Nestled peacefully in the Transylvanian Alps between Hungary, Yugoslavia and Transylvania is the tiny absolute monarchy of Latveria. Latveria was a satellite state of Austria in the middle ages, and was used as a base by the Austrians during their wars against the Ottoman Empire. Latveria fell to the Turks in the eighteenth century, and remained under effective Ottoman control until the Byelokreg Patrioska (Patriotic War), an offshoot of the many wars engulfing the Balkans immediately prior to World War One. During this time, command of the Latverian forces was given to Italian aristrocrat and adventurer, Count Rudolfo di San Leonardo, who was later crowned king.
Latveria was given independence in the Treaty of Berlin, and almost immediately became involved in a short but bloody war against Transylvania. The Versailles conference considered including Latveria in the new nation of Yugoslavia, but decided against it. During the Great Depression, there were frequent riots and abortive uprisings, and frequent clashes took place between communist and fascist partisans, as well as racial/religious conflicts between the largely Catholic ethnic Germans and the largely Orthodox Latverian Slavs. Much of the blame for this has been attached to King Vladimir, who was suffering from worsening senile decay, but who refused to appoint a regent.
Vladimir was assassinated in 1936, leaving his infant son on the throne. Following intense infighting amongst the aristocracy, Baron de Sabbat became regent. A ruthless ruler and scientific genius, Sabbat restored order through bloody reprisals against political agitators and stabalising the Latverian Franc. He then entered into a secret deal with Nazi Germany, offering his high tech weapons for nominal independence. One of the conditions of this deal was that Sabbot promised not to give sanctuary to refugees from German occupied countries.
Towards the end of the war, Sabbat’s wife was dying of cancer and, in desperation, Sabbot turned to a mystical gypsy healer named Werner von Doom. Doom advised Sabbat that the prognosis was not good, but when the Baroness died Sabbot ordered Doom and his young son Victor imprisoned and tortured. When the pair managed to escape his castle, Sabbat instituted a persecution of the gypsies, and plotted to turn the Latverian gypsies over to the Nazis.
His plan never came to pass. By this point, the Soviet Red Army was mere days away from Latveria; and one day Sabbat simply disapeared along with all his inventions and research notes and young Rudolfo took charge of the country. It has long been assumed that Rudolfo similar deal with the Soviets to the one that Sabbat had made with the Nazis, and handed Sabbat over to the NKVD in return for Latverian independence.
Rudolfo was an ininspiring, apethetic and cruel ruler. In 1960, he surprised all and sundry when he replaced his long-serving prime minister with young Victor von Doom, who had just returned to the country. If the apointment of a gypsy mad scientist with a penchant for strutting about in an armoured exoskeleton came as something as a shock to the Latverian aristocracy, they were positively horrified when Rudolfo abdicated in favour of Doom. They turned to Rudolfo’s sister, Princess Magda, but she too renounced her claim to the throne. The Age of Doom had begun.
1878 – Latveria granted independence from Turkey as part of the Treaties of San Stafano and of Berlin. The crown is given to Italian aristrocrat and Latverian rebel leader Count Lorenzo di San Leonardo, who claimed descent from the ancient Latverian ruling house of Haasen.
1919 – Unable to decide whether Latveria should be part of Hungary, Yugoslavia, or Transylvania the Versailles conference proclaims independence for Latveria. This pleases the German/Catholic ethnic minority, but angers the slavic Latverian/Orthodox majority, many of whom had hoped to join Yugoslavia. There is some half-hearted rioting, which dies down when the Ultramontaine Catholic Lorenzo II abdicates in favour of his cousin Vladimir, who is known to be sympathetic to the Orthodox Church.
1926 – Supposed birthdate of Victor von Doom
1933 – Birth of Prince Rudolfo
1936 – Birth of Princess Magda
1937 – Death of Vladimir. As Rudolfo is not yet of age, the kingdom passes to the Regent, Baron Tristian Mangegi de Sabbat, a scientist, inventor and associate of Rudolfo I.
1938 – Baron de Sabbat enters into a secret deal with Nazi Germany, in which the Baron would trade munitions, foodstuffs and his high-tech military secrets in exchange for Latverian independence.
1944 – Soviet troops pushing through Eastern Europe do not invade Latveria; Stalin says that since Latveria was neither an Axis power nor Nazi occupied, no intervention was necessary. However some observers note that this statement coincides with the sudden disapearance of Baron Sabbot and all his research notes, and suspect that others in the Latverian government traded him for independance.
