During the Rikti War, shortly after the initial Rikti attack, The United Nations Security Council, led by Great Britain and France, formed an emergency umbrella organization to help coordinate hero resources in the worldwide war against the invaders. Called the Vanguard, this group was composed of some of the world’s best and brightest heroes.
The Rikti had taken their toll and famous super groups like the Freedom Phalanx, the Dawn Patrol, Midnight Squad, Regulators, and Hero Corps were down to only the toughest and most powerful heroes. With its decentralized command structure and international recruiting base, only the Vanguard remained a viable, organized fighting force.
It sprang into action immediately, and began to effect stalemates similar to the one that had been reached in Paragon City. The aliens’ advances were halted, but it seemed impossible to take back the territory they had already seized.
The Vanguard initiated a plan to strike back at the Rikti using a plan by Dr. Science. Leaving only skeleton crews to man defenses, the Vanguard was split into two teams. Alpha Team was led by Statesman and Omega Team was led by Hero 1. Alpha Team was much larger and consisted of over 1,000 heroes which launched a frontal assault on the Rikti. It was a costly attack and 800 of the heroes lost their lives. While the Alpha Team attacked the main body of Rikti troops, Omega Team slipped into the main Rikti portal base, through one of the portals and after a huge explosion from the other side, the portal was shut down. Only one hero, the utterly invulnerable Ajax, managed to survive the blast on this side of the portal. It is presumed that the heroes that went through the portal have perished.
Thanks to the heroics of the Vanguard, the Rikti War was over, or at least the first phase of it was. Both sides were nearly shattered in the process. The Vanguard and the other great hero organizations of the world scarcely existed anymore. With the exception of Statesman and a few others, all the world’s greatest heroes had died in the war. Trillions upon trillions of dollars of damage had been done to the majority of the world’s most populated cities. Paragon City was the worst hit of all. Once a shining beacon of light and prosperity, now much of it lay in ruins. It didn’t take long for criminals to start reasserting themselves, and new heroes were needed. It was the beginning of a desperate time that would last for decades.
Today, the Vanguard objectives are the same that they were years ago during the Rikti War. The organization opposes the Rikti wherever they show up, and so, the Rikti War Zone is a primary concern for the group, where they keep a strong presence encircling the downed Rikti starship.
But the Vanguard has a dark side too: Dedicated to stop the Rikti by whatever means necessary, they gladly recruit metahumans without any kind of distinction, not caring about the past of any new recruits. In practice this means that the Vanguard accepts into its ranks heroes as well as villains. This open door policy is causing a lot of tension between the organization and Longbow, whose point of view about the matter is completely different. Despite the fact that both groups fight for the same side and want to see the Rikti defeated, some of the Longbow leaders, such as W. M. Dietrich are especially critical of Vanguard.
And while the Vanguard fights for the planet as a whole and even has known villains in its ranks, villain groups such as the Malta Group or Arachnos are openly hostile to them, making its ally list even thinner.
Fighting an alien race in an open war, distrusted by hero organizations and attacked by villain groups, the Vanguard faces an uncertain future ahead. Only time will tell if the Vanguard and its allies succeed in their goals.
The Vanguard is split into 5 main divisions: The Helm, The Gauntlet, The Shield, The Herald, and The Sword.
The Herald – The public relations division is ran by a heroine named Incandescent. She’s not normally on-site as she’s usually too busy abroad working with the UN.
The Gauntlet – The main offensive branch is headed up by the hero known as Serpent Drummer. Most troops that are visibly seen taking physical action against the Rikti belong to this branch.
The Helm – The intelligence division, headed up by the mysterious Dark Watcher. This division is dedicated in gathering information to help keep the Rikti contained.
The Lady Grey is the overall commander of the Vanguard and is both powerful and well connected. It’s believed that she has been around as long as Statesman and Recluse. She sets the overall strategy of the organization and has Dark Watcher as her second in command.