Features of the Marvel Universe
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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.
- 1 Places
- 2 Organizations
- 3 Vehicles
- 4 Weapons
- 5 Artifacts
- 6 Elemental substances and minerals
- 7 Drugs
- 8 See also
- 9 References
Certain places feature prominently in the Marvel Universe, some real-life, others fictional and unique to the setting; fictional places may appear in conjunction with, or even within, real- world locales. 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:
- Avengers Mansion – currently in ruin, but long the home of the Avengers.
- Baxter Building and Four Freedoms Plaza – fictional buildings that have, at one time or another, been the home of the Fantastic Four.
- Daily Bugle – fictional newspaper building where Peter Parker (Spider-Man) works as a photographer for J. Jonah Jameson.
- Fisk Towers – a fictional skyscraper owned by Kingpin Wilson Fisk, and base of operations for his criminal activities.
- Hell's Kitchen – Home and protectorate of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
- The Raft, a fictional prison for superpowered villains, located on Ryker's Island (modeled after the real-life Riker's Island; note the different spelling); the Raft is the successor to the earlier superhuman prison called the Vault, located in Colorado.
- Sanctum Sanctorum – fictional abode of Doctor Strange located in Greenwich Village.
- Stark Tower – fictional skyscraper of the Avengers.
- Oscorp Tower – fictional skyscraper owned by Norman Osborn. Now the headquarters for Alchemax.
- Mutant Town – a ghetto-like neighborhood of New York primarily populated by mutants. Since the Decimation, its mutant population has largely disappeared.
- The Bowery – in Fantastic Four #4 (1962), the Fantastic Four's Human Torch discovers the 1940s-era character Namor the Sub-Mariner in this Manhattan neighborhood of "human derelicts", where Namor had taken up residence after the onset of retrograde amnesia about his identity.
New York is a center of industry, serving as the headquarters for a few Marvel companies:
- Alchemax, owned by Tyler Stone.
- Cross Technological Enterprises, a multinational industrial company run by Darren Cross. It is a rival of Stark Industries.
- Fisk Industries, a legitimate business on the surface founded and owned by Wilson Fisk.
- Frost International, a multibillion-dollar electronics conglomerate run by Emma Frost.
- Hammer Industries, founded and owned by Justin Hammer.
- Horizon Labs, a leading company in creating the most advanced technology on Earth headed by Max Modell.
- Oscorp, formerly owned and founded by Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin.
- Parker Industries, founded and owned by Peter Parker.
- Pym Technologies, a biochemical company that was founded by Hank Pym.
- Roxxon Energy Corporation, a conglomerates corporation, and one of the largest fuel companies in the world.
- Stark Industries, founded and owned by Isaac Stark Sr later by Howard Stark & Tony Stark Iron Man.
- Trask Industries, a weapons and technology company founded and owned by Bolivar Trask.
- Von Doom Industries is an international megacorporation founded by Dr. Victor Von Doom and is the C.E.O.
Two universities are also especially prominent in the Marvel Universe:
- Columbia University – real university whose fictional alumni include Matt Murdock (Daredevil), Elektra Natchios, and Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic).
- Empire State University (ESU) – fictional university whose alumni include Peter Parker (Spider-Man), Emma Frost, and Johnny Storm (the Human Torch). Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl) is currently enrolled in ESU's computer science undergraduate program.
- Crossmore, originally known as Crossmoor, is a British prison/psychiatric facility for super-human criminals. It is Her (Britannic) Majesty's Ultimate Security Prison.
- The Cube, a prison specifically designed for irradiated supervillains.
- Kyln, a series of spherical containment units located by the universal barrier and maintained by interstellar races and various degrees of mechanical automation, its primary architect is unknown.
- Lang Memorial Penitentiary, also known as the Big House, a prison where inmates are shrunken for easy storage, using technology developed by Henry Pym.
- Negative Zone Prison Alpha, also known as Prison 42, a prison specifically designed for supervillains.
- Vault, a prison for superhumans in Colorado.
- Ravencroft Institute, an asylum for the criminally insane founded by Dr. Ashley Kafka.
- "The Raft", a prison disguised as a floating trash barge off the New York coastline.
- Avengers Compound – the former headquarters of the West Coast Avengers.
- Citrusville, Cypress County, Florida is in the Everglades and 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. The town is depicted as very traditional and conservative. However, it is also home to the Cult of Zhered-Na, 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 Inhuman Maelstrom.
- 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.
- Salem Center – a hamlet in the town of North Salem, Westchester County, New York.
- 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 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 to issue #5. The former 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. As the Captain Britain mythos expanded, it also 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 Slingshot Program and detainment area of most 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 taken over by HYDRA (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
- HUB – S.H.I.E.L.D's main HQ. The HUB was once 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 Deviant Lemuria 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.
