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. The Atlanteans were warriors and hunters, divided into various autonomous tribes. They were often at conflict with the seven "civilized" kingdoms of the Pre-Cataclysmic era (Valusia, Grondar, Commoria, Thule, Verulla, Kamelia, and the Triple Federation), with the islanders of the Pictish Isles, and with the pirates of Lemuria.
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, which the man known as Conan the Barbarian would later come from. 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, however 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 as 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.
Early 20th Century
In the first half of the 20th century, 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 1920s, 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 the Sub-Mariner, a mutant hybrid of the two races. Most of McKenzie's crew were slain by the Atlanteans, who believed they held Fen captive.
World War II
The first declaration of war against the surface dwellers occurred in late 1939, when the Sub-Mariner had one of his early encounters with surface dwellers who were diving in the deep. His grandfather, Emperor Thakorr and his mother Princess Fen authorized Namor to engage in hostilities against the surface world.
After his initial attack on New York City, the Sub-Mariner was convinced by police woman Betty Dean to focus his aggressions toward the Nazis who were attempting to conquer the world. Namor then returned to his home land to get the assistance of his people. Emperor Thakorr agreed with this course of action and Atlantis officially entered into the war. The Atlantean military constructed a fleed to Aero-Subs, submarines that also had flight capabilities. The first Atlantean campaign against the Nazis was a strike against Nazi U-Boats in the Atlantic Ocean in the Northern Sea, off the coast of Norway. The attack helped liberate supply boats heading to the United States.
However, this initial campaign proved to be short lived as the Sub-Mariner soon renewed his aggressions against the surface dwellers, and the United States in particular shortly thereafter. Following an attack on New York City, Namor returned to Atlantis. Shortly after Namor's return the kingdom was attacked by Luther Robinson and Lynn Harris who commissioned a battleship to attack Atlantis in retaliation for Namor's aggressions against the United States. The battle was won by the people of Atlantis, and both Robinson and Harris were taken prisoner and were to be executed for their attack, but the Sub-Mariner ultimately freed them. However, Princess Fen intended Lynne Harris to be Namor's bride, and so the Sub-Mariner was ordered to bring Lynne back. Lynne then underwent a surgery, turning her into an amphibian, but she was soon rescued by Luther and the couple escaped from Atlantis once more.
Following the Robinson attack on Atlantis, the Sub-Mariner decided to once more fight against the Nazis. He and Lady Dorma then returned to the surface world where they clashed with Nazi forces on a French owned island and at a hidden U-Boat base located near the Florida Keys.
By royal decree, Namor ventured to New York City and captured Luther Robinson and Lynne Harris and forced them to return to Atlantis. This kidnapping later led to Betty Dean gathering her Legion of Loyalists together to attack Atlantis and free Luther and Lynne, clashing with Atlantean forces. Namor also ordered the first Atlantis incursion against the Imperial Japanese when they attempted to invade Alaska through a tunnel dug under the Berring Straight from Siberia. However, when Namor went after them he once more clashed with Nazi forces and then agreed to let them all go.
Angered by the constant interference of Atlantis in the war, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ordered an assault on Atlantis. This attack caused massive destruction of Atlantis, however the Sub-Mariner led his fellow Atlanteans on a counter-attack, ending the invasion. One account suggests that Emperor Thakorr was slain in the battle however, it has been stated that Thakorr was gravely injured and placed into a coma. In either case, Namor was installed as the new ruler of Atlantis. Shortly after his ascension to the throne, a plague hit Atlantis, threatening to wipe out the entire population. Namor ventured to the surface world once more and obtained the required radium to cure the illness.
Soon after the war on the surface world once more touched Atlantis, the collateral damage of sea warfare decimating much of the kingdom. The Sub-Mariner was convinced by an Atlantean named Rathia to enter into an alliance with other sea dwelling races and conquer the surface world. Enticed with dreams of conquest, Namor quickly formed an alliance with the Seal, Shark and Walrus people and launched an all out attack on surface continents. The powers of the world were too busy in the global war to anticipate such an attack, and Atlantis succeeded in flooding countries such as Africa, Germany, and Russia. The only opposition Namor and his invading army came from the Sub-Mariner's sometime ally the Human Torch and his partner Toro. However, Namor briefly incapacitated his foes, leaving Toro recovering from hypothermia in London, and the Torch briefly under Namor's control. The Torch was used to melt glaciers to increase flooding, but the hero eventually broke free. By this time Atlantis had launched an attack on New York City, striking it with a massive flood. The Sub-Mariner clashed with the Human Torch in New York City, and was defeated with the assistance of Captain America.
