Fantasy versions of urban life are on the rise, from a backwater, vamp-infested Louisiana town to Robert Rodiguez's new privately-owned Black Falls. It's time to check out our gallery of the worst fake cities on the planet.
Location: California near Santa Barbara
Where does it appear? Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe
Locals: A slowly declining population of families and commuters, with a thriving underground community of demons and vampires.
Dangers: It's situated directly over the Hellmouth, so there's that. Think of this city as a magnet for everything in the world that wants to do harm to humankind. Demons, vampires, plagues, ghosts, trolls, witches...the list goes on. If you live in this city and wanted a small family of two kids, I'd have three just to be safe.
Location: Depends, many maps put Gotham right where Manhattan or Vancouver would be situated. But generally you're looking for a Northern city near the coast.
Where does it appear? Batman
Locals: Home to Batman, the Wayne family, and stomping grounds of many other superheroes and villains. This town is full of hard-working city folk with a lot of attitude and gumption, which is imperative as the crime rate is so high they need to keep their spirits up to get through the day. The town is riddled with psychotics, superheroes and masked avengers all looking to either do some good or some harm.
Dangers: Highways, banks, the docking yards and hospitals all seem to be violent areas. Rule of thumb, stay away from these places or any government official or people with strollers, as they all seem to be large walking targets in this town.
Location: Northern Louisiana, above Alexandria
Where does it appear? True Blood and the Sookie Stackhouse series
Locals: Blue collar Southern types. People who have lived in the same place for years, centuries even. Bon Temps, home to Sookie Stackhouse and her many supernatural friends has a pretty steady fatality rate. While it's nowhere near Sunnydale or Gotham City numbers, there are still a fair number of citizens getting snacked on by the lush supernatural life that populates the woods nearby.
Dangers: Unruly vampire nests, bull people with poison talons, werewolves, werepuppies - it's basically an all-the-time party for anything unnatural. Living here is a dangerous balancing act of being aware of the dangers in front of you, so you know how to respond, but not being so infatuated that you're putting yourself in harms way. Plus there's the fact that the law enforcement is pretty lax, so should you get murdered it may be weeks until they find your body.
The local Louisiana Tourist Board has set up a Welcome To Bon Temps site - "everyone wants a taste."
Where does it appear? Smallville TV series, Superman
Locals: Good salt of the Earth farmer folk that attract doom like honey does flies.
Dangers: If you live in Smallville, you run the chance of having one of your relatives getting killed by a radioactive meteor - or the risk that you will become exposed or mutated by a radioactive meteor, or that you will be attacked on a weekly basis by someone who has been mutated by a radioactive meteor.
Located: Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, possibly Oregon or Washington state. It's a secret town built by Global Dynamics - if they want you to know the exact location, you'll know.
Where does it appear? EurekaTV series
Locals: Scientists, superbrains, and the best of the best of every field all in one town.
Dangers: Malfunctioning science experiments that could potentially harm you or your belongings (most likely the belongings). Things are always exploding or ripping the fabric of time. Also the world ends just about every week and at one time or another you could be called upon to roll up your sleeves and help solve the problem, which has lead to a few fatalities here and there. The town has been known to bust out into song time and again (similar to Sunnydale).
Location: Pasadena area of California
Where does it appear? Back To The Future
Locals: A never ending loop of faces that pass on generation to generation.
Dangers: When your city houses a meddlesome scientist and his good-looking assistant who can't help but dabble in time travel, your life is going to be greatly influenced by these two and their shenanigans. Of course the entire world will be changed with time travel, but if you're a resident in Hill Valley and your great, great grandfather gets knocked off a cliff by a DeLorean, you can bet that will impact your future a whole lot more.
Location: Midway between San Francisco and LA
Where does it appear? The Green Lantern universe
Locals: Regular people and a space cop or two.
Dangers: This poor city looks nuclear disaster square in the face. It was destroyed in a nuclear explosion in the mid-1990s and magically restored a few years back. But who can say how long that's going to last?
Location: Gotham's suburb
Where does it appear? Batman universe
Locals: Family folk commuting into Gotham.
Dangers: Turned into a post-nuclear wasteland, then ground zero for the anti-life equation outbreak that led to humanity becoming mindless zombie drones. So it attracts serious outbreaks and attacks as opposed to the smaller but more frequent Gotham City crime waves.
Black Falls Community
Where does it appear? Robert Rodriguez's movie Shorts
Locals: The families of Black Box Industries.
Dangers: Besides the usual bullies, the products from Black Box industries seem to make all the inhabitants a little bit more dangerous. Then there's that rainbow rock that the kids have where they can turn you into a dung beetle just by wishing it. So slightly dangerous if in the wrong hands.