1947 – Victor von Doom arrives in the US, to study science at Empire State University. Doom is injured and then expelled when one of his unauthorised experiments explodes. Doom blames his roomate, Reed Richards, for the accident, claiming that Richards sabotaged his otherwise safe device; a charge Richards has repeatedly denied. Doom leaves the US for parts unknown.
c. 1960 – Doom returns to Latveria, removes King Rudolfo and replaces him with an android duplicate. Doom rules, at first secretly and then publically as the “king’s” prime-minster.
1962 – Disaster occurs on Reed Richard’s experimental rocket flight, exposing the crew to a previously unknown form of cosmic rays. Fortunately the crew survuves, albeit altered by the rays. They become the super-heroic Fantastic Four.
1963 – The super-hero team known as the Avengers forms; as do the mutant X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Doom abandons pretense and has his android king abdicate in his favour. Doom proclaims himself Doom I, King of Latveria. The Latverian capital, Haasenstadt, is renamed Doomstadt. King Rudolfo and Prince Zorba ostensibly go into exile, but are never seen again. Princess Magda is allowed to leave Latveria, in exchange for renouncing her claims to the throne.
1965 – Fierce anti-mutant riots take place across the US and Canada. Later in the year, similar riots occur in Western Europe. The Warsaw Pact denies the existance of Mutants in Communist countries, claiming that mutations are caused by “Western decadance”. Many countries enact anti-mutant legislation; the US initiates the Sentinels Project.
1968 – Czechoslovakian leader Alexander Dubček institute his policy of “Socialism with a human face”, also known as the Prague Spring. This liberalisation of the socialist state is brutaly crushed by Warsaw Pact forces later that year.
1969 – Jan – With the Fantastic Four temporarily captive in Negative Zone, Doom takes the oportunity to launch DoomBase One. ostensibly an experimental satillite for meteorological study, DoomBase One is actually designed to house an “artificial solar flare”, supposedly capable blacking out radio communications, and of destroying power grids and electronic devices, as well as a number of mass-driver weapons potentially capable of destroying cities.
Feb – Iron Man learns of DoomBase’s true nature, and begins adapting the SHIELD helicarrier for orbital flight. SHIELD commander Nick Fury and Avengers leader Captain America begin planning for the mission.
Mar – Soviet Premier Brezhnev learns of DoomBase One’s mission, and brokers a deal with the newly elected President Nixon of the US. The Soviets would open fire on the Base with ICBMs carrying dummy nuclear warheads. Whilst Doom’s automatic defenses were engaged, a NASA vehicle would dock with DoomBase, alllowing the US marines on board to attack.
April – the Fantastic Four return to Earth, and launch an orbital vehicle at Doombase One, leading the SHIELD/Avengers team and the NASA/USMC/Soviet attacks to begin ahead of schedule. Details of the fighting have yet to be made public, but two avengers died, as did almost all of Colonel Glenn’s Marine detatchment. Much of the debris of DoomBase One falls in the Ural mountains in the USSR, including a badly burned figure in Doctor Doom’s trademark armour. Dental records seem to indicate that this was, in fact, Doom himself. Almost immediately after this information is made public, factional fighitng begins amongst in Latveria.
Doom Loyalists –
Dr. Etzikil Krull, Phd – Chief Scientist, Royal Laboratories of Doom
Doombot B27 – A robotic replica of Dr. Doom
Burgomeister Ailia Schlitz – Mayor of Doomstadt
Jan “Jojo” Zizel – Popular Latverian TV Personality; Winner Eurovision ‘67
Kala Izbort – Guerilla leader; head of the Latverian Workers’ Freedom Front
Dr. Horst Eiger – Marxist theorist and LWFF pamphleteer
Tibor Mundozki – Guerilla leader; deputy to Comrade Izbort
Gertrud Zsilba – Latveria’s most succesful (and least dead) union leader
Princess Magda – Mother of the infant King Jakov, pretender to the throne
Doombot C8 – A robotic replica of Dr Doom
Baron von Tuber – A landowner
Archbishop Traub – Catholic Primate of Latveria
Bogdan Drakkar – A prominent Doomstadt lawyer
Countess Zaza – A former aristrocrat, currently head of Latverian Mining Corporation
General Bufo – A retired general
Patriarch Sjloko – Head of the Latverian Orthodox Church
Killer Watt – Head of the Latverian Mutant Liberation League
Maria “Auslander” Teselya – Informally recognised leader of mutant community
Pani Yelka – Arguably the most respected Gypsy elder in Latveria
Tsuritsa Purtik – Widely regarded Gypsy sorceress
Henry Kissinger – Academic and US National Security Advisor
Iron Man – Employee of Stark Industries and founding member of the Avengers
The Scarlet Witch – Mutant mystic and Avenger
Reed Richards – aka Mr. Fantastic, head of the Fantastic Four
Lt. Frank Castle, USMC – One of the survivors of the Marines’ assault on DoomBase 1
Andrei Gromyko – Soviet Foreign Minister
The Black Widow – Soviet spy/super-hero
The Crimson Dynamo – Soviet super-hero
General Zmiko – A senior figure in the Red Army
Col. Nick Fury - Agent of SHIELD
Doctor Doom was the best thing ever to happen to Latveria. He took a small, weak, agrarian nation, beset on all sides by potential foes and turned it into a super hi-tech world power. Thanks to Doom, Latveria is known and feared by her enemies from Moscow to Washington to Peking. Not only that, Doom has lifted the Latverian standard of living from amongst the poorest in Europe to what is probably the best in the world. And for these miracles, what did he ask in return? Such a little thing. All he asked for was the loyalty of his subjects. Many rulers have asked for far more and given far less.
