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Latveria
Fantastic Four location
A rendition of the nation of Latveria (in green) and its capital Doomstadt. Symkaria borders along the south.
Flag of Latveria
Created byStan Lee, Jack Kirby
Genrecomics
Information
TypeAutocracy
LocationsDoomstadt (capital)
CharactersDoctor Doom
Lucia von Bardas
Dreadknight
CurrencyLatverian Franc

Latveria is a fictional country appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is depicted within the storylines of Marvel's comic titles as an isolated European country ruled by the fictional Supreme Lord Doctor Doom, supposedly located in the Banat region. It is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, and also borders Symkaria (home of Silver Sable) to the south. Its capital is Doomstadt.

Publication history

Latveria first appeared in Fantastic Four Annual #2, published in 1964. Victor Von Doom is the ruler of Latveria. Though he has been dethroned a number of times, Victor has invariably managed to return to the throne of his country within a matter of months.

Victor also has a council who obey him entirely. In Fantastic Four #536 in 2006, he killed his own Prime Minister for claiming control of Latveria in his absence and threatened to kill two other ministers if they failed to find the landing spot of Thor's hammer.

Doctor Doom's style of rule can best be described as an absolute monarchy, as it was revealed that there is no legislature, and one minister boasted "Doctor Doom decides everything. His slightest whim is Latverian law!" It is shown Doom has devices throughout the Kingdom to watch his people and even has hidden weapons to prevent them leaving without his consent. In one story he is able to activate a force field around Latveria which prevents anybody leaving, though apparently it can be a defense against nuclear attack.[1]

History

Located in southeast Europe, Latveria was formed out of land annexed from southern Hungary centuries before, and possibly land from Serbia as well[2] as Romania.[3]

At some point, Doctor Doom had his army of Servo Guards invade Rotruvia where he was successful at annexing it.[4]

Latveria under the Fantastic Four

Due to Doom's undertakings that drive him away from Latveria, the monarch is often absent. After Doom's descent into Hell, the nation became a target for conquest by the neighboring countries. This forces Reed Richards to seize control of the country, attempting to pry the populace out from under the thumb of Doom, while at the same time disarming all of Doom's weaponry and technology, so if he ever returned, he would come back to absolutely nothing. In the process, Richards relocated Doom from Hell into a pocket dimension of his own design, and although Doom used his consciousness-switching abilities to escape, the death of his host body seemingly caused him to die as well, and the Fantastic Four pulled out of the country.

However Doom survives this and rules Latveria for a time with a 'puppet' Prime Minister and robotic enforcers.

Series of takeovers

After the Fantastic Four left, the United States attempted to fill the void left by Doom by establishing a democracy for the nation. The Countess Lucia von Bardas was elected as Prime Minister. However, when it was revealed that von Bardas was employing the Tinkerer to use Doom's technology to arm various tech-based villains in the United States, S.H.I.E.L.D. Commander Nick Fury took action.

During Secret War, Fury and a number of superheroes invaded Latveria without permission of the US Government and attempted to assassinate von Bardas. While von Bardas survived, she was horribly disfigured and sought to destroy Fury and the heroes responsible. She was killed by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Daisy Johnson while trying to blow up New York with the armor of the various villains she employed.

Country-wide disasters

Much of Latveria was destroyed and the population severely reduced by an attack executed by the Marquis of Death (a.k.a. "Dooms Master").

S.H.I.E.L.D., under the leadership of Iron Man and his team of U.S. sanctioned Avengers invaded Latveria after discovering Doom's (unintentional) involvement in the release of a symbiote virus on New York. The country was yet again devastated and Doom was taken into custody for crimes against humanity.[5]

Doom is released from prison due to the influence of H.A.M.M.E.R director Norman Osborn. He restores his nation with the use of his time travel technology.[6]

Avengers Vs. X-Men

During the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, Spider-Man fights against a Juggernaut-empowered Colossus here.[7]

Statistics

The common geographic description of Latveria places it as a small nation, around the area where Hungary, Romania and Serbia (Vojvodina) meet in real life. To its south in the Marvel universe is the nation of Symkaria, which is depicted as a benevolent constitutional monarchy in contrast to the dictatorship to its north. The capital city of Latveria is Doomstadt, formerly Hassenstadt, renamed when Doom seized power, located just north of the Kline River. The administrative center is Castle Doom.

Cities and towns

Points of interest

Demographics

The population consists of mixed European stock and Romani people, in whose welfare Von Doom takes a particular interest. Victor Von Doom, being Roma, has declared the Romani a protected class and attempts to shower them with benefits, however due to Latveria's poor economy and oppressive rule their lifestyles hardly outshine other ethnicities, and the Romani by and large live in the same fear of their own government as do fellow Latverians.

Law enforcement

Because it lacks a native superhero populace, Latveria relies largely on Dooms' robot sentinels called Doombots to keep law and order. One of the few known Latverian superhumans is Dreadknight, whom Doom himself created by punishing Dreadknight's alter ego for hoarding ideas from him. Dreadknight has since tried to get revenge on Doctor Doom, only to be thwarted by various superheroes. Aside from superhuman activity, the Latverian military appears to function in multiple capacity; in addition to being responsible for defense of Latveria (or more accurately, keeping Victor Von Doom on the throne), they have been commissioned to make arrests and function as Latveria's secret police.

