek a better world for the future. Many of their missions are less about winning the war with superpowers, rather aiming to subvert the machinery of Cole's empire so that people can make their own choices.

In General, these Tropes are found:


Robert Flores:

The first contact; an intrepid journalist, like his sister. He introduces you to the Warden storyline.

Tunnel Rat
The next contact of the Warden storyline; her responsibility is seeing people out of Praetoria, always through the Underground.

  • Properly Paranoid: Has this as a dominant personality trait, she's actually right. And considering Praetoria has Seers at every corner probing for unruly thoughts and other Loyalists willing to play dirty, the paranoia she has is justified.
  • The Nose Knows

Resistance Crusaders

  • The Crusaders make up a considerable bulk of the Resistance, especially when it comes to military operations. They are, unlike the Wardens, extremely varied in their origins. You see regular rebels, you see ex-gangsters, you name it, nine times out of ten they have one in their ranks. They cross the line frequently, and some don't even care about the Resistance's goals, just seek to cause mayhem. Typically reined in, with difficulty, by the Wardens, when they go too far, but not always.

  • Death Seeker: At least one group, faced in the first arc of the Praetorian storyline (played regardless of faction), willingly go on a suicide mission to make a point to the people of Praetoria.


The first contact of the crusaders, Ricochet is hard to understand even by resistance standards, talking in an almost unintelligible argot. Sets the tone for what the crusaders are like by having you sacrifice a suicidal ally to kill a whole PPD lab; if you save him, she'll actually criticise you for it.

Other Praetorian characters

Master Midnight

A member of Praetorian Earth's Midnighter Club, he became tired of being perpetually disrespected, killed them all, and reanimated their corpses as servants.