The Enelsian Invasion was an attempted takeover of Earth by an alien species called (not surprisingly), the Enelsians. Broad awareness of it came to light in Astro City on August 4, 1997, and culminated the very next day with a worldwide battle between the heroes of the world and the invading Enelsians.
In 1995, the Honor Guard's alien detector was malfunctioning after The Zonn had attacked them sometime earlier. This enabled the Enelsians to slip their agents and spies into various locations around the world, undetected by the heroes and the unsuspecting public.
These spies were placed on reconnaissance missions, feeling out earths defensive capabilities. Their primary focus was on the super powered beings, especially the plethora that populated Astro City. That became the focal point and their most notable agent, Mr. Bridwell, had the final say in determining when or even if an invasion was warranted. He had a hesitation of sorts, perhaps driven by somewhat sympathetic feelings towards the Human race.
He decided to use an evaluation of the hero, Crackerjack, as a final determinate for the fate of earth and all humankind. So he tracked an evening of Crackerjack's activities. This still left him feeling ambivalent. On the one hand, he felt a strong degree of disgust for CJ's methods. Yet on the other hand, in some primitive ways, he also reminded him of the Enelsians themselves.
Mr. Bridwell only sent his report after being irritated by a bunch of gossiping old ladies, when in contrast, the females of the Enelsians are strong, proud, and quite vicious warriors.
The next phase of their invasion plans involved more agents infiltrating the planet with the goal of discrediting the reputation, and public trust of earth's beloved superheroes. Outspoken heroes like Winged Victory or ones more on the downside of public opinion, were easy targets to rile the public sentiment against them.
The operation was limited to just Astro City. Vigilante heroes like Lonestar in Austin and The Colonial in Melbourne were being looked at harder for operating further outside the laws than most heroes.
Mr Bridwell, even took to impersonating Crackerjack in a series of armed robberies in June 1997 before finally being exposed by Altar Boy.
Shadow Hill Killings, Boiling Tensions & Hero Registration
Starting in early summer, as temperatures began to rise, a number of bloody killings began in and around the the area of Shadow Hill. Public interest was tepid until the mid-July time frame, when the body of 15 year old girl, Sarah Lynn Felton, was discovered. The outcry rose with the temperatures as the media and the public at large demanded resolution and capture of the killer.
Along with the now crippling summer heat, frustrations lead to paranoia, and that gave rise to concerns that maybe one of their trusted heroes was responsible for the brutal murders. To counter this, many of the heroes shifted their focus more and more towards Shadow Hill. This led to increased criminal activity in the other areas, further angering the citizens of Astro City.
Mayor Stevenson, as a political gesture, hired an attention seeking, professional monster hunter, Mordecai Chalk, to focus exclusively on capturing the killer. Next the mayor established a mandatory program of hero registration. Since they were dealing with some kind of superhuman killer, they began by registering the heroes with mystic powers. He brought in E.A.G.L.E. troops to aid with the task of compliance.
Naturally, the heroes and super powered beings resisted, which further put a wedge between all parties. Though the public was mostly behind the heroes, until the Honor Guard battled the Frigians and Thermians in Antarctica and the First Family had been in the Mirror Galaxy exploring. The outcry was mostly over why they were worrying about them when the Shadow Hill Killer was still roaming somewhere.
Tensions boiled up so much that an angry mob was going to march upon Shadow Hill and burn it down, before various members of Honor Guard and the Irregulars appeared at barricades and turned the angry crowds back. The next day, Mordecai Chalk made a dramatic and media entralled entrance into Shadow Hill. After promising to find the killer swiftly, he disappeared.
July 27 brought another fire stoking moment, when after the Confessor apprehended a villain, The Gunslinger, the Shadow Hill residents, started putting fires in their doorways as one of their talismans. The massive amounts of smoke, even with no wind in the arid Summer heat, cast over the whole city, leading to the rest of the populace back to their thoughts of razing or even burying the area under rubble.
Mayor Stevenson started placing the blame squarely on the heroes for putting the city in this mess and the public slowly started turning more towards his side.
By that night and the early morning of the 28th, Honor Guard had discovered an alien scout craft in space and promptly captured it, unsure of the origins and planned to contact Starwoman's people, but that led to the mayors office getting even more angry with the lack of cooperation between them and the heroes.
The Black Rapier tried to enter the Astro City Museum of Modern History later that day and get the contact matrix to get a hold of Starwoman's people, but was rebuffed by E.A.G.L.E. troops.