Economy

Much of Latveria's economy depends on Doctor Doom's high-tech inventions. The country's official currency is the "Latverian Franc" - because Doctor Doom refuses to join the European Union or adopt the Euro. The Latverian Franc is still considered to be reasonably strong against the United States Dollar.[8]

State

Latveria is generally depicted as a rural nation with a primitive economy and a population living an almost medieval lifestyle, likely enforced by Doom. Nonetheless, the state itself is consistently depicted as a global superpower on-par with or even surpassing any nation on Earth, including the United States, and rivalled only by the likes of Wakanda. This is largely due to Doom himself being a scientific genius of the highest order, not only possessing but actually inventing numerous technological wonders, including time and interdimensional travel, personally creating a highly sophisticated robot army of myriad designs and capabilities, and frequently coming into possession of—or outright creating—various devices that could be classified as Weapons of Mass Destruction. Thus, despite the country being both extremely small and economically backward, it is a powerhouse in military and technological terms and therefore has a vastly disproportionate influence on global affairs relative to its size and GDP. Doom also proudly claims that the country is free of poverty, disease, famine and crime and while citizens of the nation are commonly shown to be oppressed and to live in fear of their monarch, they are also shown to be relatively well cared for, so long as they do not cross Doom. Other occasions suggest that Doom is at the centre of a self-propagated personality cult and is admired and worshipped by other segments of the populace in spite of his mistreatments and he is often demonstrated to be at least a more stable and less corrupt ruler than any other Latverian leader who has replaced him.

Known inhabitants

Other versions

King Loki

In the future depicted in Loki: Agent of Asgard, Doctor Doom discovers Latveria completely destroyed after King Loki destroyed the Earth. Doom attempts to prevent this future by imprisoning the Loki of the present.[9]

Marvel 1602

In the Marvel 1602 storyline, Latveria is ruled by Count Otto von Doom, also known as Otto the Handsome. It is inhabited by mythical beings, and Latveria experiments on intricate clockwork devices, one of which was used to kill Queen Elizabeth I of England. The native language appears to bear a close resemblance to modern German.

Marvel 2099

In the alternate future called "Marvel 2099", various power struggles over the fate of Latveria end with most of the country's population destroyed by chemical weapons known as "necrotoxins".[10]

Marvel Zombies

In the Marvel Zombies storyline, Latveria is one of the last few outposts of humanity, as Doctor Doom gathers up the fittest and most fertile of the Latverian survivors in order to send them off to other dimensions. An army of super-zombies lay siege to Doom's castle and eventually break inside. Despite this and Doom himself being bitten, all the Latverian citizens successfully escape.

Ultimate Marvel

Latveria was introduced as a bankrupt peasant nation, but thanks to Doctor Doom it was made the ninth richest country on Earth. The townsfolk wear Doom's dragon tattoos, which incorporate microfibers that interfaced with the brain, acting as mind control devices. Where this Latveria lies is unclear but there are Belgian Flags on display in the background in the one picture displayed of Latveria.

In Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, Latveria was presented as an impoverished dictatorial theocracy, under "his holiness" President Victor Von Doom (wearing his traditional Marvel armour and cloak). They attempted, in collusion with the United States via Nick Fury, to steal the Iron Man technology from Tony Stark; this fails, partly due to the intervention of Spider-Man. At some point, however, Doom declared a holy war on the United States, creating tensions between two countries.[11][12] This would be ignored and retconned away in later Ultimate Marvel titles.

In other media

Television

Film

Video games

Newspapers

Reception

Bustle published an= humorous article about how to convince people that Latveria is a real place, saying "Latveria doesn't sound made up [...] in this case, Latveria is very much fake — which doesn't mean you can't still have fun convincing people it's real, though."[14]

Screen Rant writes that ever since 1962's The Fantastic Four #5, "the tiny country of Latveria has long been a thorn in the side of Marvel's heroes", noting that it was long established as a Southeastern European country, and as of 2020 firmly located in the Banat region, so that "This fixed location for Latveria grounds the nation more fully in readers' understanding of the real world, suggesting realistic political tensions and even geographical factors which can play into future stories."[15]

Mark Hibbett of Central Saint Martins notes that Latveria in 1964 was described as a small East European country "nestling in the heart of the Bavarian alps", and he explains that "Right from the start Latveria is presented as a very strange place, like a fairy tale village transplanted into the real world, with Jack Kirby's illustrations showing an almost medieval world of peasant cottages and gypsy caravans."[16]

Further reading

References

  1. ^ The Avengers #21
  2. ^ Fantastic Four #504
  3. ^ https://maps.google.com/[full citation needed]
  4. ^ All-New, All-Different Avengers #15
  5. ^ The Mighty Avengers #7-12 (2007)
  6. ^ Dark Avengers #4 (2009)
  7. ^ AVX Vs #2
  8. ^ She-Hulk vol. 3 #3 (2014)
  9. ^ Loki: Agent of Asgard #6
  10. ^ Doom 2099 #33 (Sept. 1995)
  11. ^ Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #4
  12. ^ Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #14
  13. ^ Collura, Scott (July 16, 2021). "Black Widow Screenwriter on the Reason for the Big Taskmaster Twist, His Quest for a Dr. Doom Easter Egg, and More". IGN. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  14. ^ "Is Latveria a Real Place? The 'Fantastic Four' Country & Home of Doctor Doom is About as Legit as a Land Called Genovia".
  15. ^ "Marvel Confirms the Location of Their Most Infamous Country". Screen Rant. 17 November 2020.
  16. ^ https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/14126/1/LatverianIncursions.pdf

Coordinates: 46°04′14.6″N 20°35′17.3″E / 46.070722°N 20.588139°E / 46.070722; 20.588139