The original Cleveland was destroyed. Official story has to do with global warming, overuse of chlorofluorocarbons, melting of polar ice caps, flooding of Lake Eerie. Unofficial story makes mention of horrors from beyond time and space waking, crawling out of the lake and rampaging like Godzilla. That was when things changed – an honest to god Superhero showed up to save the city.
He failed. Sure, he eventually beat the monster and saved the day, but not the city. Collateral damage wasn’t really his focus. The place was a mess. FEMA was useless. Even with a dude standing up as a shining bastion of hope, those were hard times.
New Cleveland was founded on July 22, 1996, mostly on the area where Cleveland used to be. The city’s rebuilding was funded by billionaire philanthropist (or is it entrepreneur?) Lionel Carter. Today the city is a bustling metropolis once again.