The comic book stories published by Marvel Comics since the 1940s have featured several noteworthy concepts besides its fictional characters, such as unique places and artifacts. The following lists detail many of them.
Certain places, some of which exist in real-life and some of which are fictional and in reality are used to figure prominently in the Marvel Universe injunction with the real world. A majority of dystopian cities have been used for their characters since the creation of Marvel Comics in the Marvel Universe.
New York City
Most of the action of Marvel Comics takes place in New York City.
New York is the site of many places important to superheroes:
Citrusville, Cypress County,Florida is a Everglades that appears most frequently in stories related to Man-Thing. Much of its importance lies in that it is physically near what is termed as the Nexus of All Realities. While the majority of the town is depicted as very conservative, to the point of running riot in the high school, it is the home of the Cult of Zhered-Na, and its leader, Joshua Kale, and his grandchildren, Jennifer and Andy. The high school newspaper is called the Quill.
Avengers Hydro-Base - Hydro-Base is a floating seacraft disguised as a natural island floating off the coast of North America outside US territorial waters. Its first known user was the mad ecologist Dr. Herman Frayne (aka Doctor Hydro) who used it both as a laboratory and an airbase on which to land hijacked planes. Doctor Hydro planned to turn the planes’ passengers into amphibious people, using Terrigen Mist he acquired from the renegade InhumanMaelstrom.
Caldecott- Fictional western Mississippi county and town where the X-Men's Rogue was born.
The Massachusetts Academy is a prep school founded in the 18th century in Snow Valley, in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. The Academy is one of the oldest and most respected college preparatory schools in the United States. Administered by Emma Frost for most of its modern history, the Massachusetts Academy also had a long-standing alliance with the Hellfire Club. In addition to a large student body, the Academy also houses a clandestine school for young mutants. During her time as the Hellfire Club's White Queen, Frost trained a group known as the Hellions; the Hellions would become long-standing rivals with the New Mutants.
Graymalkin Industries is the undercover name for X-Men new headquarters in San Francisco following their departure from their former X-Mansion, destroyed during Messiah Complex. It is the base of operations and training site of the X-Men. It is located on the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco, being built into the long-abandoned military bunkers that line the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Grand Nixon Island is an island owned by disgraced ex-U.S. Army General Kreigkopf. The island itself contains Kreigkopf's military base surrounded by a vast jungle environment. The island features in The Punisher comic book series in issue #3 (American Ugly) to issue #5 (No Limits). American Ugly introduces General Kreigkopf and Grand Nixon Island.
Darkmoor is the location of both the Darkmoor Energy Research Centre (a high-tech, top secret government facility at which University student Brian Braddock is doing work experience) and a stone circle which was a centre of great mystical power, but as the Captain Britain mythos expanded it lso played host to Darkmoor Prison and to the sinister Darkmoor Castle, home of the Black Baron.
"The Fridge" - S.H.I.E.L.D's most secure base. Home of the Sling Shot Program and storage of most of S.H.I.E.L.D prisoners. Contains the unstable element Gravitonium on a top secret level at the bottom. The Fridge was raided and takeover by HYDRA (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
"HUB" - S.H.I.E.L.D's main HQ. The HUB was taken over by HYDRA, S.H.I.E.L.D retook the HUB with Agent Phil Coulson's team (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
Regions and countries
Atlantis – Atlantis was a small continent with many human settlements. Over 21,000 years ago, an event called the "Great Cataclysm" caused it to be submerged into the sea. The inhabitants of ancient Atlantis built an enormous glass-like dome over the capital city, also known as Atlantis. When barbarians sent by the DeviantLemuria empire attacked Atlantis, King Kamuu opened the magma-pits which were the city's means of heating. This caused the continent to sink. Kamuu was warned of the Great Cataclysm by the seer, Zhered-Na. When she refused to recant, he had her exiled to the mainland, where she was later stabbed to death by survivors of the submersion.
Attilan (also called The Hidden Land) – Home of the Inhumans. Originally an island in the North Atlantic ocean, it has moved several times, including to the Andes, Himalayas, to the Blue Area on the Moon, the homeworld of the alien Kree, Hala. More recently Attilan was destroyed during the events of Infinity by Black Bolt when he detonates the Terrigen Bomb, the remains of Attilan now reside within New York, in the Hudson Estuary.
