Too Many Long Boxes!

End of Summer

DCU Travel Guide

Vanity: A Home for Hopelessness

by Mathew D. Rhys

In the early Twentieth century Clarence Vane, builder and financier, began his most expansive endeavor-- the city of Vanity. Subscribing to a number of peculiar European art movements, Vane performed all the primary architectural work himself. However, due to the significant conflict in style, the city has an appearance likened to "sick building syndrome". Vane died in 1938, after his city was completed.

The architecture aside, Vanity seems to have a bizarre effect on its residents. The suicide rate here is five times the national average for all age groups and demographics. Everyone you meet seems sad and lifeless, and from the minute you step off the plane, you can feel a sense of hopelessness. A number of years ago two super heroes, Liberty Lass and the second Mister America, debuted in Vanity, coming to bring peace and hope. In a few, short years they were known as Death-doll and Bloodtype, ruthless and blood-thirsty vigilantes.

Here I will break from my normal style and format. As a journalist, I always try to keep a positive, professional outlook on the places I visit-- highlighting the good, and taking the bad in context. I have been to the slums of old Saigon and stayed in the finest hotel in London. I have eaten at everywhere from greasy spoons in Waymore, Nebraska to Carlini's in Coast City. It is with that background I say this: do not go to Vanity. Do not travel to Vanity alone. Do not take children to Vanity. Please, heed my words. This city has a soul dark as pitch and it will touch you.

I realize there are those with no choice. Apart from its social demeanor, Vanity is a very prominent marketplace, with Lexcorp, Waynetech and Lockheed all having large branches within the city. So for those of you sent to Vanity on business, I write the following.

There are many restaurants in Vanity, but the most unique is the Western themed Wagon Meals. They have excellent burgers, their fries are beer-battered, and the steaks are very good.

All of the essentials for daily life are best acquired at Clarence's department store. It is the oldest business in the city and one of the few relatively pleasant places in the city.

If you are looking for some entertainment, the baker Auditorium plays host to many sporting events and concerts. And eerie but interesting is the Vanity Wax Museum, which houses wax replicas of many famous super heroes.

In closing, let me reiterate, if you can avoid Vanity, do so; but if you must go, then be very careful, and do not stay too long.

Based on information submitted to the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe by an anonymous writer and gathered from John Wells

The highly odd Mathew D Rhys is an obsessive storyteller and family man whose wife graciously allows him to prattle aimlessly, and gives him no end of joy in life. He hopes to one day write comics his son can read. You can read his original character fiction at

Return to the Top of the Page

Now that you've read this piece,
discuss it in the Fanzing Forum!

All characters are ™ DC Comics
This piece is © 2002 by Mathew D. Rhys
Fanzing is not associated with DC Comics.
All DC Comics characters, trademarks and images (where used) are ™ DC Comics, Inc.
DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.

Fanzing site version 7.4
Updated 7/27/2010