Marvel Comics is built up of numerous fictional locations that add depth and history to this mythical world. Many of these famous places are home to some of Marvel’s most iconic characters. Not only this, but they also have a bit of a life of their own, becoming characters in some ways themselves. The MCU has adapted very few of these locations to the big screen.
In the incredibly successful Black Panther we journey to one of the locations I am discussing here, Wakanda, the home to T’Challa. The film did the vibrant and rich ‘Kingdom’ justice, representing just how magical and cultural one of these fictional locations could be. In Age of Ultron we were also introduced to Sokovia, in Eastern Europe. This is was created for the film, with no origin in the comics, although I expect it is a combination of different locations such as Latveria and Transia. Once again, this location added some depth to the universe, introducing us to the Maximoff twins and ultimately creating the villainous Zemo. Indeed, it is clear to see that when executed properly, these locations are very useful as storytelling components within this world of heroes, magic and scientific discovery.
Whilst the films have also done a fantastic job of translating some of Marvel’s cosmic locations to the big screen, such as Titan, Knowhere or Xander, it is a point of note that this article will be focusing on the Earth-based locations. That also means I don’t have to talk about how woefully adapted the Inhuman home of Attilan was to the small screen; a crying shame considering how spectacular addition to the cosmic scene it could have been. But alas it was not meant to be. The other locations discussed in this have a much better chance of being faithfully recreated, or enhanced in some way when making their debut in the cinematic universe. There are a number of interesting story reasons that these locations should be added, meaning that they are not just a visual addition to this mythological landscape.
The first location that came to mind and one that could visually and narratively interesting, was the Savage Land. In Marvel Comics, the Savage Land is a mystical world hidden in Antarctica, that is prehistoric in nature. Not only is the land green and tropical, with a variety of unique flora and fauna, it is also home to a variety of dinosaurs. The Savage Land is both beautiful and dangerous and could serve as a fantastic location for a hero to get stranded in. The Savage Land’s most famous inhabitants as Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil, two Tarzan-esque characters who take care of the area.
There are also a variety of races that can be found in the Savage Land, forming tribes that are often fighting for territory. Whilst a film all to itself would certainly work for this kingdom, there is another way to add the Savage Land to the MCU. This is the sort of area a set of explorers would trek to. Whilst with the FOX deal imminent and the Fantastic Four property set to return to its owners, it would make sense for this adventurous family to discover this prehistoric land. Failing that, it could very easily be woven into a Black Panther sequel.
The next location that could further enrichen the landscape is another country situated in Eastern Europe and one that has ties to one of the most phenomenal villains in Marvel history. Latveria has a long history in Marvel Comics, due to its status as a nation ruled over by a Supreme Lord, in the form of Dr. Doom. Latveria is home to magic and enhanced science, with the presence of the Doom bots and his castle.
It is a location that is used often in the comics but has not yet been utilized in the MCU, likely due to the character and location once again being in the hands of FOX. With all this likely to change, it would be interesting to see the US government declare war on the country, in some effort to ‘liberate’ it’s people, setting up a complex set of decisions as to whether Earth’s heroes agree or disagree with this move; especially as for the most part, Victor seems to have set up a well-functioning country for its inhabitants, with a lack of poverty and crime.
The next place of potential has already been pointed out in Iron Man 2, during the famous map scene. Atlantis, home to Namor, has been neglected thus far in the MCU, although phase 4 is likely to change that. The underwater kingdom of the Atlanteans has been a protected location for generations. It’s the sort of world that might be discovered in a future Thor movie, or perhaps as part of some other mystical series. The reason that Atlantis is so important and should be woven into the MCU, is because of its legacy in the comics and the creative possibilities it offers.
The Atlanteans are a strange species, who have a mixed relationship with humankind. Their relationship with the surface world would be compelling to explore, especially if their leader is presented as villainous to start. Much like the murky waters he inhabits, Namor operates best in the grey area, with Earth’s mightiest never quite knowing if he is friend or foe. Recent cinematic releases also point to this kind of film being a success.
In some ways, this final location could be one of the most likely featured in this discussion because a similar place has already been adapted. With Asgard out of the picture and many of the Norse gods dead, there is room for a new dynasty to take hold, one that also finds its routes deeply settled in the pages of Marvel Comics. The Greek gods of old have a storied history in these colorful books, with Hercules, in particular, becoming their favored representative.
They reside in Olympus, where Zeus rules over his subjects with a lightening fist, metaphorically speaking. This is a wondrous location that would be just as impressive as Asgard, with characters that are perhaps more recognizable to most. Athena and Ares particularly pop up in the comics a lot and we haven’t seen a well adapted Greek myth on the big screen in quite some time. The creative options availble with this kind of landscape, much like the others on this list, are truly special.
Across this article, I have presented a number of contrasting locations, from a kingdom under the sea to one set in the skies. From a hidden jungle to a secretive grim state. These locations represent very different corners of the Marvel Universe and indeed should be further represented in the MCU. There is one way all of these locations could be brought together as hiding places for the infinity stones. If the Avengers do not destroy them all in Endgame, they may distribute them across the world instead, trusting these warriors and leaders.
Of course, Doom is the odd one out here, but if they were to give it to him unknowingly, assuming that he would prefer to protect his people and that his is a secure state, the Dr. could use this to his advantage. It seems fitting to his character for him to be given the former tesseract, especially since his history with the cosmic cube. These other leaders would hide them appropriately for the greater good, with the locations serving as the ultimate haven for safety. This is just one suggestion all these great locations could be introduced, alongside the others I have scattered across this piece.
Are there any locations you want added to the MCU? Have you got a fun way to introduce those I have mentioned? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, or on social media.