K'un-L'un - K'un-L'un is the stronghold of a colony of humanoid aliens whose spaceship crashed in a pocket dimension that intersects with Earth. Daniel Rand, the boy who would become Iron Fist discovered K'un-L'un. It was there that he gained his powers and became the Iron Fist. The dominant lifeform of this dimension is the H'ylthri. Its most prominent inhabitants are Master Khan, Yu-Ti, and Lei Kung. The usual means of access to this dimension is through magic.
Lemuria - Lemuria had been a small continent and group of islands in the Pacific Ocean 21,000 years ago, which was ruled by the Deviants. Lemuria became the center of the Deviant Empire, and the only remaining free land was Atlantis, the continent that held its greatest enemy, the Atlantean Empire. When the Deviants attacked Atlantis, the Atlantean King Kamuu opened the magma-pits which were the city's means of heating. This caused a chain reaction which collapsed and sank the continent. At that same time, when the Second Host of the Celestials came to Earth, the Deviants attacked them. In retaliation, the Celestials sank Lemuria in what is now known as the "Great Cataclysm."[volume & issue needed] The Eternal Ikaris guided a ship of humans to safety. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, S.H.I.E.L.D. owns the Lemurian Star which is a reference to the country.
Muir Island – Island off the north west coast of Scotland, containing Moira MacTaggert's mutant research lab. Muir Island's significance stems from the fact that it is the home of Earth's largest and most comprehensive mutant research complex, located to the north of Scotland, founded by Dr. Moira MacTaggert. Originally, she created the facility to help her son, Kevin (a.k.a. Proteus), an extremely powerful and destructive mutant.
Nova Roma – Home of Magma in Brazil. Ancient Rome-like city.
Project: PEGASUS – Project Pegasus (Potential Energy Group/Alternate Sources/United States) is both a scientific base which has been the location of a variety of stories for superheroes and supervillains, most notably in the title Marvel Two-in-One. Created in Marvel Two-in-One #42 (August 1978) by writer Ralph Macchio, Project: Pegasus was originally intended to research alternative (and unusual) forms of energy, but has also been used as a prison for super-powered individuals. The location of this facility is described as being in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State.
Providence is an artificial island made of parts from Cable’s old space station, Graymalkin, located in the South Pacific Ocean, southwest of Hawaii. Providence was intended to be a place where the best minds on Earth could gather, live, and find new ways of doing everything in hopes of giving the world a peaceful future. Providence is open to all who wish to immigrate there, though all residents must undergo various psychological and skills tests.
Transia – Birthplace of Spider-Woman, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch. One location is Mount Wundagore, a mountain with strong ties to the history of Chthon and the Darkhold In the Sixth Century, a cult of Darkholders led by the sorceress Morgan le Fey attempted to summon Chthon but found him to be uncontrollable. While the Darkholders were incapable of banishing him altogether, they bound him to Mount Wundagore, in what would one day become Transia.
Blue Area of the Moon – An artificial, self-sustaining, Earth-like environment on the far side of the Moon, the Blue Area was created roughly one million years ago as part of a competition between two alien races, the Kree and the Cotati. The Skrulls, then a benevolent race, moderated this contest, whose goal was to determine the worthiness of both races by discovering which could achieve more within a set period of time. After being taken to the area of Earth's Moon where the Skrulls had created the artificial atmosphere, the Kree used their strength and rudimentary Skrull technology to create a giant city while the Cotati were taken to another barren world in a different solar system where they created a long-term sustainable ecosystem. Learning that the Cotati were going to win the contest, the enraged Kree first slaughtered the Cotati and then attacked and killed the Skrull delegation, stole their starship, and initiated the millennia-long conflict now known as the Kree-Skrull War, which would force the Skrulls to become a society of warriors.
Birj – sixth moon of Marman (see above) and where Terrax is from.
Heliopolis is a celestial city in a dimension adjacent to Earth's, founded by the gods who were once worshipped in Egypt. This godly realm appears to be built upon a small planetary object much like the realm of Asgard, and its passage to earth is a golden bridge through space called the Path of the Gods.
