Statesman is both the primary hero in the City of Heroes universe, and the in-game personality of CoH dev Jack Emmert.
Marcus Cole is not only CoH's most famous superhero, he is also the first, having fought evil for over 70 years. He originally claimed his abilities came from mastering the secret of unlocking his "inner will", after travelling in the Far East, more recently however it has been revealed that he is an "Incarnate" of Zeus himself. Drinking from the Fountain of Zeus, he gained incredible strength and invulnerability, not to mention apparently eternal youth.
Statesman served in World War I alongside his then friend Stefan Richter (who would go on to become Lord Recluse and Statesman's primary arch-rival), whom he traveled with after the war in an attempt to cure himself of a potentially fatal exposure to mustard gas. To learn of the location of a possible cure, he led the double life of both the criminal Marcus Cole and as James Lancaster, the police officer sworn to take him in. The double life came to an end when he finally stole a scroll that revealed the location of the Fountain of Zeus, which he believed would cure him. Cole and Richter discovered the Fountain of Zeus on an island in Greece and drank from it. As a result, they gained superhuman powers. While at the fountain, they threw open the lid to Pandora's Box which caused a dramatic increase in the number of superhumans worldwide and is directly responsible for their proliferation to this day. Marcus sold many of the island's treasures and built up a small fortune in Europe before Stefan, now calling himself Lord Recluse, lured him back to Paragon City. To draw out Recluse, Marcus became the first costumed crimefighter in Paragon's history, The Statesman, going on to found the Freedom Phalanx and saving the city from an attack by the mechanical overlord Nemesis. He continued on as Statesman even after he defeated Recluse following the events of "Brass Monday." Statesman fought in the second World War after fighting crime on his native soil in Paragon City.
He has a keen interest in organizing the hero community as the founder of the Freedom Phalanx and a member of the Vanguard Elite. Statesman is one of the few survivors of the devastating Rikti War and now spends much of his time aiding and training the new heroes of Paragon City. Though he actively fights crime on his own and with the Phalanx, he is also depicted in the comics as training up and coming heroes, a necessity in the days following the Rikti War which killed more than two-thirds of the entire population of heroes.
The novel The Web of Arachnos revealed that he married Stefan's sister Monica Richter, who had become Maiden Justice. Her ultimate fate remains unknown, but official discussion on the City of Heroes message boards revealed that Statesman is the father of retired hero Miss Liberty and grandfather to the current hero Ms. Liberty, whom many players will immediately recognize as one of the two initial trainers new heroes meet in the game. This makes the relationship between their Praetorian counterparts, Tyrant and Dominatrix, considerably more kinky.