Once the prosperous jewelers’ district in 19th century Paragon City, many of Steel Canyon’s neighborhoods still possess names dating back to that era. The 20th century, however, brought with it an explosion of finance and investment industry. The once prolific mercantile district transformed overnight as brokerage houses, insurance companies, and law firms began taking over real estate. By the 1920s, most companies had erected towering skyscrapers to flaunt their success to the rest of the city. Because these huge buildings loomed over city streets like man-made mountains, the newspapers dubbed the area “Steel Canyon.”
This bright era of prosperity, however, possessed a dark side. It was during this period that the Southern United Manufacturing Company relocated its headquarters to Steel Canyon. This huge monopoly stretched its offices over dozens of buildings and quickly dominated the business landscape of Paragon City . Behind closed doors, Southern United exerted considerable pressure on local politicians. Though bribery was the usual form of coercion, the company was not above using blackmail and even physical threats. Southern United was also the main support for the notoriously corrupt, yet strangely popular, mayor James “Spanky” Rabinowitz. Southern United profited mightily during Prohibition by using their transportation resources to smuggle alcohol from Canada.
When Statesman arrived on the scene, his first battles were mostly against the low-level thugs who peddled bootleg liquor in the speakeasies and bars. Soon, however, Statesman realized that a far more powerful organization was behind this illegal liquor industry. Through daring and no small amount of luck, Statesman uncovered the corrupt nature of Southern United.
In the course of Statesman’s campaign against Southern United, a far more pervasive threat was uncovered. Southern United was but a front for a far more insidious evil that stretched back more than a century: Nemesis, the Prussian Prince of Automatons. In this first great confrontation between Statesman and Nemesis-many more would follow over the years-Statesman brought down the company that Nemesis was using to gather resources for his personal war against humanity. A bloodied but unbowed Nemesis unleashed his legions in the hopes that a sudden attack would give him possession of the city. This tragic day, Monday, July 11, 1932, dubbed by the press as “Brass Monday,” witnessed the Prussian Prince’s metal-clad troops flooding the streets of Steel Canyon in a show of force not seen since the waning years of the Civil War.
Rallying the authorities, Statesman battled back Nemesis’ forces. Eventually, the hero confronted Nemesis himself and forced the villain to retreat. As the first super-powered human to receive massive national exposure, Statesman became the leading symbol of the potential good that super-humans could contribute to society. Police forces became more cooperative towards masked crime-fighters, which in turn led many super beings to use their powers more openly. This growing public support eventually culminated in the passage of the 1936 Citizen Crime Fighting Act.
Today, Steel Canyon remains primarily a financial district, though many jewelers still have their stores in the area. No single villain group has re-gained pre-eminence in Steel Canyon, though many compete for control of this wealthy district. The elemental-based Outcasts, the misshapen Trolls, and the Asian Tsoo all wage fierce battles amongst each other for dominance of Steel Canyon. So far, the conflict has resulted in a bloody stalemate, though the businesses and residents of the area hope that the influx of new heroes will destroy this threat forever.