- Deviant Lemuria – Undersea home of the Deviants located at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
- Dynamo City – An interstellar city and space port for dynamism controlled by a Municipal government.
- Genosha – Island dwarf-nation off the coast of Africa, north of Madagascar; an apartheid-like state where mutants were once enslaved.
- Imaya – Fictional country located in North Africa.
- Kamar-Taj – A small kingdom in the Himalayas.
- Krakoa – Living island in the South Pacific.
- K'un-Lun – K'un-Lun 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-Lun. 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.
- Latveria – Country in Europe ruled by Doctor Doom.
- 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.
- Madripoor – City, modeled after Singapore, to which Wolverine has connections.
- Monster Isle – Island where Monsters rule.
- 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.
- Olympia – Mountain city of the Eternals, located on Mount Olympus in Greece.
- 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 was 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 was open to all who wish to immigrate there, though all residents must undergo various psychological and skills tests. Providence would later self-destructed, by Cable himself, to keep the future evidence of the messiah child's birth away from the Marauders.
- Savage Land – Place with tropical climates and prehistoric animals located in the heart of Antarctica.
- Slorenia – An eastern Slavic nation.
- Symkaria – Country in Europe adjoining Latveria, home of Silver Sable
- 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.
- Vorozheika – A country to the northeast of Chechnya, formerly part of the USSR and now ruled by the Eternal Druig.
- Wakanda – An African nation ruled by Shuri, the current Black Panther.
Satellites and planetoids
- Asteroid M – secret base of Magneto
- 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.
- Titan – main moon of Saturn and technologically advanced home to the Titan Eternals.
- Taa II – a space station of Galactus.
- Asgard – home planet of the Norse gods.
- Hyboria – a southern region of Asgard.
- Avalon – Also known as Otherworld. Home of Merlyn, Roma, and the Captain Britain Corps; and location of Camelot, the Green Chapel, and the Starlight Citadel. Based on the mythical "Avalon".
- 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.
- Limbo – Associated with Immortus and Rom the Spaceknight, not to be confused with Otherplace.
- 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. The microverse makes an appearance in the 2015 film Ant-Man, called the "Quantum Realm".
- Micronaut homeworld – a chain of connected worldlets, resembling a ball-and-stick molecular model.
- Mojoverse – dimension of spineless aliens
- Subatomic universe
- Negative Zone – a universe made of anti-matter that is contracting instead of expanding.
- Nexus of All Realities – located in the Florida Everglades (name also refers to a Cosmic Artifact, M'Kraan Crystal).
- Olympus – home planet 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.
- The White Hot Room is a quasi-mystical place that holds the essences of Phoenix hosts. In-between her frequent resurrections, this is apparently where the soul of Jean Grey finds herself. It also appears to be where the Phoenix Force itself goes when it is killed, and how it always flares back to life (hence its name). The essences trapped in the White Hot Room don't seem to notice the passage of time, yet are able to see events occurring in the normal universe. Jean Grey has shown the ability to "project" herself to the X-Men on at least two occasions, although it's unknown if this ability is a function of the Phoenix Force or the White Hot Room itself.
- 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), was 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.
- Black Air
- 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 H – A fictitious branch of Canada's Department of National Defence that deals with super-powered persons. Department H was responsible for bringing together and managing the Marvel Comics team known as Alpha Flight and its related teams Beta Flight, Gamma Flight, and Omega Flight. It was mentioned in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "End of the Beginning" and the films X2: X-Men United and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- 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.
- H.A.T.E. – H.A.T.E., the Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort, better known by its acronym, is one of two antagonistic organizations in Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. H.A.T.E. and its leader, Dirk Anger, are parodies of Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury. H.A.T.E. is a government agency that is funded by the Beyond Corporation, a company that was formerly a terrorist cell called S.I.L.E.N.T. (the acronym has not been explained yet).
- 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.
- Project: WIDEAWAKE – Project: Wideawake is a government program with the purpose of detecting and capturing mutants, which employs the robots known as Sentinels.
- 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. was infiltrated by a criminal organization and nearly all of its members were killed. A weakened S.T.R.I.K.E., unable to deal with the consequences of the Jaspers' Warp, was subsequently disbanded, and the Resources Control Executive (R.C.X.) was 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.
- S.T.A.K.E. - Special Threat Assessment for Known Extranormalities.
- Superhuman Restraint Unit
- Ultimate S.H.I.E.L.D.
- W.A.N.D. – Wizardry Alchemy Necromancy Department, the magical division of S.H.I.E.L.D. Introduced in the Marvel NOW! relaunch of Thunderbolts.
- Weapon X
- 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.
- 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.
