Ancient Atlantis was a small continent (about the size of present-day Australia), located in the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe, which sank beneath the sea approximately 20,000 years ago. The continent of Atlantis boasted one of the most highly advanced civilizations of its age. Founded in about 19,000 BC, Atlantis predates that of any other known human civilization, and began a mere 4,000 years after the retreat of the last ice age. Originally, Atlantis was a land of barbarians; One of whom, Kull, left and acquired the throne of the nearby kingdom of Valusia. Over the 500 years between Kull's time and the sinking of Atlantis, Atlantis became the center of a small empire of sailors, craftsmen, traders, astrologers and alchemists. Atlantean sea vessels reached as far as the South Pole with a discovered the Antarctic jungle and game preserve they named Pangea (meaning " paradise "). Atlantean alchemists created the Serpent Crown, a vessel empowered by the demonic Elder God Set. The Serpent Crown is one of the few artifacts of ancient Atlantis crew survived until modern times. Few historical personages of the Atlantean age are known to date. One of the few is Kull, the barbarian-king who ruled Atlantis about 500 years before it sank. Kull was renowned as the slayer of the arch wizard Thulsa Doom, and was the enemy of the Serpent People, nonhuman but humanoid offspring of Set.
According to some accounts, one of the inhabitants of Pre-Cataclysmic Atlantis was a woman called Cleito, the daughter of Evenor. Cleito mated with Poseidon and give birth to five sets of twins, who ruled the ten provinces of Atlantis. It is uncertain how this information ties in with what else we know of ancient Atlantis.
The last years of ancient Atlantis sought direction of the giant glass-like dome over the capital city of the empire (also called Atlantis). Its last rulers were King Kamuu and his wife Queen Zartra, a native of the Lemurian Isles, which had been conquered by the non-human race of Deviants. The Atlantean empire had been in a state of decline after Kull's era. The empire was reeling with civil war in all of its provinces and the fighting kept encroaching closer and closer to the capital city. Finally barbarians from the Lemurian Isles attacked Atlantis on behalf of the Deviant Empire, and to rout their forces King Kamuu opened the magma pits, which were the city's means of heating. The Lemurian invaders were destroyed by the molten lava, but due to unprecedented volcanic pressure beneath the city, the magma release triggered a seismological cataclysm. First the capital city, and then the entire continent of Atlantis itself was racked by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. At the same time, the Deviants themselves launched the attack on the surviving Second Host of the alien Celestials. The Celestials retaliated by causing a nuclear cataclysm, which sank Lemuria and created shockwaves that shook the entire world. As a result of the local geological convulsions and the after effects of the Lemurian cataclysm, the entire continent of Atlantis fragmented and vanished beneath the Atlantic Ocean in about a week.
Fortunately, there were a few survivors of the Atlantean catastrophe. The largest concentration of survivors was in the southern city of Netheria, whose priests and intellectuals foresaw an attack by the Lemurians. They enclosed their small city in the dome of an unknown plastic like substance, and excavated and fortified their city’s foundation. Consequently, when the continent of Atlantis fragmented, Netheria remained intact as it sank, coming to rest in a huge sub-sea cavern. Finding a way to recycle their air supply, the Netherians renamed their realm the Netherworld. The Netherworld, now under the rule of Queen Kala, exists today.
Tiny bands of Atlanteans managed to find refuge on neighboring islands and the European continent, which were buffeted by the Atlantis catastrophe but not destroyed. One group of refugees fled to Antillia, a group of islands nearby. Other Atlanteans in Europe eventually became the tribes of Cimmeria. The nearby island of Attilan, home of the genetically advanced but reclusive Inhumans, also survived the cataclysm virtually unscathed.
About 10,000 years ago, a new type of human being appeared in the Atlantic Ocean possessing gills to breathe underwater, the origins of Homo mermanus are lost. The capacity to breed underwater, found prior to this time in certain individuals of both the Inhuman and Deviant races, may have been scientifically bestowed upon members of mainstream humanity by Inhuman or Deviant geneticists. The legends of the water breathers themselves credit Neptune, god of the sea worshipped by the Greeks and Romans, with their transformation from air to water-breathers. The theory of Homo mermanus is a result of natural evolution is unsupportable.
For millennia, the tribe of Homo mermanus were nomadic, wandering the Atlantic Ocean, preying upon small fish for food, using shells of huge crustaceans for shelter, and developing nothing but the most rudimentary tool-making culture. Finally, about 8,000 years ago, the undersea tribe discovered the ruins of the capital city of ancient Atlantis, which had lain undisturbed since Atlantis sank 12,000 years before. The prince of the Sea People, named Kamuu after the legendary surface Atlantean ruler, happened upon the throne of his ancient namesake. Upon recovering the original Kamuu's sword, he was visited by the spirit of the last king of ancient Atlantis. The spirit of King Kamuu bade his water-breathing namesake to settle here on the site of old Atlantis and found a new Atlantis. The young Kamuu convinced people to settle, and they began to build a new city of Atlantis.
The undersea city of Atlantis fell victim to natural disasters and sieges by barbarian tribes over the next few millennia, but each time Atlantis was rebuilt in even greater splendor. About 500 years after the founding of undersea Atlantis, a group of Homo mermanus left the city and made their way to the Pacific Ocean. This group founded the city of Lemuria on the opposite end of the now submerged continent of Lemuria from that settled by the Deviants. Due to the acquisition and worship of the Serpent Crown, the magical artifacts from the pre-cataclysmic Atlantis, the Lemurians' complexions and features have taken a more serpentine cast than their Atlanteans forebears.
