"General Income" is the "leader" of an "economic recovery" seminar in Paragon City.
Dean Alton always dreamed of being a hero. As a low-level electrical mutant himself, Dean believed that it was his destiny to be one of the great heroes in Paragon City. Unfortunately, meta-human specialists determined that Dean's abilities would never be strong enough on their own to make a difference.
It was around this time that he heard of a hero called Cerulean Bolt, another electrical-based mutant. He thought he could design a costume and become Cerulean Bolt's sidekick, but those dreams were quickly dashed in 2005 when it was revealed that Cerulean Bolt was implicated in several crimes connected to his substance addiction.
Two years later, he heard that Zenith Pictures was casting for a motion picture based on Cerulean Bolt's career. Since Dean already bore a striking resemblance to disgraced hero and actor Mike Lee, he was immediately signed as the title role.
Dean believed that this was his new destiny. He believed that it was his mission in life to not only honor the career of Cerulean Bolt, but to continue where Mike Lee left off. Much to the shock of studio executives, Dean then spent every penny of his savings in plastic surgery and in power augmentation so that he would not only look like Mike Lee, but would have the same power levels. He also personally designed a new costume for the role. Strangely, studio executives said little about this.
Filming was mostly in-studio. Despite being in Paragon City itself, there was minimal location shooting. Dean tried to create a blog to document the filmmaking, but Zenith attorneys quickly nixed the idea. He attempted to promote the movie, but again was asked by the attorneys to say nothing in public. He was told that Zenith Pictures would have a public relations firm handle all the promotions.
Then, after filming, Dean found out the truth. He found out that the movie he was brought into would never be released. Executives at Zenith Pictures needed to come up with a movie quickly to keep the movie rights to Cerulean Bolt, but they did not have the money needed to produce the blockbuster they wanted it to be. They had plans to do Cerulean Bolt's story as a major release with big-name actors and state-of-the-art special effects, but that would not be for at least a decade.
Dean was devastated to learn that he essentially wasted his time and savings for nothing.
He tried to market himself as an actor, but because he now looked almost exactly like Mike Lee, no studio executive would ever hire him to work on any project, even for sweeping the soundstages.
Dean then tried to salvage his loss by starting as a new superhero called Critical Bolt, but because used the custom-made costume from the movie, attorneys for Zenith Pictures then sued him for copyright infringement. He was forced to declare bankruptcy and give up any claim to ever be a hero.
"The General" is a role that was invented by consultants for Sovereign Insurance as a figurehead for their "Economic Recovery Program", which was really a cover to recruit down-and-out people as bank robbers. The role would also serve as a scapegoat to absolve the insurance company from any involvement in the operation.
Sovereign CEO Donald Creslo spotted Dean as a janitor cleaning the offices after-hours. After first mistaking Dean as Mike Lee, Creslo realized they could use Dean as a figurehead role for the program.
By this time, Dean had developed a very bitter view of Corporate America, so at first he was leery of the offer. But once the details of the position became clear, Dean quickly took to the role, transforming the idea of "The General" into "General Income", a green-and-gold military officer. Channeling various military movie roles, Dean would give loud speeches talking about the abuses of Corpoate America to those who were already victims of the economy. The audience response to his performance was addictive to him.
Although the role was supposed to be that of a figurehead, Dean knew what was really going on with the program. He knew that eventually the police would go after him as the supposed "ringleader" of the organization, and that despite the efforts of Sovereign to "stonewall" any investigation, he could end up being arrested for their plans. He began to insulate himself not only with the "recruiters" but also with his own security team that would wait in hiding.
When the Paragon City Police Department finally made their raid, Dean was forced to reveal his powers first before his security team could escort him away. Unfortunately he was later captured by Lyon Powers and the Elite Ice Queen after abandoning his "General" outfit and once again donning the "Critical Bolt" outfit.
He is currently behind bars awaiting trail.
Economic Recovery Program
"General Income's Economic Recovery Program" seminars began appearing in Paragon City starting in 2010. Recruiters would often approach citizens outside the local labor offices looking for work. Because Paragon City was not as badly affected by the Great Recession as other parts of Rhodie Island, there were abnormally fewer people needing work. But those that did eagerly took whatever they could get. Following the destruction of Galaxy City in September of 2011, though, there were thousands of people that found themselves both homeless and in need for work. Combined with state-wide austerity measures, many of those refugees quickly found themselves without a home and without money, and thus perfect candidates for the recruiters.
The recruiters would convince those people to attend seminars, often held in abandoned warehouses or office complexes. These would be exclusively for positions as "security consultants" for a no-name company. Interested applicants would receive training and a list of equipment to acquire.
The "General's" visible role in these seminars would be for motivation and information. He would give a powerful speech laden in class-conscious rhetoric, provide some local details about how much money corporate consultants make, and then encourage the attendees to do what they can to get some of that money for themselves.
Once finished, the recruiters would weed out those attendees not interested or having doubts about the program before moving them to the trainers. The trainers would then provide information, training, and a list of tools and clothing to get. They would also be given a special cellphone so they can be contacted through an anonymous ID.
The training, it would later be discovered, would be on the various elements needed to pull off a late-night bank robbery. The trainers would claim these are "security tests" and would be done with the "full cooperation" with the local banks. Often these teams would consist of new recruits combined with "experienced consultants", who would then supposedly train other new recruits in future "opportunities".
Results of robberies would vary. In some instances, the teams would make off with a few thousand dollars. In most instances, though, they would have to encounter either Paragon Police officers or registered heroes. The "consultants" would escape, leaving the "recruits" to be arrested. This led some heroes (most notably Lady Templar) to dub the robberies to be the work of "General Incompetence", unaware of the true mastermind behind this program.