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Top Five Comic Book Fictional Countries

Here they are, the top five countries invented for comic books!

Enjoy!

Honorable mentions to Bialya, Kooey Kooey Kooey, Markovia, Qurac, Posidonis, The Savage Land and Madripoor.

5. Themyscira

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Paradise Island is a pretty cool idea.

Where no man can set foot. Nice concept. It is too bad that whenever there is a big crossover, Themyscira is a target. Why WAS it a target in Infinite Crisis? Was it just revenge because Wonder Woman killed Maxwell Lord?

4. Genosha

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The idea of a country filled with mutants being controlled by the minority humans is a neat little social commentary by Chris Claremont.

3. Australia

australia.jpg

Hey, have you READ DC’s Invasion!? This country they call “Australia” has GOT to be fictional! It looked nothing like any Australia I have ever read about!

2. Wakanda

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Did you know Wakanda is the most awesomest country ever? Never been conquered! EVER! And they can cure all diseases! And yet, Marvel’s Africa is in just as bad of a shape as the real Africa. How, exactly then, is Wakanda not ripped constantly for not giving more aid?

1. Latveria

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Fictional countries have been around for as long as comic books have been around, but Latveria is the king of them all.

There have been sooo many classic stories set in Latveria. What’s your favorite? Mine is Byrne’s “THIS LAND IS MINE!”

Well, that’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

44 Comments

Kooey Kooey Kooey was robbed!

Personally I would put Kandaq in the place of Australia, given its recent importance in the DCU with Black Adam, plus it’s played a major role in JSA as well.

How about top 5 fictional cities next week?

“How about top 5 fictional cities next week?”

That’s a great idea! Please show Vanity some love.

moose n squirrel

October 11, 2006 at 6:53 am

Personally I would put Kandaq in the place of Australia

“Black Reign” was what, three years ago? Kandaq hasn’t earned it. No way you become a classic on Geoff Johns alone!

Hey, wasn’t the DCU’s Austrailia destroyed in Invasion! 17 years ago???

“Did you know Wakanda is the most awesomest country ever? Never been conquered! EVER! And they can cure all diseases! And yet, Marvel’s Africa is in just as bad of a shape as the real Africa. How, exactly then, is Wakanda not ripped constantly for not giving more aid?”

Isonalationist African countries rarely care what the rest of the world thinks. Apartheid, Genocide, and governments that makes millions off of starving children are all too common. Wakanda could only help those that wanted help, and the rest of the world would realize that. You don’t critisize Egypt for whats happening in Sudan do you?

I tried to guess what the five countries were going to be and the only one I got right was Latveria. (My other four were Kahndaq, Bialya, whatever that place is where Sonar comes from, and wasn’t there a country made up for ‘Love and Rockets’? And I actually forgot about Markovia.)

Wait a minute … I’ve been to Australia! Haven’t I? Where the heck was I?

Madripoor always seemed like a cool place to visit.

I second the KooeyKooeyKooey nomination! Brian, you’re part of the “Dissing the Giffen- DeMatties JLI” conspiracy, aren’t you?

Ian, Egypt isn’t run by a super hero. You know, those people that make it their jobs to save others?

where’s UMEC from Checkmate. Unknown Middle Eastern Country?

I do kinda wish Wakanda was written more as a stable, prosperous African country and not so much a high-tech wonderland.

Also, is T’Challa’s power as king absolute or is it more a constitutional monarchy?

Funny, I’d always thought Wakanda was further south; don’t ask me why…

AND… didn’t Krakoa The Living Island merit a mention either?

C’mon, what about Quraq? The fictional DC middle-eastern state-sponsor of superhuman-terrorism that frequently showed up in Suicide Squad, and then later the Superman books? (IIRC, it was invented in ’89 or so, and they actually put it on a map, sticking in between Iraq and the Persian Gulf, because the little real-world country sitting in that place was unlikely to ever become notable or newsworthy. Of course, Quraq seemed to have a lot more mountains and cliffs than Kuwait ever dreamed of…)

SanctumSanctorumComix

October 11, 2006 at 10:54 am

Would K’un L’un be considered to be a CITY or a COUNTRY?