Little is known about Atlanteans history between the time of the founding of Lemuria and the modern era. The Atlanteans' historical records, graven in stone until the relatively recent invention of a paper-like substance made from seaweed, had been all but lost in the dark ages of Atlantean history. The god Neptune is believed to have dwelt among the Atlanteans in mortal form during this period, promoting his worship, a practice that continues today. The Atlanteans also encountered Deviant refugees at some time in the past 200 years, and it was from them that they learned the rudiments of technology. The Atlanteans had very limited contact with their surface-dwelling parent race until recent times. This was largely due to the fact that neither water-breathers nor air-breathers could survive outside of their native environment for more than minutes without drowning.
About a century and a half ago, Atlantis was attacked by hordes of undersea barbarians haling from the nearby province of Skarka. Although the Atlanteans managed to repel the invasions, the city of Atlantis sustained heavy damages. Emperor Thakorr, who ascended the throne after former King Immanu died in battle with the barbarians, resolved to move the capital city of the empire from its traditional site. He led the Atlantean populace south, where they founded a new Atlantis not far from the continent of Antarctica. The Atlanteans lived in peace there until the 1920's, when an American ship was sent to Antarctica to clear a path through the icebergs. The detonation of explosive depth charges rocked the undersea city, killing a tenth of its inhabitants. Thakorr bade his daughter Fen to assign a scouting party to investigate the attack. The adventurous Fen decided to go herself. Fen learned that the bombardment was not an act of war, and became romantically attracted to the ship's captain, Leonard McKenzie. The American and Atlantean were soon wed and Fen later gave birth to Namor, a mutant hybrid of the two races. Most of McKenzie's crew were slain by the Atlanteans, who believed they held Fen captive.Namor possesses the ability to breathe in air and underwater and became the Atlanteans’ first emissary to the surface world. At first hostile to his father's people, he joined with American heroes to form the Invaders in order to battle Nazi aggression. After World War II, Namor encountered Paul Destine, an American who unearthed the Serpent Crown from the Antarctic hiding place where band of Lemurians had buried it. Destine use the Crown to amplify his natural psionic powers and as an exercise of power, destroyed the nearby city of Atlantis with a mental blast. Namor's grandfather Thakorr and mother Fen were among the many casualties of Atlantis' destruction. Namor was rendered amnesiac by a blast of Destine's power, and wandered the surface world for decades before the Human Torch helped restore his memory. Namor returned to his native sea, but the Atlanteans who survived Destine's attack were not easily found.
Doctor Droom also encountered a sect of Atlanteans and ventured to what he called 'The Lost City of Atlantis.' However, the race he encountered were fish-like humanoids and not the Homo mermanus race. It's possible they were another city of the continent of Atlantis that survived the cataclysm and adapted to living under water. Their city was not protected by a dome like the Netherworld, but was, however, hidden from the world by a 'submerged mountain' that served as a portal to the outside world. Doctor Droom thwarted a hostage situation by the Atlanteans and a further attack by hypnotizing the entire city into thinking the land above was barren, so there was no reason to venture up there. He also avoided any further knowledge of the situation by hypnotizing the hostages to forget the whole incident.
Eventually, Namor was reunited with his people, and was crowned prince of Atlantis. Namor decided to rebuild the Atlantis on its original site in the North Atlantic rather than his grandfather's chosen site near Antarctica. With the surface world learning of the existence of Homo mermanus, Atlantis was subjected to ever more tumultuous fortunes. Three times did Atlantis declare war on the surface world and bring troops into Manhattan Island, only to withdraw them before casualties were sustained. Namor even petition the United Nations to accept Atlantis into its organization and was rejected on more than one occasion. Following the death of his betrothed, Lady Dorma, Namor abdicated the throne of Atlantis for a time. In his absence, Atlantis was besieged by barbarians and plunderers. Before long, the Atlanteans begged Namor to return to the throne and he agreed. The Atlanteans were then the victims of accidental nerve gas poisoning, leaving thousands of Homo mermanus who dwelled in the capital city in a death-like coma. When Namor had exhausted other possible sources of aid, he turned to his one-time ally, the power hungry Doctor Doom. Namor agreed to serve Doom for a time if Doom would use his scientific expertise to revive the Atlanteans. Both parties upheld their end of the bargain, and the Atlanteans were revived. For a time, the Atlanteans revered Namor for his role in their resuscitation with such fervor that it rankled him. Sometime later, however, the ruling council of the Atlanteans assessed Namor's leadership, evaluated the impact of his continual leaves of absence from the kingdom, and voted that Namor give up his role. Namor reluctantly agreed. The city of Atlantis and its small empire of colonies was then ruled by Lord Vashti.
In Earth-90214, Atlantis is accurately described word-for-word from the first recorded accounts by the Greek philosopher, Plato. The city was located just beside the Pillars of Hercules - known today as the Strait of Gibraltar - and was shockingly advanced for its period in the ancient world, including irrigated canals, marble-built architecture, and hanging gardens. Also, Atlantis possessed the secret power source, Orichalcum, which powered the entire city. However, the Atlanteans were unable to control the Orichalcum as its power was far too great for a superconductor, and eventually creating a vortex that sucked the entirety of Atlantis under the sea.
Points of Interest
- Maritanis - Destroyed
- New Atlantis - Site where Atlanteans settled after Morgan le Fay surfaced the continent of Atlantis
- Thakorr (Antarctic City) - Destroyed
- Temple of Neptune
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- Appearances of Atlantis
- Location Gallery: Atlantis
- Images related to Atlantis
- Fan Art Gallery: Atlantis
- Marvel Staff members who were born in Atlantis
Links and References