During his absence from Atlantis, Namor's position was taken over by his uncle Daka. Daka had those who were opposed to him, including Princess Fen and Lady Dorma, locked up. Daka then forged an alliance wit the Seal People and the Nazis and plotted an invasion of North and South America, starting with Argentina. However, Namor returned home and freed Daka's prisoners and led a rebellion to stop this invasion. The Atlantean-Seal People-Nazi alliance was smashed quickly by Namor's resistance and the prime conspirators were then turned over to the Argentinian authorities. Namor then returned to Atlantis with is position of power restored.
In late 1941 and early 1942, Atlantis took its first act against Imperial Japan following the attack on Wake Island. An Atlantean force led by the Sub-Mariner uncovered a secret Japanese prison beneath the island, slaying it's leader Colonel Yama. Shortly thereafter, Namor and Atlantean engineers developed the submarine SM-1, which Namor used to assist Australian forces in defending their shores from the Japanese. Although the SM-1 was destroyed, Namor succeeded in driving back Japanese forces.
Shortly after this incident, Princess Fen decreed that the Atlanteans should once more focus on the Nazis in Europe and ordered Namor to lead a squad of Atlantean soldiers to assist the Free French resistance in France. To this end, Namor and his soldiers provided the Free French with munitions to battle their Nazi oppressors giving them a much needed assist in the eventual liberation of France. However, Namor soon refocused his efforts on the Japanese in retaliation for the attacks on Pearl Harbour, allying his army with the United States military in battles along the Pacific. With the constant interference of Atlantis in the war, the Nazis had their minion Commander Kornstalk try to convince Namor to ally Atlantis with the Nazis. Namor refused, and the Nazis retaliated by contaminating the waters around Atlantis with copper. With the people of Atlantis facing extinction from the "copper plague", Namor surrendered to the Nazis and agreed to assist them in their war effort. However, Princess Fen led a resistance movement to attack Kornstalk's underwater base and destroy the devices polluting their waters, slaying Kornstalk in the process.
Atlantis was nearly annihilated when Hitler once more ordered it's destruction in 1943. He sent his minions Admiral von Roeder and Captain Kessler attack Atlantis with an army of manned robots. Once again, Namor came to the aid of his people and assisted them in destroying all the invaders. Atlantis suffered another attack by Nazi forces that learned the location of the domain by forcing a pair of Atlantean fishermen to reveal it to them. After devastating the area, they fled to Antarctica where they were defeated by the Sub-Mariner. Throughout the remainder of the war, Atlantis remained mostly uninvolved with the conflict, with Namor acting alone against both Nazi and Japanese forces until the end of the war.
Post-World War II
Thakorr awoke from his longtime coma, and furious that Namor assisted the surface world in his absence, exiled Namor from Atlantis for a time. In 1947, Atlantis was attacked by Stoop Richards and his gang, with Namor coming to the aid of his people. Among the survivors of the attack was his cousin Namora who joined Namor as his crime-fighting sidekick during his exile. Eventually, Thakkor lifted the exile from Namor and he was allowed to return home.
Atlantis mainly kept to themselves during the early 1950s, it was not until Namor was called back to the surface world near the end of 1953 and continued his adventures on the surface world. His activities against communist nations made Atlantis a target of reprisals. Although Namor was exiled for a brief period, he helped save his people and Thakorr once more removed Namor from his exile. Sometime later in 1954, Thakorr's step-son Byrrah convinced Thakorr to allow him to attack the surface world, and Atlantis launched an attack on South America. Namor, siding with the surface world in order to prevent further bloodshed, led his fellow Atlanteans into a trap so they were forced to retreat. Furiously Thakorr exiled Namor once again. However when the Lunarians briefly stole the Earth's surface supply of water, the people of Atlantis faced extinction, but were saved when Namor returned Earth's water and his exile was lifted. Byrrah later tricked Atlantean forces to going to war against North America, using ice bergs to cause massive damage, this attempt was also thwarted by the Sub-Mariner. Atlantis later came to the aid of the surface world, led by Namor and Namora, to rescue it from the aliens known as the Unseen and their communist benefactors.