- Beyond Corporation – What is now the Beyond Corporation was once a high-tech terrorist cell known as S.I.L.E.N.T. which legitimized itself as the Beyond Corporation, yet did not abandon their ulterior motive—the location, activation, distribution, and testing of various Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction at various points throughout the United States of America. Also, through "faith-based bidding", the Beyond Corporation became the sole financial backer of the H.A.T.E. (Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort), providing them with extremely advanced technology.
- 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.
- Brotherhood of Mutants – The Brotherhood of Mutants, originally known as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and briefly as the Brotherhood, is a Marvel Comics supervillain team devoted to mutant superiority over normal humans. They are adversaries of the X-Men. The original Brotherhood was created by writer Stan Lee and artist/co-writer Jack Kirby and first appeared in X-Men #4 (March 1964).
- Friends of Humanity – The Friends of Humanity is a hate group started by Graydon Creed, a man infamous for his bigotry against mutants. Groups inspired by or splintered from the Friends of Humanity include the survivalist Humanity's Last Stand and the religious fundamentalist Church of Humanity.
- 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 evil, mystical ninjas 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 Nazi Red 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.
- Maggia – The Maggia is an international crime syndicate, somewhat similar to the Mafia, but the Maggia differs in that it frequently hires supervillains and mad scientists to work for them. Count Nefaria and his daughter Madame Masque have both been leaders of an important Maggia family.
- 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 demon Mephisto in exchange for immortality. The Mys-Tech board members must provide a steady stream of souls to the demon otherwise they will breach 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.
- Purifiers – The Purifiers, also known as the "Stryker Crusade", are a paramilitary group of Christian terrorists led by Reverend William Stryker. The group debuted in the X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills graphic novel. The Purifiers see themselves in a holy war against mutants, believing them to be the children of the Devil and thus deserving of extermination.
- Roxxon – Roxxon Oil is a massive petroleum corporation 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.
- Sons of the Serpent – The Sons of the Serpent are a subversive organization of costumed American racist super-patriots who oppose all racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. They sought to subvert America through hate crimes and organized protests, and were opposed by the Avengers and the Defenders.
- 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.
- U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. – The Underground Liberated Totally Integrated Mobile Army To Unite Mankind is a fictional terrorist organization in the Marvel Comics universe. It was founded by the Flag-Smasher in his attempts to destroy nationalism. Most notably, they have been engaged in a feud with Deadpool ever since he slaughtered many of them aboard their own helicarrier, downed it (dooming the remaining), and confronted them (led by a new Flag-Smasher) in a final revenge showdown on a Kansas farm, where Deadpool slaughtered every single one of them (presumably ending them for good).
- 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.
- Black Knight's Atomic Steed – The Black Knight sometimes employs one of the "Atomic Steeds" built by the Knights of Wundagore, engineered by the High Evolutionary.
- Blackbird – The Blackbird is the X-Men's primary aircraft.
- 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. It's loosely based on the never mass-produced Convair XFY Pogo.
- Fantasti-Car – Various flying hovercraft used by the Fantastic Four, most versions are able to split into four smaller vehicles.
- 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.
- Green Goblin's Goblin Glider – a metal bat-shaped glider that Green Goblin uses to travel around the skies.
- 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.
- Quinjet – Used primarily by the Avengers, the quinjet first appeared in The Avengers #61 (February 1969).
- Hawkeye's Sky Bike – Hawkeye sometimes travels about in a custom-built sky bike (also called a sky-cycle or skymobile), designed and built at Cross Technological Enterprises. It is voice-operated and requires no hands to steer. The sky bike first appeared in Hawkeye #1 (September 1983). It was also featured in the Iron Man animated series. Hawkeye also uses the bike in the animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
- 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 primary mode of transportation. It is customized with a various array of weaponry and armor, and serves as a mobile armory.
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Flying Car – The flying car is a S.H.I.E.L.D. personal vehicle that looks like a car but can fly. It made appearances in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In Captain America: The First Avenger, Howard Stark unveils a flying car at Stark Expo. A flying car appears in the possession of Phil Coulson in the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier
- Shockwave Rider - The superhero team Nextwave steals the Shockwave Rider, its base of operations, from H.A.T.E., a compromised anti-terrorist organization. The Shockwave Rider is powered by a Zero-Point Squirt Drive, giving it a nearly unlimited fuel supply. The Rider contains 5 tesseract zones, allowing it to be spacious on the inside while keeping it compact on the outside. To deploy in the field, the team dives through a pool of an orange membrane to exit via the underside of the ship. It was destroyed in Nextwave's final battle with the Beyond Corporation.
- Ship – Apocalypse's gigantic, self-aware AI ship which was simply known as "Ship". It is hinted to have been built by the Celestials. It made several appearances in the comics as well as the 1990s X-Men cartoon series.
