Around the World


Marvel Atlas #1

This was the coolest comic I got last week. This one caught my eye on the shelf because I thought it was related to Marvel’s wonderful “Agents of Atlas” series, but what I found instead was still pretty sweet. You know those “Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe” books that Marvel has been printing since forever? The ones that spotlight a dizzying array of Marvel characters, list their biographies, adventures, background information, and so much more? Well, this does the same thing, but for entire countries.

Some of these entries are even moderately factual. Up to a certain point, the printed histories of Germany, France, Russia, and Japan conform entirely to what’s in our own history textbooks. Of course, these are Germany, France, Russia, and Japan in the Marvel Universe, so at some point, the Baron von Struckers and Doctor Dooms and Captain Britains start making their appearances.

And then there are the entirely fictional countries, like Lemuria, Sin-Cong, Morvania, Monster Island, and of course, Latveria. Among the cool details you get are the flags of Latveria (features Dr. Doom’s iron gauntlet), Monster Island (It actually has claw marks on it. I wonder if Godzilla actually designed it.), and Rumekistan (my favorite flag in the book — it includes a shield with a DNA helix on it); the short, tragic history of the fully depopulated European nation of Slorenia; and, of course, a great deal more. There is a lot of text here, and a lot of cool details about Marvel’s version of the world.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This issue dealt solely with Europe, Asia, and Australia. The next issue will focus on North and South America and Africa. You should pick up both of them.

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