Microverse - Microverses are dimensions formerly defined as any universe only accessible through vibrational attunement (shrinking). The belief that these worlds exist "within" atoms may have given rise to the stock phrase "There are worlds within worlds". It is not actually the microverses that are microscopic in size but rather the nexuses which make them accessible. It is thus theoretically possible to enter the same microverse from different points on Earth. The volume of these microverses are contained within spacewalls which can only be breached at certain points. It is these breaches that create accessible portals.
Micronaut homeworld – a chain of connected worldlets, resembling a ball-and-stick molecular model.
Olympus – home plane of superhuman beings analogous to the Greek gods
Otherplace, also called the Demonic Limbo, is home to demons of various sizes, strengths, and intellects.
Therea is a mystic extra-dimensional realm where benevolent gods dwell who appear in the form of dogs to human eyes. It is an earth-like land of peace and tranquility, and is the counterpart to Thog's realm of Sominus. Therea is ruled by twin gods, Zokk and Maftra. Zokk and Maftra are worshipped by the barbarian Korrek and his people, and even revered by Dakimh the Enchanter.
Aladdin - In the Ultraverse setting, Aladdin was a U.S. government agency apparently founded sometime in the 1960s to deal with the growing number of Ultras (super-powered beings) in their world. In 1970, their scientific division, using a synthesis of organic brain tissue and computer systems called G.E.N.I.E. (Genetically Engineered Neural Intelligence Experiment) were examining alien technology and corpses discovered by U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War, when some unknown event caused the corpses to release a cloud of material which caused G.E.N.I.E. to develop sentience and grow into a true fusion of organic and mechanical technology.
Aladdin Assault Squad - In the Malibu Ultraverse, the Aladdin Assault Squad was a special department within the government agency known as Aladdin. The Aladdin Assault Squad was created in response to the growing number of Ultras (superhumans). The A.A.S. operated out of Aladdin's Groom Lake facility, and functioned as an independent internal security force. They also assisted ongoing Ultra research. Known members of the Aladdin Assault Squad are: Dirt Devil, Foxfire, the Grip, Hardwire, Headknocker, and War Eagle.
The Commission on Superhuman Activities (also known as the Commission on Superhuman Affairs or CSA for short) is a government agency created by the President of the United States of America. It is a very special appointed task force, which has been requested to supervise the American citizens possessing superhuman powers and coordinate government projects aimed at creating government controlled superhumans. They have an office in Washington, D.C. A number of members of the Commission when created were involved with various government projects regarding superhumans: Project Wideawake, former and current Avengers liaisons, Freedom Force liaison and super soldier projects.
Department K - The Canadian Government group which secretly operated the Weapon X Project.
Euromind - Another European subdivision of S.H.I.E.L.D., called Euromind, was introduced in the Marvel Italia series Europa.
F.I.6 - British Intelligence agency, former employers of Micromax. Led by Brigadier Theodore 'Inky' Blott. Employed psychics. Disbanded after most agents, including Blott, were killed by Necrom. Introduced in Excalibur and created by Alan Davis.
G.R.A.M.P.A. - The covert organization known as G.R.A.M.P.A., the Global Reaction Agency for Mysterious Paranormal Activity, debuted in Amazing Fantasy vol. 2 #15. G.R.A.M.P.A.'s most prominent field operatives are Ace and One-Eyed Jacquie; the two agents refer to themselves collectively as "Blackjack". G.R.A.M.P.A. is tasked with protecting the world from paranormal threats.
The Lodge - Created by Basil Wentworth towards the end of World War II, the Lodge's purpose was to prepare for the Cold War that was destined to come about. The Lodge started covert operations in China, the Soviet Union, and East Germany, and has continued its "dirty tricks" into the present day.
Mutant Response Division - The Mutant Response Division is a mutant-hunting group that is also called the M.R.D. for short. Seen in the Wolverine and the X-Men cartoon.
Office of National Emergency - The Office of National Emergency, commonly referred to as O*N*E, is known as the originator of the Sentinel squads that were assigned to protect/observe the X-Men and the remaining mutants after the event known as M-Day, which reduced the number of mutants on Earth to only a few hundred.
