Marvel Savage Land

What Is the Savage Land in Marvel?

Like Jurassic Park. But better.

If you are familiar with any Marvel comic books, video games, or animated shows, you may have heard of the Savage Land. One of those weird, fantasy comic book places, it found its way into almost every Marvel title. From the mutants of X-Men to Spider-Man and The Avengers, everyone experienced an adventure there. I first heard about it when I watched the X-Men animated series as a kid and it captured my imagination.

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Even though it is such an interesting piece of the Marvel universe, it has yet to make it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, it seems we might finally glimpse the mysterious land in Phase Four of the MCU. During the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer, one scene of Strange falling through dimensions hints he may at least visit the Savage Land. Not to mention Marvel currently is filming a Secret Invasion mini-series for Disney Plus. In the comics, much of the story takes place there.

[We’re going to use the name of The Savage Lands as is written in the comics, but with a quick note that the word “savage” has a problematic and oppressive history. Outside of this context, we would avoid.]

Where (and what) is it?

Located in the center of Antarctica, The Savage Land is a tropical paradise where dinosaurs, hominid beast creatures, mutants, and humans live. Many of the great minds of comic history put together the Savage Land. The pre-cursor to it appeared in 1941’s Marvel Mystery Comics #22 by Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, and Syd Shores. It didn’t get named until 1965, in X-Men #10, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

The history is that way back in Earth’s Pangea phase, the Nuwali (lizard aliens) created the Savage Land at the order of the Beyonders (omnipotent, reality-warping aliens). The Beyonders wanted to watch the evolutionary process like a reality show, so the Nuwali built a preserve. They put in technology to keep the climate tropical, making sure all the dinosaurs already living there would continue to thrive.

Since just watching dinosaurs might be boring (said no one ever), they also brought in hominids that would evolve into humans and genetically altered animal-human hybrids. Other prehistoric creatures live there, like the super cool sabertooth tiger, Zabu, who seem to have heightened intelligence.

Why is it important?

Deadpool once said that the Savage Land is where people go to get eaten by dinosaurs. That may be an apt description, but it is not the only reason it’s important. Basically, it’s a place where a lot of bonkers stuff can occur without the rest of the world being the wiser.

The hidden land provided the backdrop for Marvel wars, world domination plots, and vacations. One great episode of Avengers Assemble saw the Avengers head there for a weekend when Captain America bet Iron Man he couldn’t live without technology. Several heroes (Ka-Zar, Zabu, and Shanna the She-Devil) and villains (Sauron, a human who turns into a pterodactyl) call the Savage Land home. Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter (who will star in an upcoming film) even tried to rule there.

Plus, it is one of the few places where the powerful “anti-metal” vibranium can be found.

In Marvel, the Savage Land is like the world’s worst kept secret. The heroes and villains go there all the time, and the United Nations granted it protected status, but average people aren’t supposed to know it exists. Having learned absolutely nothing from Jurassic Park, I would book a ticket there if I could. So I, for one, am excited that the MCU will take fans there in the new stories. I guess it is safer that way.

(featured image: Marvel)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.