Just the other day, I was reading about one of the most unsung achievements of the likes of Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby, which was to portray a realistic looking skyline to the comics that they worked in. Couple that with the fact that Marvel Comics was based around Manhattan, and soon enough you had Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four roaming real-life landmarks around New York City.
It's now many years later and, while a majority of Marvel comics still take place in New York, a larger number of both titles and characters mean that you have all the characters interacting with various landmarks around world. Even DC, who has historically had most of their story lines take place in fictional cities, like Metropolis and Gotham City, has started giving real cities more relevance than previously before. For example, Power Girl recently relocated to New York City and Blue Beetle is a resident of El Paso.
Of course, I can't judge how realistic those cities are portrayed, but hit the jump to see a couple of the cities that I have lived in, and how they were portrayed in comics.
I was originally born in Rosario, Argentina. It is the second (or third, depending on who you ask) biggest city in the country, but it obviously doesn't get a lot of page time in American comics. Buenos Aires, the capital of the country, does get more attention and I have been there several times. Terry Dodson does a fine job in portraying the city, which is very modern, but has many European tinges such as the outdoor cafes.
And I am glad that the creators of this comic understand that it is a city with normal and modern people. I have seen many portrayals (mostly in cartoons) of the people of Argentina as just a bunch of Gauchos, which is as ridiculous as making all Americans cowboys living in the Rockies. That being said, the country does have a reputation for holding many Nazi refuges from World War II, so I wasn't surprised when Dr. Nemesis was down there looking for them.
Years later, I moved to Miami, which is pretty much like any other city. The neighborhood of Miami Beach, however, gets all the attention from all kinds of media, including TV series, movies, video games, and comics. Most of the time, the characters don't get to stay there for long, but there are exceptions, as seen in 100 Bullets. A big part of the series takes place in Miami because the Medici family are based there. For example, the image above, by Eduardo Risso, portrays a famous (and very expensive) hotel in Collins Ave. that is very recognizable because of the long white curtains it has on the outside.
As for the portrayal of Miami Beach, it is usually shown as a mecca of sex, drugs, and other types of debauchery and I would have to say it is pretty accurate. But, once again, Miami is just a normal city, much like any other, whereas Miami Beach is what is usually shown in comics (and other media too) and sometimes people don't understand there is a difference. 100 Bullets was also pretty good in this part, sometimes showing other parts of the city, such as Little Havana and Coral Gables (other neighborhoods in the city). I don't know if this was the work of Risso, or the writer Brian Azzarello, but it was more accurate than other depictions I have seen.
And, finally, the city I currently live in recently made a guest appearance in another Matt Fraction penned title, this time Invincible Iron Man. Those building seen in the image really exist. As a matter of fact, I live only 5 blocks away from them! The only difference is that (before they got blown up) they were Stark Industries office buildings. And, while I could certainly imagine Tony designing those very innovative buildings, in reality, they are part of a bigger museum complex called The City of The Arts and The Sciences.
Another interesting fact is that Salvador Larroca, the artist of this comic, is originally from Valencia. So I think this was just more his input than Fraction's in this case. And I don't think it was a mistake on Larroca's part, but more of an Easter egg or nod to his home city.
So that's it for me and the places I've lived appearing in comics and those are just very recent examples, but what about you, dear readers? Has your city, state, or country ever been portrayed in comics? How accurate was it?