Freedom City is the default setting for the Mutants & Masterminds game system. Freedom City, the actual town, is the default setting for the 1st and 2nd editions of the game and is where most setting information is provided for. Also known as the Freedom Universe. In the World of Freedom, superheroes appeared roughly at the same time that comic book heroes did in the real world.The setting's primary hero, The Centurion, inspired many imitators in the 1930s and carried on until he was killed in a battle with a supervillain known as Omega. Unlike Superman, the Centurion remained dead. It is up to the player characters and others to carry on for him.In 2010, Emerald City was revealed to be the default setting for 3rd Edition. Located in the same universe, Emerald City serves as an analogue to Seattle in the way that Freedom City does to New York City.The tone of Freedom City is light and airy, roughly meant to simulate The Modern Age of Comic Books. While there are darker characters such as the villainous Jack-A-Knives, it is primarily a place of fun and whimsy.Supplements for the setting in 2E include: Agents of Freedom, Book of Magic, Freedom's Most Wanted, Golden Age, Hero High, Iron Age, Silver Age, and Worlds of Freedom, as well as the adventures Time of Crisis and Time of Vengeance.
Affirmative Action Legacy: The most recent person to take the name of Johnny Rocket, the setting' premiere NPC speedster, is openly gay.
The current Star Knight, actually the first Terran-born human to be invited to join the Order of Star Knights, is the American-born daughter of immigrants from Greece and Central America.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Talos, who wants to replace humanity with robots the same way humanity replaced the gods (and the gods replaced the titans). The Erinyes/The Furies Three, who were originally known as the Chorale.
Both were made/mentored by Daedalus, an Iron Man/Hank Pym expy.
Anthropomorphic Personification: Dr. Metropolis, living embodiment/spirit of Freedom City. Hiroshima Shadow, living embodiment of... yeah. Jack-A-Knives is the Spirit of Murder.
Anti-Hero: While mostly an idealistic setting, there are a few of these listed under villains.
Unscrupulous Hero: The current wielder of the Crimson Katana is explicitly described as an anti-hero who fights people much worse than she is, though her situation is complicated by the fact that her father, one of those people, routinely hijacks her body. The Silencer, as the setting's Punisher analogue, could be this ...
Nominal Hero: ... or possibly this. As another example, Larceny Inc. are straight up criminals, but do as much to oppose the Labyrinth as most heroes.
Cape Busters: Several - Freedom City has the local STAR Squad (Superhuman Tactics and Regulations), their federal sister agency (and professional rival) is AEGIS (American Elite Government Intervention Service), and the international counterpart to both of those is UNISON (United Nations International Superhuman Oversight Network).
Cloning Blues: The vast bulwark of SHADOW is comprised of legions of cloned troopers. The general public is aware SHADOW uses clones, taken from the body of the 1930s Nazi star athlete, Holtz Hellman. They're all really clones of Wilhelm Kantor, Overshadow himself.
Crapsack World: Averted, on Earth-Prime. The main universe of the Freedom City setting is an optimistic place where most people are basically good and most people love superheroes. Other dimensions like Erde and the Terminus, on the other hand...
Not to mention the obligatory Anti-Earth where the heroes are villains, the villains have been wiped out, and everyone's corrupt. The Iron Age supplement also creates a world full of violence, corruption, and few signs of hope, although it of course ended eventually.
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The Thieves' Guild, mentioned in Freedom's Most Wanted and the 2E Time of Crisis, are six brilliant scientists who've managed to develop technolgoy from extremely detailed holograms to Batman-level bolo-themed gadgets, to cryokinesis to weather controlling. They use these inventions to rob banks. It's even noted in their descriptions that they could have made millions were they all not more than a bit crazy. (They're specifically a group Captain Ersatz of The Flash's Rogues, who were pretty much the same.)
Cycle of Revenge: The Scarab and Overshadow have been locked into one for the past 5,000 years.
Taurus, the Minotaur of Crete himself, possesses an perfect memory and a knack for puzzles. As one can imagine for someone who has lived since the heyday of Greece, this means he is verydamnsmart.
Bruiser, of the Iron Age team FORCE Ops, is the resident team scientist. His mutation into a hulking brute leaves him with minimal physical dexterity, but his mind remains brilliant.
Government Agency of Fiction: AEGIS (American Elite Government Intervention Service), The Ministry of Powers, UNCOT (United Nations Command on Terrorism), UNICORN (United Nations International Coalition Ordering the Reality Nexus), UNIQUE (United Nations International Quorum of Unaligned Exceptionals), UNISON (United Nations International Superhuman Oversight Network), UNPEC (United Nations Paranormal Enclave Committee), and UNSAC (United Nations Science Advisory Council).
And in the Time of Crisis adventure, Der Übermenschen (The Supermen): Der Eule (The Owl), Die Geist (The Ghost), Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), Der Hand Des Todes (The Hands of Death), Übermensch II (Overman II), and Weißer Ritter (White Knight).