Project Pegasus - Project Pegasus is an organization that was originally intended to research alternative (and unusual) forms of energy. It has also been used as a prison for super-powered individuals, prior to the creation of The Vault.
R.C.X. - The Resources Control Executive is a British intelligence agency, introduced in Captain Britain as a replacement to S.T.R.I.K.E. and created by Jamie Delano and Alan Davis. The British intelligence agency for the investigation of paranormal and superhuman activity, known as S.T.R.I.K.E., is infiltrated by a criminal organisation and nearly all of its members are killed. A weakened S.T.R.I.K.E. is unable to deal with the consequences of the Jaspers' Warp and is disbanded. The Resources Control Executive (R.C.X.) is created to take its place. The members of the R.C.X. use codenames based on biblical figures to hide their true identity.
S.A.F.E. - Introduced in Marvel's line of novels in the mid-1990s, S.A.F.E. (Strategic Action For Emergencies) is the United States' answer to S.H.I.E.L.D. They first appeared in Spider-Man & the Incredible Hulk: Rampage (Doom's Day Book 1), and may not be part of comics canon. Whereas S.H.I.E.L.D. is a UN-funded and run organization dealing with international incidents, S.A.F.E. is tasked with similar duties inside of America's borders. It is run by Colonel Sean Morgan and a prominently featured agent is Joshua Ballard, who, among other things, survived an encounter with Doctor Doom and later Baron Zemo.
S.T.A.R.S. - The Commission on Superhuman Activities, created a special division of the federal government's U.S. Marshals called S.T.A.R.S., the Superhuman Tactical Activities Response Squad. A federal organization authorized to monitor and manage all activities regarding the supervision, apprehension, and detention of superhuman criminals in the United States. The group's leader was John Walker the U.S. Agent. S.T.A.R.S. uncovered a Ruul plot to use Earth as a penal colony for alien criminals. U.S. Agent and S.T.A.R.S. were ultimately responsible for exposing and defeating the Ruul.
W.H.O. - The Weird Happenings Organization was mandated by the UK government with the investigation into and research of supernatural and paranormal phenomena until it was replaced by Black Air. It was featured in Excalibur.
Some items have been created specifically for the Marvel Universe and carry immense powers:
The Cloak of Levitation is a potent mystical item worn by Doctor Strange. It has the primary purpose of granting its wearer levitation. The greatest advantage of this is that its wearer need know little about the mystic arts in order to operate it, nor must the wearer use any of his "mystical strength" in order to operate it.
The Evil Eye of Avalon - The Evil Eye of Avalon is a power object that was intended to be a weapon against the Fomor. It can manipulate and disintegrate matter, project blasts of concussive force, laser-like and disintegrating rays, and create or destroy force fields. It also possesses dimensional- and time- travel powers. The Evil Eye first appeared in Fantastic Four #54 (Sep 1966) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
The Wand of Watoomb is an artifact controlled by the thoughts of the wielder, and can used to project and absorb mystical energy; create forcefields; control weather; open dimensional portals; observe events in other locations and heal wounds. Used thousands of years before the modern era by priestess of the godYog against the barbarianConan, it is sought out by Xandu in modern times to destroy Doctor Strange. The Wand first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 (December 1965) and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Infinity Gems/Infinity Gauntlet – Six gems that grant their owner supreme power over Mind, Power, Soul, Time, Space, and Reality. They can be combined in the Gauntlet. A seventh gem was discovered in another dimension. This gem, called the Ego gem, contained the essence of the entity Nemesis, whose self-destruction created the gems.
M'Kraan Crystal – The "nexus of realities". By entering the crystal, the user can enter any universe they wish. The protector of the crystal is singular in all universes, with the same memories in each, which suggests that the reality immediately surrounding the crystal is anchored in place.
The Siege Perilous - is the name of two fictional devices appearing in books published by Marvel Comics. The first appeared in books starring Captain Britain, and the second in books featuring the X-Men. Both devices were created by writer Chris Claremont, who named it after the Siege Perilous, the empty chair at the round table of King Arthur.
The Silver Surfer's surfboard, his source of power (in the movie) which he is mentally linked to. When destroyed, the Surfer can recreate another at will.
