I want you to read Superman. Not because the story is good (it is; quite), but because it's a vindication of the concept of the fictionopolis.
The fictionopolis is one of our favorite concepts here, and a powerful element in our Dynastic Centerpiece Model. It was once a standard in DC comics, faded under the pernicious influence of Marvel-style "realism" *snort*, and has reasserted itself strongly in recent years.
Its chief modern apostle is James Robinson, of Starman fame. There's a lot about Robinson's Starman I didn't like (weak plots, mostly), but his achievement over seven years (1994-2001) in creating an entire fictionopolis (Opal City) and making it unique impressed and delighted me to no end. His success led the charge back toward the fictionopolis as the setting of choice for the modern DC hero: really, if you don't have a fictionopolis of your own, you're just not top drawer. Oh, and for Wonder Woman's purposes, Washington D.C. counts as a fictionopolis; honestly, I think it counts as one for me.
I credit Robinson's work on Opal City with inspiring the "new Gotham City", suddenly an island and now with a map all its own, as debuted in No Man's Land (1999), and the B13 revamping (2000) of Metropolis (also with a new look and layout of its own).
The B13 changes were de-vamped, of course, but the desire to give Metropolis its own character as the home of the Man of Tomorrow didn't go away. Kurt Busiek's certainly been striving toward it, and under his pen Metropolis has become the place where you might encounter, on any given day, Kryptococcus the Omni-Germ on the Avenue of Tomorrow.
The new creative team is building (quite literary) on Busiek's beginning vision of the city. Yeah, sure, it's "Deco", but most of DCU cities are, to some degree. That's a natural function of DC's roots in the late 1930s. But, within the Deco vernacular, Metropolis is clearly being defined as having its own characteristic style; vertical, bright but not shiny, glass as an accent but white stone for structure, soft rather than hard, powerful but not harsh.
The Tomorrow Diner, evocative of 'the city of tomorrow' Note that at every level the architecture favors curved edges over sharp ones. The building is a series of many strong, upward elements. Spacially the building is stout. But the repeated, thin, upward pointing elements make it seem tall and thin. The effect is almost cathedral-like.
The characteristics we noted in the Tomorrow Diner are here in the Ace O'Clubs (and throughout Metropolis). Favoring curved edges over sharp ones. The 'Metropolis' deco font. Structures as a series of strong straight vertical strokes. Note the angle of view adding to Metropolis's characteristic 'up, up and away' look. Note also the elevated causeways and rail-lines. This has been an element in previous visions of the city and it's becoming a Metropolis sine qua non (like the gargoyles of Gotham City).
The 'pylon pile-on' effect. This is the essence of Metropolis's new design. Cleverly, the team has chosen a look that can clearly indicate to the view that they are in Metropolis, even when only one otherwise unidentified building is visible. Note the look is both reminiscent of and in contrast to the 'crystal cathedral' look of the Fortress of Solitude. Both are composed of repeated strong vertical straight lines. But the Kryptonian style favors 45 degree angles and pointed tips, whereas the Metropolitan styles favors perpendicularlity and rounded tips.
Compared the previous buildings, the Steelworks and its environs are stocky, down to earth. This solidity helps send the message "factory/warehouse district". Still, most of the Metrotecture elements remain evident (note the cathedral style windows, for example), even if they no longer dominate. The decorative ironworks are a very nice touch as is the symbolic wall carving in the window casing; very WPA.
A broader view allows you to see all the characteristics of Metrotecture on a grander scale. Note that not only do the buildings themselves have the pylon pile-on effect, but the invidual buildings become pylons replicating the effect at a grander scale across the cityscape. Very fractal, in a non-organic way. And because the buildings, individually and collectively, taper as they reach skyward, you don't get the effect same narrow-canyon effect you get in, say, New York City. Metropolis needs to be a city where it's easy to look up in the sky.
Put it all together and you get