Just askin’.

~P~
P-TOR

moose n squirrel

October 11, 2006 at 11:18 am

Also, is T’Challa’s power as king absolute or is it more a constitutional monarchy?

In the current run at least, Wakanda is not portrayed as a democratic country in the least. There’s some attempt at making it more democratic with a patently absurd ceremony in which dictatorial control of the country is passed through an annual wrestling match, but beyond that Wakanda is presented as an absolute monarchy under the “benevolent superhero dictator” model strangely common in comic books (Aquaman, Namor, Black Bolt, etc.).

And while isolationist countries usually neglect their neighbors, they’re also usually pretty damn poor. I’d be happier with the current handling of Wakanda if it were presented as a straightforward fantasy instead of being mingled with faux-realism (it’s a super-rich hidden paradise filled with glowing Kirbytech and an endless supply of magical superminerals – and the neocons want to take it over!).

That wrestling match, it turns out, was lifted scene for scene (with the addition of T’Challa’s retconned sister) from, of all things, Kirby’s Black Panther book, which Marvel recently collected in a trade.

Any reader of the 70s British Marvel weeklies will remember “Bodavia,” the all-purpose evil commie country created in crudely-altered reprints of early Silver Age stuff.

I’ll go with Qurac. Cause in Croatian it’s the same word for a piece of male anatomy. That always makes me smile.

Also Portugal.

Atlantis! Any of them!

I’d have to go with Atlantis somewhere in there. If nothing else, simply because I don’t get the Austrailia joke.

Also, since someone else mentioned Black Bolt…I had no idea until yesterday when reading a Wizard that his real name is Blackagan Boltigar. How awesome is that?

moose n squirrel: I’d prefer it the other way, written as a more realistic African country that just happens to be doing well because it avoided being ravaged by colonial powers. It’d be a bit more relevant and really, dramatically interesting. It’s not like the real situation in Africa is boring at all.

“AND… didn’t Krakoa The Living Island merit a mention either?”

I don’t think Krakoa’s a recognized nation. Especially since it hasn’t been a part of Earth since 1975.

For those GI Joe fans among us, what about Sierra Gordo? That country was the home of many great Joe stories from the Hamma run.

I don’t think the Savage Land is a country. It’s just a place.

But if it counts somehow, then I at least want to give a nod to Dinosaur Island.

As for Wakanda, I’ve had my fair share to say in the past elsewhere. And the realism/fantasy conflict was the subject of what might be my favorite bit: Guns, Germs, and Vibranium.

Good stuff, Loren.

Nobody loves Markovia like I do. Must stop typing to cry now.

moose n squirrel

October 11, 2006 at 5:03 pm

I’d prefer it the other way, written as a more realistic African country that just happens to be doing well because it avoided being ravaged by colonial powers.

But the reality of Africa is that it has been ravaged by colonial powers. Any realistic presentation of Wakanda would have to be as a nation that has had to overcome a history of European imperialism and the corrupt local governments left in its wake. Now, I’d be interested in reading a comic like that, but the fact is Hudlin isn’t remotely interested in writing it. He’s writing wish-fulfillment dressed up as gritty realism. That grotesque stylistic clash is what irritates me.

moose n squirrel

October 11, 2006 at 5:04 pm

Oh, and the post Loren links to is pretty great.

“Kooey Kooey Kooey was robbed!”

Agreed–in spades!

Long before Wakanda there was Bengala, the peaceful, prosperous, democratic African state that is home to the Phantom.

Bangala is interesting because it has changed over the course of the Phantom comic’s long publication to reflect the times. At first (this is going back to the 1930s and 40s) it was a colony (originally an island near Java, IIRC), and the Phantom’s adventures often involved members of the colonial military. It’s all very vague as to who the colonial power is (presumably Britain or the US), but the reader can fill in these blanks themselves. Nowdays Bangala is a model democracy, but there’s still the occasion coup or invasion that the Phantom and his pal, President Luanda, have to put down.

Bengala definitely deserves the spot occupied by Australia on the list.

