Dr Ray Stantz: You know, Mr. Tully, you are a most fortunate individual.
Louis: I know!
Dr Ray Stantz: You have been a participant in the biggest interdimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909!
Louis: Felt great.
Dr. Egon Spengler: We’d like to get a sample of your brain tissue.
Among the various treasures of frank.germano.com, you’ll find this page explaining how Nikola Tesla caused the Tunguska event of 1908. The short version is, following on from a “death ray” fad, Tesla built an energy weapon, or adapted his Wardenclyffe transmitter to act as one, as a gambit to attract investors to finish building the tower.
Independently, I think, I had a similar idea a couple years ago for a supers campaign based on liberally mixing the “Paragons of Freedom” framework from Green Ronin’s Paragons toolkit with elements of Heroes, the X-Men and the Freedom City and Hero Universe worlds.
In it, Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower was a McGuffin of unexplored intent. When he powered it up in 1908, it attracted the stray end of a cosmic string — hi, folks; welcome to Comic Book Physics — which whip-sawed through the planet, “cracking” in Siberia to cause the Tunguska event. The cosmic string triggered changes on the noetic level — a nod to Trinity — in the populations of the lands it passed through. In effect, the mystery men of the 1930s came into existence, gifted with unique abilities and raw talent for anything to which they put themselves. Time passed, the genetic alterations slowly began to circulate and improve through natural selection and by the end of the first decade of the next millennium, the first superheroes began to secretly emerge.
I’ll dig up my campaign notes for Paragons of Freedom in the coming weeks.