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This is a time of here where there’s a lot of focus on countries. It’s 4th of July weekend and many people have been very interested in the World Cup, paring nation against nation. All this flag waving started me thinking of fictional countries in comic books and what the best countries from comics are. So here is my list of top five comic book countries. For this list, I limited it to fictional countries, not cities — so Metropolis, Gotham, and others were not eligible. The same goes for planets, so sorry Thanagar and Cybertron.
Although its history is not always a happy one, Genosha is very critical to the stories of the X-Men in the Marvel Universe, with the capital city of Hammer Bay having a large role. Located near Madagascar, the island nation off the coast of Africa was for a time the home of an evolved nation full of mutants, led by Magneto. This mutopia didn’t last, though, as there was a mutant genocide carried out by Cassandra Nova. Genosha was later an important location during the House of M miniseries. Although the country has been dead and abandoned for a while, there has been some indication from Marvel that it will again play an important role in upcoming stories involving the X-Men.
This one might be unknown to a lot of people, but its most famous native will not be. Teth-Adam, better known as the DC Comics (and one-time Fawcett Comics) villain Black Adam, is from the nation of Kahndaq, on the African continent near Egypt. Kahndaq plays a significant role in Geoff John’s run on the pre-New 52 series JSA, a critically-acclaimed series about the Justice Society of America. At one point, the JSA are forced to invade Kahndaq to deal with a threat and it doesn’t end well. Black Adam and Kahndaq also played a significant role in Infinite Crisis and 52, as the country is attacked by nearby (and also fictional) country Bialya, causing Black Adam to go on a rampage, slaughtering the majority of the popular of Bialya before the JSA and others intervened in the 2007 storyline World War III.
It is interesting to consider whether the Black Adam-Kahndaq was inspired by the fictional nation of Latveria in Marvel Comics. Probably the best-known country ruled by a super villain in comic history, Latveria, a nation ruled by Doctor Doom (aka Victor Von Doom) for most of its history, is a small European country located near Hungary and Serbia. Doom operates as a dictator over Latveria, keeping peace with his robotic Doombots. With a capital city of Doomstadt, Latveria is allowed Doom a safe haven since any superheroes seeking to apprehend him would technically be invading a sovereign nation. Although the populace of Latveria doesn’t always seem very well off, they remain loyal to Doom out of fear. In spite of international rules, Latveria has been the site of many past (and likely future) battles between Doom and the Fantastic Four as well as the Avengers.
The home nation of Wonder Woman, Themyscira was known in the comics (and television adaptations) as Paradise Island until the late 1980’s, when it was renamed Themyscira, after the Greek mythological city of the Amazons. The island nation of Themyscira is a nation of female warriors who had become fed up with the trickery and destruction of men. Although Princess Diana is the most well-known character to hail from Themyscira, a number of others have appeared in DC Comics over the decades. Themyscira has been the site of many attacks and battles from foes of Wonder Woman, wanting to hurt her and those she cares about. Still, Wonder Woman and the other inhabitants of Themyscira usually find a way to rebuild and occasionally relocate their home.
The African nation of Wakanda is not significant simply because it is the home of T’Challa, the Marvel Comics hero known as Black Panther. It is also a key strategic location because of its natural store of vibranium, a nearly indestructible material that has been used to make many significant weapons in the Marvel Universe, including the iconic shield of Captain America. Wakanda is also a powerful nation – wealthy, with a very strong military, and one of the most (if not the most) technologically-advanced nations on the Earth. This has made Wakanda, like Themyscira, the target of many attacks, though many have resulted in defeated enemies. At times, T’Challa has ruled Wakanda, though even when he has not, it has remained a pivotal nation in the Marvel Universe – and ranks as the best fictional country in comic books.
What do you think – does a different country deserve a place in the top five? Should a different choice be #1? Tell us what you think in the comments.