My Grandson Myself: Daniel Daedalus, one of the world's most brilliant scientists and engineers, is not merely named for the figure from Greek mythology, he is the original Daedalus. Many believe the Daedalus who fights alongside the Freedom League today is the son of the Daedalus from the 1960s; he does nothing to discount the rumor, since his immortality isn't widely known.
The Power of Rock: The second Fear-Master. The Maestro (but he uses Classical music).
Power Crystal: Daka crystals, which can channel various forms of energy. The Moonstone, a psionic amplifier held by the Farsiders. The Starstone, the energy source for the Star Knights.
Powered Armor: AEGIS Agents have access to the MAX and Super-MAX armors. The Power Corps are an octet of power armor-wearing mercenaries. The Star Knights are the Green Lantern Corp, but with suits of armor instead of rings. Daedalus, Devil Ray, Doc Otaku, Overshadow, and Star Khan are the most prominent individual users of power armor.
There's also a bit of Liberty Belle in there, and even DC's Uncle Sam (in Worlds Of Freedom, we're told that, just like Sam spent the American Civil War split into Billy Yank and Johnny Reb, the Spirit of Liberty empowered Columbia and Southern Belle).
Her husband is Trevor Wright; a reference to Steve Trevor and a play on "Mr Right".
The Pale Ranger in Worlds of Freedom's "Freedom by Gaslight" is basically Marvel's Phantom Rider, although he's got The Lone Ranger's origin (but the Silver Sheriff is the one who inherited a silver mine and used it to make bullets). He's also Doc Prophet's father, which could be a nod to the Lone Ranger being the uncle of The Green Hornet.
Madame Zero is quite blatantly a gender-reversal of Mr. Freeze, only here it was an affair and subsequent breakup with her boyfriend that caused her to be transformed, and she got her career started by killing him, in contrast to Victor Frieze's driving goal to cure his cryogenically-suspended wife.
Taking things even further, the Hero High sourcebook (which details Next Gen and the Claremont Academy in particular and teen heroes in general) has three archetypes that are quite blatantly Starfire (Alien Exile), Raven (Child of Darkness) and Robin (Protégé) with the names removed and nothing else. The Construct archetpe, meanwhile, has artwork that is basically Colossus of The X Men with some heavy weaponry slapped on.
Omega, Lord of the Terminus borrows from both Darkseid and Thanos.
In one supplement, he basically fills the role of the Anti-Monitor.
Overshadow combines elements of Hastor (the constantly reincarnating enemy of Hawkman), Baron Zemo and Doctor Doom.
Pseudo is very much a Martian Manhunter homage, though his race, the Grue, are much closer to a mash of the Skrull (militaristic shapeshifters) and the Kree (specifically, the Supreme Intelligence-like Grue Meta-Mind).
Word of God is that they're named after the late Marvel executive editor Mark Gruenwald (their home planet is called Gruen-World).
The Psions are Magneto and his Brotherhood of (Evil) Mutants, but for mutants with psychic abilities rather than any mutant.
Quirk is Mr. Mxyzptlk, but slightly more annoying.
The Raven (the first) filled the Batman expy. His daughter, the second Raven, homages Earth-2 Huntress (The daughter of Batman & Catwoman) as well as being the grandchild of the setting's equivalent of Ra's al Ghul.
The Thieves Guild are one-to-one homages to The Flash's Rogues: Huckster is Trickster; Bola is Captain Boomerang; Looking Glass is Mirror Master; Weather Mistress is Weather Wizard; Firebug is Heatwave; and the Mad Maple is Captain Cold. (Although the Maple's name and Canadian origin are also a Shout-Out to Big Name Fan Jim "T. M. Maple" Burke.)
Tobias Gregson, the 19th century Police Comissioner in "Freedom by Gaslight" shares his name with a police inspector in Sherlock Holmes.
The Tick-Tock Doc could be argued as what might have happened if Doctor Who had become obsessed with human flowerchild counterculture and eventually turned into a well-meaning "hippie terrorist". He even travels through time and space in what is basically a cross between the Mystery Machine and the TARDIS
Der Übermenschen, of the Time of Crisis adventure, are direct parallels to DC's Freedom Fighters. Der Eule is Black Condor, Die Geist is Phantom Lady, Götterdämmerung is The Human Bomb, Der Hand Des Todes is Dollman, Übermensch II is Uncle Sam, and Weißer Ritter is The Ray.
In the Erde setting, Dr. Tomorrow names his wonder chemical noburpolene.
The Ultima (aka the Hyperboreans) are an expy of Marvel's Eternals
The Emerald City material contains the following tropes:
Captain Ersatz: As usual with the setting, however now lampshaded with an actual character named Ersatz, who has the power to assume the form of an imperfect copy of any hero (In his first appearance via an illustration he takes the form of a fat version of Princess.)
Green-Skinned Space Babe: Subverted with Xeno, who is a female of her species (actually the hybrid of a female alien and a female human), but looks like a bug like humanoid rather than a beautiful human woman.