In spite of this, there are ungrateful nay-sayers, wretches who speak of “freedom” and “equality”. Hah! These notions are nought but poisonous lies. How many have died for these illusions, and how many may yet die if they are allowed to? Doom has saved us from this folly and yet he is mocked and derided by the very people he saved!
Doom may be dead, but his inspiration lives on. We, the Men of Doom wish to continue his legacy of a sane, self-sufficient, powerful and technocratic Latveria into the distant future. When the selfish and pig-like West has devoured all and begins to starve, when the inefficiant and self-defeating East has choked upon it’s own bureacracy, they will turn to Doom’s Latveria and they will learn the true way. Then and only then will the world begin to realise it’s true potential and march on into the stars as an unstoppable empire to put the Skrulls and Kree to shame!
All hail Doom!
Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains!
Where is this truer than Latveria? Doom and his apologists claim to have eliminated the opressive class system of old Latveria, but this is not true. He has merely condensed the system to two classes – Doom, and the Masses. Guess which class is free, and which is not?
No, comrades, Doom is wrong. Freedom is not something that can be forced upon a people by a dictator. Freedom, true freedom, comes from the the will of the People; from the forces of History pressing us ever onwards and upwards to the glorious golden dawn of the Revolution!
Now Doom has gone the way of all opressors, a willing victim of his own hubris. Sic semper tyranis. Now is the time of the People! Now is the time of the worker! Thanks to Doom, it is also the time of the aristrocrat and the intelligensia – we’re all in the same boat; after all, only Doom controlled the means of production. Now is the time for us all to take control of the fields and factories and forge a new and better Latveria!
We must move fast, for there are many who’d take Doom’s place in a heartbeat. But we shall prevail! History demands it! Workers of Latveria unite! You have nothing to lose but your transistorised adamanitum chains!
…Yes, we know what happened in Czechoslovakia last year. What’s your point?
Continuity. Stability. Family. These are the pillars of monarchial rule, stronger pillars than the monolithic tyranny of communism or the barely controlled chaos of democracy. The House of San Leonardo are Latveria’s rightful rulers, and have been since independence. They shall continue to be so in future, in spite of the short-lived usurpation by Doom.
Latveria is surrounded on all sides by enemies. This is why we need to stand together, and what better to do that than a symbol that we can all agree on? The infant King Jakov, son of Princess Magda is just that symbol. As a king, he is a symbol of order. As a baby, he is a symbol of new life and rebirth. And as the son of the English rock star Jimmy Page, he will be useful in getting popular suport from the West to come around behind Latveria.
You are surprised that stodgy old monarchists should be interested in popular music? You shouldn’t be. Monarchy is about tradition, but also about adaptability. Monarchy has existised in a thousand cultures in a hundred epochs, always different but always the same. There were kings before the Pyramids, and there will be kings again after the last capitalist and the last communist have killed each other. Such is the way of God and Man, and flash-in-the-pan notions such as the Enlightenment or the Space Age can’t change that.
Kruschev was wrong. It is WE who will bury you.
Now is the time! For too long has Latveria lived under the yoke of tyrants, foreigners and Gypsies. Doom spoke of uniting Latveria, instead he has let it fall apart. His secularisation of the schools has lead to young Latverian minds being poisoned by contact with Catholic classmates; his decision to make German a secondary official language is an insult to all true-born Latverians!