Adamantium – a virtually indestructible metal alloy which is best known for being integrated into the skeleton and claws of Wolverine and was created in an attempt to duplicate the Vibranium-steel alloy of Captain America's shield.
Vibranium – a metal which comes in two forms; one variety (Wakandan) absorbs vibratory and kinetic energy, while the other (Antarctic) causes all nearby metals to melt, Vibranium is a component of Captain America's shield alloy.
Uru, the Asgardian metal of which Thor's hammer is made.
Scabrite, a god-like metal which can only be found in the mines of Surtur's realm. Surtur possesses the giant sword Twilight, also known as the Sword of Doom, composed of Scabrite. The sword is magical, capable of manipulating vast amounts of mystical energy.
Gravitonium - Fictitious periodic table element. Substance can control gravity fields (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series)
Fantastic Four's Pogo Plane - The Pogo-Plane, so-called because of its tail-down landing/take-off attitude, was the first significant air-breathing engine design of Reed Richards. Employing new turbine blade configurations and a new titanium-alloy process, Richards increased overall engine performance to a very high thrust-to-weight ratio.
Freedom's Lady - The Guardians of the Galaxy operate from the Starship Freedom's Lady, a medium-weight, 700-foot (210 m) Annihilator-class battleship of 30th century Earth design. Trans-light power is furnished by inter-reacting tachyon and anti-tachyon beams. Fully equipped for deep-space and inter-galactic excursion, it carried a full complement of offensive weapons as well as an impenetrable energy barrier, divided into 14 overlapping segments.
Kang's Time-Ship - Kang the Conqueror's time-ship is a 20-foot (6.1 m) long, non-aerodynamic, space-worthy vehicle, and is mostly a housing for the large energy-generating devices that power the time machine. The time machine itself is a device whose major timestream-bridging components are the size of a two-drawer file cabinet. It utilizes energy to generate a chronal-displacement internal field, enabling a being or object to break through the "reality walls" of the timestream into the trans-temporal realm of Limbo, from which all time eras and alternate worlds are accessible.
The Leapfrog - The Leapfrog is the method of transportation for the Runaways.
Hellcycle - Ghost Rider's flaming motorcycle. The vehicle is created by the Ghost Rider's own mystical hellfire being imbued in an otherwise normal motorcycle, usually the property of the Ghost Rider's host at the time.
Moon Knight's Helicopter - Moon Knight's copter is a VTOL vehicle capable of precision, computer-assisted maneuvering for air-land-and-sea rescues, tracking automobiles through traffic, and many other purposes. Moon Knight is in constant contact with the copter, piloted by Frenchie (but also with a sophisticated, computer-aided auto-pilot), at all times via a miniature transceiver with a microphone in his cowl. The on-board computer performs navigation functions, remote sensor image-enhancement, and radar interpretation. Moon Knight has had at least two different designs of copter. One resembled a conventional helicopter with a crescent moon tail. The second actually resembled an airship more than a helicopter, but was also crescent shaped.
Punisher's Battle Van - The Battle Van was used by the Punisher as his the primary mode of transportation. It is customized with a various array of weaponry and armor, and serves as a mobile armory.
Advanced Idea Mechanics - Advanced Idea Mechanics first appeared in Strange Tales #146. A.I.M. is a conglomeration of brilliant scientists and their hirelings dedicated to the acquisition of power and the overthrow of all governments by technological means. A.I.M. was organized late in World War II by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker to develop advanced weaponry for his subversive organization HYDRA. They were close to developing and attaining nuclear weapons when HYDRA Island was invaded by American and Japanese troops. Although HYDRA suffered a major setback, it survived and grew in secret over the following decades.
Black Spectre - Jerome Beechman the Mandrill created Black Spectre by organizing his female followers, who disguised themselves as men using bulky armor. Beecham planned to use Black Spectre to confuse America through terrorism and racism, instilling chaos in the world and intending to rule it after anarchy ensued.
Gene Nation - On the anniversary of the Mutant Massacre, a horrific event in which Mr. Sinister's henchmen the Marauders killed many Morlocks, the members of the terrorist group known as Gene Nation reappeared in the main universe (Earth-616). Their mission was to destroy one human for every Morlock life that was lost.