Throughout the remainder of the 1950s, Atlantis remained uninvolved in any conflicts. The nation almost went to war with the surface world again when Namor foolishly attacked an exploration ship searching for Uranium in the region. When Namor realized their intentions he allowed them to continued their course. The explorers then warned the people of Atlantis of an impending undersea earthquake, allowing the Atlantean people to flee while their kingdom was devastated by the quake, however they quickly rebuilt. Shortly thereafter, Atlantis sought to become a member of the United Nations and sent Namor as an emissary to New York to petition for membership. However Namor became a target of bigotry and was forced to retreat. It was then decreed by Emperor Thakorr that the Atleantean people with withdraw from the surface world and live in the peace and anonyminity of the ocean. However this peace was broken when Namor encountered Paul Destine, an American who unearthed the Helmet of Power 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. The Atlantean people disbursed across the ocean, with a major sect being ruled by Byrrah the Emperor's stepson. He allowed for a search for Namor for the next six years before ordering the search called off in 1961.
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-9047 (The Humorverse), Atlantis is an underwater civilization known as Atlanticus, and it can be accessed from the Arctic Ocean. It was Namorette's public address until she joined the New Heroes on the Block.
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.
On Earth-1610 Atlantis was a continent in the mid-Atlantic that sunk centuries ago. The capitol city is in ruins. When the Fantastic Four explored the area, they inadvertently awakened Namor from his tomb.
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
- Atlantean Royal Palace
Arthog was the slave master on board the Lemurian pirate craft which rescued and enslaved Kull when he escaped from Atlantis.
Ku-Var was the self-proclaimed ruler of Atlantis. His blood-thirsty tribe wiped out half the barbarian population of the island and united the other half. He held absolute rule and chose his chief guard Iraina to fight Brule at the tournament proclaimed by King Governi of Thule. Ku-Var was killed by Iraina herself when he sexually offended her.
Lhok-Nor was the chieftain of the Atlanteans, who promised her daughter Sareena to King Kull. As soon as Sareena was assassinated in the City of Wonders during the wedding ceremony, Lhok-Nor declared war to Valusia and attacked the capital. Kull then persuaded him and Taku to venture into the catacombs beneath the city and discover the real threat for the human race represented by the Wolf Men. Moved by Kull's love for his daughter, Lhok-Nor agreed to help him defeat the Demonolater and ended the war.
Sareeta was a childhood friend of Kull, who spared her the horror of being burned alive by striking her with a knife.
Tokor was the captain of the Lemurian pirate craft which rescued and enslaved Kull when he escaped from Atlantis.
- Although first appearing in Marvel Comics #1, Atlantis was never specifically named until 1949 in Sub-Mariner Comics #31.
- No trivia.
- Appearances of Atlantis
- Media Atlantis was Mentioned in
- Location Gallery: Atlantis
- Images related to Atlantis
- Fan Art Gallery: Atlantis
- Marvel Staff members who were born in Atlantis
Links and References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Handbook of the Conan Universe #1
- ↑ Marvel Comics #1
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #4
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #10
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #11
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #12
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #13
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #14
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #15
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #18
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #17
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #19
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Saga of the Sub-Mariner #5
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Sub-Mariner Comics #1
- ↑ Human Torch Comics #5
- ↑ Marvels Project #6
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #24
- ↑ Human Torch Comics #7
- ↑ Sub-Mariner Comics #5
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #30
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #31
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #37
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #41
- ↑ Daring Comics #9
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 25.2 Saga of the Sub-Mariner #4
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #82
- ↑ Young Men Vol 2 #28
- ↑ Sub-Mariner Comics #35
- ↑ Sub-Mariner Comics #36
- ↑ Sub-Mariner Comics #37
- ↑ Sub-Mariner #40
- ↑ Sub-Mariner #1
- ↑ Marvel: The Lost Generation #3
- ↑ Obscurity Legion in What The--?! #9
- ↑ Ultimate Fantastic Four #24
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 36.2 Savage Sword of Conan #229
- ↑ Kull The Conqueror Vol 4 #1
- ↑ Kull The Conqueror Vol 3 #2