Doom’s undoubted technical ability may have improved Latverian industry and agriculture, but at what cost? Our culture, our traditions, watered down and destroyed in the name of progress. Our language insulted and bastardised. The old virtues which got us through the hard times under the thumb of the Turks and the Papists… what will become of them?
If Latveria is to survive, surrounded and beset by enemies, it will only be through Unity, and the reestablishment of traditional, Slavic, Orthodox values. We are not completely hidebound, however. We recognise that the monarchy is no longer a viable institution in the present day. It must be replaced with a republic. Perhaps even a republic with elected officers – we’re willing to look into this.
Latveria for the Latverians!
What are the mutants? A collection of genetic flukes or the next phase in human evolution? There’s a question that deserves an answer, but we’re unlikely to get one. All across the world, mutants are being hunted, persecuted and killed; sometimes haphazzardly by angry mobs and sometimes systematically by government agencies.
In Latveria, it is the mutants who have the key. It is us, our suffering, which has shown Doom’s regime for what it is. Latveria is nothing but a laboratory on a grand scale, and it’s people nothing more than animals; lab rats and guinea pigs. Most of Doom’s experiments have been subtle, but upon the despised mutants he could be as blatant as he liked. Dozens of mutants have died in his labs, for nothing more than to furnish him with knowledge and weapons for his pointless battles with American superheroes.
But now that Doom is gone, we can turn all that around. By making Latveria a haven for mutants, we could quickly form a population capable of holding it’s own against the Warsaw Pact.
In the end, we mutants are going to win. Perhaps the humans of Latveria could come along for the ride.
We have never been loved. The outsiders, the gaje, despise us. Tied to their fields, locked in their factories, they have always envied our freedom.
The Latverians were not as bad as many. They arrested us for little cause and blamed us for their problems, but they never tried to kill us all. During the war, they never sent us to the camps, unlike most of the rest of Europe.
Things migh have been all right, if not for the von Dooms. Yes, they are our people, they are Romany in spite of their German sounding name. The von Dooms were always fine sorcerers and healers, but Cynthia von Doom went too far and lost her soul to a demon. Then Werner von Doom failed to save the life of an important patient, and his entire tribe had to flee into hiding. Then there was Victor. Doctor Doom. When he became master of Latveria, he made his origins known, and extended to the Romany the same treatment before the law as the Germans and Slavs. There are many who respect us because they respect Doom… but there are more, far more, who hate us because of him. And with the death of Doom, our shame, our protector, who will save us from their wrath?
We have nowhere to go. The borders are all closed. Our fate and the fate of Latveria are entwined. If Latveria falls, we fall with it. And if we fall we won't be going down alone.
Doom was a vicious tyrant; evil incarnate. But he did play one very important role – so long as he was in power in Latveria, he kept the Reds at bay.
Now he’s gone, it seems likely that the Commie military juggernaught will roll over Latveria. Frankly, there’s not much we can do to prevent that. A military response would set off World War III, and a dimpomatic response amounts to nicely asking the Russkies not to invade.
The Reds can’t just walk in; that isn’t how it’s done. They need an excuse, so that they don’t look too bad when the tanks roll into Doomstadt. Unfortunatly, by collapsing into civil war, they’ve given the Commies the excuse they need. The Warsaw Pact will sent troops in “to restore order” and the next thing you know they’ve got another satellite. So what can we do? We can help only a little. We can help the warring factions in Latveria reach a peaceful settlement. If that works, perhaps the Reds can by stymied.
If not, it is vital that as much of Doom’s hi-tech equipment be removed from Latveria, so that the Kremlin doesn’t get it’s hands on it. We have to plunder Latveria in order to save it.
Ah, Latveria, poor, beleagered Latveria. Spared the horrors of the War, only for it’s already opressed masses to be further tyranised by a megolomanical mad scientist. And now the Latverian people are free of him, the little nation seems poised to descend into chaos.
What can we do? What can we do to save these poor people from the terrors of civil strife? How can we prevent the murders, rioting, destruction and rape that inevitably accompanies such misfortune?
Rest assured, commrades, the Red Army eagerly awaits the opportunity to help those in need.
Hi, this is Col. Fury, field director of SHIELD, the UN security organisation. I'm here to tell you [children of unmarried parents] that if you don't play nice I'll kick your [posteriors] and then I'll [description of a sexual act banned in most countries] until you do. Okay?