Fortress of Solitude
1113 State Avenue

Located in a prime retail spot on Shadowgard's main drag, Fortress of Solitude is a spacious, clean, well-lit store specializing in comic books, science fiction and fantasy literature, anime and manga, roleplaying games, wargames and collectible card games. The store holds a vast array of racks, bookshelves and display tables, as well as a twelve-seat central table used for tournaments and open gaming and a few molded plastic statues of famous comic book characters; as well, the walls are covered in movie posters, cardboard cutouts and advertisements.

In addition to the more common mainstream and independent comic titles, Fortress of Solitude publishes its own in-house comics, many of which are written and drawn by their night manager, one Jared Reese. These are largely cheesecake affairs; the books feature scantily-clad heroines of somewhat ridiculous proportions, dressed in outfits that frankly defy gravity. The tales portrayed therein run the gamut from sword and sorcery fantasy to grand space opera, though the plots are fairly interchangeable and forgettable. Despite the poor writing, the comics are fairly popular locally -- mostly among hormone-charged teenage boys, but as the owners are only too happy to point out, profit is profit.

Though the shop is undeniably geeky and frequently packed with teenaged nerds, it's actually quite friendly to all demographics; the space is well-maintained, the service is excellent, and the employees are only too happy to toss creepy stalker-types and troublemakers to the curb. There are a few customers who don't seem to bathe or shave, who stare at female customers' chests rather than meeting their eyes, who steadfastly refuse to believe that women or apparent 'normals' could be interested in any part of geekdom, but these sorts are generally quite harmless and the staff is sure to keep an eye on them in case that changes. As a result, Fortress of Solitude has a broad customer base which includes a wide variety of fans, geeks and casual readers.