(I might add I say that as an Australian. True, there is a heavily fictional Australia that occasionally turns up in comics – ie the Australia that produced Captain ‘yer bike!’ Boomerang – but more recently the version we’ve seen, eg in 52, is only lightly fictional. That is to say, lots of people do actually say ‘g’day’ and ‘mate’. )

cheers!

Ah, sorry – that should be ‘Bangalla’ – I misspelt it (two different ways!) in my post, above.

Stone the crows, mate!

cheers!

Well, I think an interesting premise would be if Wakanda was just like every other African country except it had kept the “first world” at bay. With that one essential change, see how it affects the continent at large. That would be interesting. Instead, Wakanda bears no resemblance to any extant African nation and may as well be on Mars.

moose n squirrel-

I disagree that Wakanda’s history has to involve being ravaged by colonial powers. Ethiopia famously avoided and defeated colonization during the scramble for Africa. Now it has had to deal with poverty and other issues that weren’t the result of European powers, but its own internal leaders and problems (that have been influenced by external forces, but that gets complex). But I don’t see why a fictional African nation can’t work off the idea of remaining independent and be a resource-rich, technologically-advanced state.

I don’t read the Black Panther comic so I don’t know if this is/was explored, but it would be interesting to see if Wakanda has/had similar or even greater influence than Ethiopia has had in Africa and abroad. For instance, during African decolonization, several African countries adopted the colors of the Ethiopian flag in their own, Rastafarianism obviously formed around worship of Haile Selassie, and the African Union is headquarted in Addis Ababa, amongst other things. Even if Wakanda is isolationist, I would expect it would be very influential to other African countries.

Australia’s inclusion in this list makes it a classic!

“You don’t critisize Egypt for whats happening in Sudan do you?”

Er, actually, yes, when you consider how obstructionist many of the African Union powers have been, for various reasons.

Sonar’s country was Modora…

Then there’s also Vlatavia, home of Count Vertigo and Markovia, home of Geo Force from the Outsiders. I wonder if they were each elected into the European Union.

Did the Savage Land not count because it wasn’t a country? Because that’s a pretty important piece of real estate…but it has no ruler.

And what about Aquiria?

…you know. Steve Engelhart’s run on Fantastic Four, home of the villain Fasaud……

…never mind.

WHen Marvel UK reprinted all the Silver Age material in the 70s, they were very sensitive about the anti-communist stuff (and there was tons of it), and tried to tone it down by changing all references to Russia to “Bodavia”.

That’s the best fictional country in comics.

The country of Rio Frio was made up for Love & Rockets. I think there was also another made-up country in Jaime’s early stories, but I’m too lazy to check.

Palomar doesn’t really count as a fictional country, because Beto has never identified what country it’s in.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 13, 2006 at 3:36 pm

If Australia is fictional, then I’m fictional.

If that’s the case I want you all too protest to the company publishing the adventures I appear in and get me a better plotter, who gives me a new direction.

(Not Judd Winnick though).

I really don’t get the fanboy hatred for Hudlin’s Black Panther. What’s wrong with a book’s hero being a super-competent badass? Hell, it’s worth $3 a month just to find out how he’s going to beat the unbeatable guys every time. That’s cool. That’s exciting. At a time when my budget has me dropping books like Tyson in the third, BP has earned a solidly secure spot on my pull-list.

They did Batman like that for a decade, but no one’s imposing an idiotic emotional handicap on T’Challa. They break his back and replace him with a kid, though, I’m out.

And the first issue of the new series is the best travel guide ANY comicbook country has received.

I wouldn’t put Khandaq on the list, not because of some grudge I have against Johns (because that would be petty and childish) but because the country doesn’t have much going for it. Johns gave us a good idea for a country, and it’s being picked up on now, but since the story wasn’t set in Khandaq, we haven’t gotten to see much of it.

Sierra Gordo is definitely owed a spot somewhere on that list. Maybe an honorable mention? 5 1/2?

I’d almost include Symkaria, since it borders Latveria but is at constant peace with it, and its entire national economy rests entirely on Silver Sable’s bounty hunting skills. Now THAT’s a goofy gem of an idea…

Where did you get this map of Latveria? All the ones I´ve seen places it somewhere in the Balkans. (Your map makes more sense though, as most things and people in Latveria seems to have German names).

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