Six of Marvel’s weirdest fictional nations
By Greg Waldock, Staff Writer
Sometimes you want a comic about political intrigue and patriotism. Unfortunately, that will almost always be hugely depressing because an actual civil war or assassination will eventually happen in that real-life country, and suddenly it’s a lot less fun to read. Marvel’s answer was to create fictional nations based loosely around geopolitical hotspots. Here are a few of the more fleshed-out ones from the comics and movies.
Probably the most famous and well fleshed-out of all the fake Marvel countries. Wakanda is a West African nation that managed to avoid the devastating effects of colonialism and neo-colonialism by hiding itself away and cutting off all communication to the outside world. Its capital sits on a vast mine of Vibranium, the fictional MacGuffin mineral that Captain America’s shield is made of. The Black Panther is the protector and king of this country, though poor T’Challa gets deposed and exiled on a fairly regular basis. Wakanda is in perpetual war with Atlantis, because comics tend to turn very weird, very quickly.
The biggest of Marvel’s surprisingly large number of fictional Eastern European countries, Latveria is the home country of, and ruled by, Doctor Doom. It has been a medieval country ever since actual medieval times, complete with peasants in tunics, horse-drawn carriages, and roving bands of Roma. Latveria averages about three civil wars per decade. This really isn’t surprising, since nobody named Doctor Doom is going to be a popular and benevolent leader.
Another fictional Eastern European country, best known for falling out of the sky in Age of Ultron. It’s basically a Generic Post-Soviet Sad Place and is never explored further—which is a shame, because it might have the most realistic-sounding name of them all.
One last fake Eastern European country, this time modelled as a sort of post-Soviet Roma nation. It’s the birthplace of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Magic runs deep here, and most of the population lives around Mount Wundagore, a witchcraft-steeped mountain that was briefly the home of Morgan le Fey. Yes, of Camelot. Because…
Of course this is also a place in the Marvel Universe. It appears first when Doctor Doom and Iron Man get trapped in the past and have to reluctantly work together to escape. King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, Morgan le Fey, and Merlin all appear as cartoonish as you would expect. Somehow Camelot later ended up being in another dimension, but it doesn’t matter much because nobody read Captain Britain.
The historic home of the Inhumans, who are basically X-Men if the X-Men were an ancient culture long sundered from humanity. Attilan is a city-state that spent thousands of years on an island in the Atlantic, but over the last two decades it has bounced to the moon, an alien world, the Himalayas, and finally the Hudson River in New York City. This is the birthplace of Black Bolt and the entire Inhuman cast.
If Camelot exists, why not also Atlantis? Here, Atlantis is ruled by Namor the Sub-Mariner, one of the first villains the Fantastic Four ever fought. He’s an arrogant, megalomaniacal merman who rules his city like Doctor Doom rules Latveria (harshly), before being deposed and punching his way back to the top. Namor is also a hero, though, because any threat to Earth is a threat to Atlantis.