On the 29th after another request from Honor Guard, the mayor cut in with his shocking plans of essentially outlawing heroes, and even threatening to kill on site, if need be.
The Big Reveal
By the first of August, many heroes, like Winged Victory and the Irregulars had been captured by E.A.G.L.E. troops, some killed or thought killed like Jack-in-the-Box but most were forced into hiding. The First Family put up a force field around their headquarters and Honor Guard Headquarters were cordoned off essentially taking them away from helping. Samaritan was the only major hero still active, along with The Gentleman, The Hanged Man and the Confessor.
On August 4th, the mayor held an evening rally at Centennial Park, where he would announce he was bringing in even more troops, even with most of the city's heroes held in check.
Just as the mayor was beginning his speech the Confessor attacked the mayor, though the E.A.G.L.E. troops were already prepared for him. The people watching on television, couldn't see anyone the troops were fighting and the public at the meeting, figured out wooden stake guns, holy water cables and holo-crucifixs would mean the Confessor's a vampire. The mayor pointed out the Confessor's secret of him being a vampire and allued to him being the one responsible for the Shadow Hill murders. But the Confessor somehow near death, managed to fire a stake gun at the mayor, killing him which revealed his true form, of being an Enelsian.
The public started to understand why the events of the summer had happened the way they did. The attempts to discredit heroes, using the Shadow Hill killings with a sweltering summer ramped up paranoia and was able to drive wedge between the public and the heroes, to disguise the impending invasion of the Enelsians. The hero registration was to help clear the obstacles of super powered beings and let the Enelsians bring in even more troops disguised as E.A.G.L.E. troops.
The Enelsian's plan was to get as many humans as possible as hostages to get the governments and super powered beings of the world into a forced surrender, but the Confessor's sacrifice and revelation of their presence, forced the Enelsian's hand before they were ready. The Crossbreed arrived at Centennial Park, while too late to help the Confessor, they managed to save his partner, Altar Boy and prevent the shock troops brought in to take hostages from doing so.
Throughout the world starting on the night of August 4th and into the 5th, the battle between heroes, villains, gods and creatures defending Earth against the Enelsians raged on. Astro City, with the largest concentration of heroes on the planet was the the focal point of the aliens' attack.
Honor Guard broke out of the cordon the Enelsians had put on their headquarters and faced the brunt of the attack on Astro City, while Crackerjack and the other street level heroes, after breaking out of jail, dealt with troops on the ground and other heroes worked damage control from falling debris.
Eventually the First Family side-stepped through dimensions to free themselves and after Dr. Furst was able to study some of the technology he cracked the Enelsian communication code, which let them find the command ship. Samaritan, The Gentleman and Winged Victory attacked the ship and forced the Supreme Commandrix of the Enelsians to order a retreat. Samaritan was able to find the real Mayor Stevenson, in addition to 45 other world and city leaders aboard the Enelsian ship.
Afterward the Enelsians full plan came to light and they faced a stiff punishment from the Galactic Council. The Enelsians started sneaking in agents when the Honor Guards alien detector was malfunctioning and more agents when Honor Guard was dealing with the Frigians and Thermians. It was also revealed that they didn't want to kill heroes, when it would risk discovery and more importantly they wanted the heroes alive. The Enelsians wanted the heroes to be slaves, so they could face down the Galactic Council. They sneaked more troops in when they had Honor Guard's Headquarters cordoned off and wanted to be able to get the worlds civilian population hostage, which would force the heroes into a surrender.
The real Mayor Stevenson upon his return, reiterated the gratefulness to the heroes of Astro City and the world for their never-ending faith in doing the right thing, no matter the public opinion and what they suffered in his name.
Plans were also made for the Contact Matrix for the K'ntarians to be permanently returned to Honor Guard, as well as back-up alien detectors to prevent any plan like the Enelsians from working again.
Though much damage was suffered and many lives lost, in thanks to the Confessor's timely sacrifice, all of the Enelsian's grand plans were squashed. The public couldn't grasp why the Confessor, having just been outed as a vampire and pegged by the impostor Mayor Stevenson as the Shadow Hill Killer, would have done such a noble act. It wasn't until a few weeks later, when more bodies turned up, and the sight of the Hanged Man vanquishing the real killer, turning out to be some horrific mystical creature, that people realized that they'd put pieces together that didn't belong.
Four years later, the Confessor reappeared leading many to wonder if it was the same man as before, but for those who remember what the Confessor did, they are grateful to have another protector looking over them.