The Hand - The Hand is a cult of evilmysticalninjas who are heavily involved in organized crime and mercenary activities such as assassination plots. The Hand covets power above all other objectives. They are primarily based in Japan, but operate internationally. They were founded in the 16th century, and soon became servants of the primordial demon known only as the Beast.
Hellfire Club - Although the club appears to merely be an international social club for wealthy elites, its Inner Circle consists of mutants who try to influence world events for the accumulation of power. They dress in 18th century garb and rank themselves in a system of chess pieces (Black Rook, White Queen, etc.). The group first battled the X-Men in the classic "The Dark Phoenix Saga" and the club, or branches of it, have since appeared periodically in various X-Men series. The club is based on the actual Hellfire Club, a secret society of 18th century England.
Humanity's Last Stand - Humanity's Last Stand is a radical anti-mutant hate group and enemies of the X-Men. In the group's first appearance they were behind the creation of a false Mutant Liberation Front, formed by human members of H.L.S. posing as mutants through the use of mutagenic drugs and or technologically enhanced suits, in order to mimic mutant powers.
HYDRA - The fictional terrorist organization first appeared in Strange Tales #135. In its original continuity, it was headed by nondescript businessman Arnold Brown, who was killed as S.H.I.E.L.D. apparently crushed the organization. It soon returned, however, headed by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, under the aegis of the NaziRed Skull; HYDRA's changing origin was one of the earliest Marvel retcons. After its initial defeat, several of its branches surfaced, appearing to be unrelated and independent. HYDRA's scientific branch was initially A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), which later split off into its own organization. Other factions included THEM and the Secret Empire.
Maelstrom's Minions - Maelstrom's Minions are a trio of supervillains that work for Maelstrom. They are Gronk, Helio, and Phobius.
Mys-Tech - The board of Mys-Tech, a multinational corporation, were originally seven mages who in 987 sold their souls to the demonMephisto in exchange for immortality. The Mys-Tech board members must provide a steady stream of souls to the demon otherwise they will breech their contract and forfeit their own souls. Over the years the board accumulated power and wealth and in the modern age this power and wealth became a business empire.
National Force - The National Force is a neo-fascist organization founded by Doctor Faustus. Faustus had recently captured William Burnside the fourth Captain America and his partner Jack Monroe, both heroes from the 1950s frozen in suspended animation. Faustus took control of the mind of the replacement Captain America in an attempt to use him against Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, and later turned him into the Grand Director.
Roxxon - Roxxon Oil is a massive petroleumcorporation notorious for its determination to make massive profits regardless of any laws or moral principles, often employing superhuman criminals in order to achieve their goals.
Secret Empire - The subversive organization known as the Secret Empire has followed a number of different leaders, always known as “Number One”. The Secret Empire began as a subsidiary of HYDRA, which provided it with financial support. The Secret Empire served to distract the attention of authorities such as S.H.I.E.L.D. from HYDRA’s activities, although the original Number One sought to break away from HYDRA.
Serpent Society - The Serpent Society an organization of snake-themed terrorists in the Marvel Comics universe. The group was initially formed from the membership of a previous supervillain team, the Serpent Squad. The group, like its predecessor, has been made up of longtime antagonists of Captain America and his fellow Avengers. The Serpent Society was the brainchild of Seth Voelker (Sidewinder), and is a descendant of sorts from the original Serpent Squads.
THEM - THEM through its founder Baron Strucker is the managing power of a supraorganization which includes HYDRA, A.I.M., and the Secret Empire. THEM was founded by Nazi war criminal Baron Strucker after World War II. Later Strucker appointed a businessman named Arnold Brown to the position of Supreme Hydra; Hydra's highly visible operations served as a front for THEM.
Zodiac Cartel - The original Zodiac group debuted in the title the Avengers and is established as a criminal organization founded and funded by member Cornelius Van Lunt (who adopts the identity of Taurus). The group's identity is based on the zodiac from the discipline astrology, with each member adopting the persona of a sign of the zodiac, being twelve in all. The group members share leadership of the organization, with the position rotating just as the astrological zodiac changes.