- Skuttlebutt – Korbinite-designed sentient starship, vehicle of and companion to Beta Ray Bill
- Spider-Man's web-shooters
- Captain America's shield
- Gamma Bomb
- Iron Man's armors
- Doctor Octopus' tentacles
- Mjolnir the hammer of Thor
- Stormbreaker, the hammer of Beta Ray Bill
- Hawkeye's bow and trick arrows
- Black Widow's stingers
- Cyclops' visor
- Wolverine's adamantium claws
- Daredevil's billy club
- Elektra's sais
- Doctor Strange's amulet – the Eye of Agamotto
- Blade's sword
- The Black Knight's Ebony Blade
- Ghost Rider's chain and hellfire shotgun
Some items have been created specifically for the Marvel Universe and carry immense powers:
- Book of the Vishanti is a grimoire most closely associated with Doctor Strange. It is the greatest known source of "white" magical knowledge on the Earth of the Marvel Universe dimension.
- The Casket of Ancient Winters – An Asgardian relic and the greatest weapon of Malekith the Accursed. When opened, it can reproduce the infinite icy cold of Niflheim. Later entrusted to the care of Edwin Jarvis, butler to the Avengers, by Thor. Causes its holder to grow younger gradually.
- 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 Darkhold – A collection of iron-bound scrolls containing the collected magical knowledge of Chthon, the first practitioner of dark magics.
- Dragonfang – an enchanted sword said to be carved by the wizard Kahji-Da from a tooth of an extra-dimensional dragon.
- The Evil Eye of Avalon – 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 Eye of Agamotto, worn by Doctor Strange.
- The Orb of Agamotto
- Mjolnir, the Hammer of Thor.
- The Serpent Crown – Created by the demon Set, it links the wearer to its creator, providing various physical and mental powers.
- 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 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 god Yog against the barbarian Conan, 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.
- The Cosmic Cube
- The Cosmic Egg
- Infinity Gems/Infinity Gauntlet – Six gems that grant their owner supreme power over six different aspects of existence: 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" (unknown if it is connected to the "Nexus of Realities" located in the Florida Everglades). 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.
- Quantum bands, used by Quasar and temporarily used by Silver Surfer to wield cosmic energy.
- 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.
- The Ultimate Nullifier
- The Legacy Virus, a devastating plague that tore through the Mutant population.
- The Mandarin's Ten Rings
- The Tallus
- Terrigen Mist, a mutagen which can alter Inhuman physiology.
Elemental substances and minerals
- 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.
- Promethium, a magical metal found only in Belasco's dimension, known as Otherplace.
- Tritonium, an unstable radioactive mineral.
- 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, a fictitious element on the periodic table. This substance can control gravity fields (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series).
- Yaka, a sound-sensitive metal found on Centauri IV
- Plandanium, a metal used by the Spaceknights of Galador to make their armor
- Goblin Serum (Oz Formula) – The chemical formula that gave Green Goblin his powers.
- Growth Pills – Capsules containing the size altering Pym Particles that allow Giant Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp to change their size.
- Extremis – A techno-organic virus created in an attempt to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum that gave Captain America his powers.
- Red Skull's Dust of Death – A red powder which kills a victim within seconds of skin contact. The powder causes the skin of the victim's head to shrivel, tighten, and take on a red discoloration, while causing the hair to fall out. Hence the victim's head resembles a "red skull".
- Super Soldier Serum – An experimental military drug that enhances physical abilities and gave several superheroes their powers, most notably Captain America.
- Terrigen Mists – A mutagenic catalyst discovered and used by the Inhumans that can grant superpowers, but leaves many subjects with deformities and amnesia.
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- Man-Thing vol. 1 #17-18.
- Sub-Mariner #61
- The Sub-Mariner #62, "Tales of Atlantis" backup story. Written by Steve Gerber and Howard Chaykin.
- Fear #15
- Marvel Spotlight #17
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- Decimation: House of M — The Day After (January 2006)
- Marvel Two-In-One #42, August, 1978
- Uncanny X-Men #142
- New Mutants Vol.1 #2
- First appeared in Captain Britain vol. 2 #1 (January 1985)
- First appeared in the paperback novel Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk: Rampage (September 1996)
- "S.T.A.R.S." at Marvel.com
- Beard, Jim (7 November 2013). "TUESDAY Q&A: THUNDERBOLTS ANNUAL". Marvel.com. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
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- Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #1 (March 2006)
- Daredevil #108 (March 1974)
- Uncanny X-Men #299 (April 1993)
- Uncanny X-Men Annual #19 (November 1995)
- Avengers #13 (February 1965)
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- Deadpool (2012) #45
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- Thor #337