We’re well into summer now, and you know what that means: vacation time! Have you made any plans yet? A trip to the beach, perhaps, or a week in some historic city? That may be nice, but wouldn’t it be even cooler if you could really take some time away — say, in a nation or a city that doesn’t really exist, or even one that is located in another dimension? If you’re a civilian in the DC or Marvel universe, that might just be possible!
Maybe you wouldn’t want to live in the many fantastical locations you find in comics, but these places offer endless opportunities for enrichment and enjoyment. You might be familiar with a lot of the places mentioned here, but you’ve probably never considered them from a tourist’s perspective.
That’s what I’d like to do today: run down the attractions each area boasts so you can dream of your perfect, impossible vacation. Superheroes might just be the least interesting thing you’ll see in these fascinating, far-flung locales! Just be sure to note the pros and cons of each place before booking your trip — I will not be held responsible if you get eaten by a troll in someplace like…
Situated in another dimension on the other end of the famous rainbow bridge Bifrost (except when it is in Oklahoma), Asgard is the legendary home of the Norse gods. Here you’ll find breathtaking palaces, magic everywhere, and hoards of men (and an occasional woman) wielding enormous swords. If you stray beyond Asgard’s limits, you’ll find many different lands to suit every palate, from the luxury-minded traveler to the camper who likes roughing it in the great outdoors (and doesn’t mind a few fire demons).
Pros: You might get to meet a Norse god!
Cons: You might get to meet a Norse god…
For the more adventurous vacationer, consider dimension-hopping over to Skartaris. Dodge pirates at the Bay of Tears, fight hobgoblins for water at the Citadel of Timgad, and go shopping for supplies at the market in Kiro. There is no end of ways to get your steps in in Skartaris!
Pros: It’s basically a real-life version of one of those tabletop role-playing games.
Cons: Time doesn’t work there the way it does here, so your two-week vacation might turn into a decade-long sojourn. Actually, given the state of our dimension, that may turn out to be a pro.
As the most technologically advanced nation on the planet, Wakanda has plenty to offer to visitors — when they’re in the mood to allow visitors, that is! If you’re lucky enough to get in, you’ll be among the privileged few to enjoy their beyond-state-of-the-art technological marvels, great weather, and maybe even the sight of a few battle rhinos. Just don’t run afoul of the Dora Milaje, the royal bodyguards, and you’re sure to have a great time.
Pros: It’s Wakanda!!
Cons: Namor once flooded the whole place, so maybe bring your floaties.
This lovely locale was once called Paradise Island for a very good reason. Unspoiled forest and beaches dominate the island, making it ideal for your outdoorsy types. It’s also great if you never got over your childhood fascination with ancient Greece: with the exception of a few fantastical bits of technology, the Amazon way of life has remained almost unchanged for centuries.
Pros: A trans-inclusive, woman-only safe space to spend a weekend.
Cons: The bottomless cave filled with existential horrors and the shark-infested ocean are a bit of a downer.
Traveling to Latveria is like traveling back in time. An idyllic yet ambiguously located Eastern European nation, Latveria is known for both its natural beauty and for the impressive churches, castle, and traditional buildings of Doomstadt, its capital. It is populated by definitely genuinely happy people who are ruled by a leader who will stop at literally nothing to ensure his country’s safety and prosperity.
Pros: This is the best place on Earth to unplug, forget about modern woes, and just chill…
Cons: …because Doctor Doom orders you to.
I know, but here me out: is there any other city in comicdom as distinctive as Gotham? They’ve probably got more gargoyles per capita than anywhere else on Earth. Even if you’re not into architecture, Gotham City is home to a plethora of museums, parks, and even blimps. Where else are you going to be able to find a blimp? Truly there is something for everyone!
Pros: A good choice for those who aren’t ready for more exotic locations and want to stick with something familiar.
Cons: Do not wear any Insane Clown Posse T-shirts. Do not visit in winter. Do not bring your cat. Do not touch any plants. Do not stay anywhere with the number two in the address. Do not — come to think of it, maybe we should see what’s doing in Metropolis.
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