Features of the Marvel Universe

The comic book stories published by Marvel Comics since the 1940s have featured several noteworthy concepts besides its fictional characters, such as unique places and artifacts. There follows a list of those features.


Certain places feature prominently in the Marvel Universe, some real-life, others fictional and unique to the setting; fictional places may appear in conjunction with, or even within, real-world locales.


New York City

Many Marvel Comics stories are set in New York City, where the publishing company is based.
New York is the site of many places important to superheroes:
New York is a center of industry, serving as the headquarters for a few Marvel companies:
Two universities are also especially prominent in the Marvel Universe:
is a real-life island prison in San Francisco Bay that was operational in 1859-1963. It held superhuman criminals in special section in the 1940s; the designation "the Alcatraz Annex" has been used in various Marvel handbooks to distinguish it from Alcatraz in general. First mentioned in Marvel Mystery Comics #26, when the android Human Torch's foe the Parrot was being transported there. Later seen in Human Torch #8, when the golden age Angel's foe the Python escaped.
During the "Dark Reign" storyline, Alactraz was occupied by H.A.M.M.E.R. where they used it as a detention center for the mutants that the Dark Avengers have apprehended.
During the "AXIS" storyline, Iron Man used Alcatraz as the site of Stark Island.
Alamogordo is a New Mexico nuclear testing facility that held the Armageddon Man and perhaps others in suspended animation. First appeared in X-Men vol. 2 #12.
Big House
see Lang Memorial Penitentiary
Based on a remote island in international waters, the Cage is a prison that uses a special forcefield to deprive inmates of their superhuman powers.
The Cage was home to four prison gangs: a group of Maggia loyalists, the Skulls, the Brothers, and the Cruisers. The Cage was later shut down and its role was replaced by the Raft.
Mystique was imprisoned in The Cage for one day before she escaped in All-New X-Men #14.
Created by writer Frank Tieri and artist Sean Chen in the pages of Wolverine #164.
Crossmore Prison
Crossmore Prison is Her Majesty's Ultimate Security Prison that was previously known as Crossmoor.
Deadpool and Juggernaut were known inmates here.
The Cube is a prison for super-powered beings such as Hulk, Abomination, Absorbing Man, and Leader. Its location is undisclosed and only high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents know of its existence. It has a special program where prisoners are brainwashed to become obedient soldiers.
The Cube was created by writer Grant Morrison and artist J. G. Jones in Marvel Boy #6.
When last seen in Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways #4, Noh Varr had taken control of the entire facility. During the Dark Reign storyline, the Cube served as the base of operations for The Thunderbolts.
Cube in other media
In , the Cube is a prison for gamma-powered supervillains like Leader, Abomination, Absorbing Man, Madman, the U-Foes, the Wrecking Crew, and Zzzax.
Ice Box
The Ice Box is a Canadian maximum security prison. The Ice Box held a crime lord named Ivan the Terrible.
The Ice Box first appeared in Maverick #8. It also appeared in the 2018 film Deadpool 2, housing mutant fugitives such as Deadpool, Rusty Collins, Black Tom Cassidy, and Juggernaut.
Lang Memorial Penitentiary
Also known as the Pym Experimental Prison #1, Inmates in the Lang Memorial Penitentiary are shrunk down using Pym Particles for cheaper storage and easier control. It is also known as the Ant-Hill due to operators using versions of the Ant-Man helmet to influence ants to act as security within the prison.
Known inmates of the facility were 8-Ball, Absorbing Man, Dragon Man, Electro, Figment, Grey Gargoyle, Mad Thinker, Mandrill, Rhino, Sandman, Scarecrow, Scorpion, Silencer, Southpaw, Titania, Tiger Shark, the U-Foes, Vermin, Whirlwind, and the Wrecking Crew.
The Big House in other media
The Big House also appears in the introductory episodes of the animated series . First introduced in the eponymous micro-series episode "The Big House", it is established as a miniaturized prison for superhuman criminals developed by Hank Pym for S.H.I.E.L.D., housed inside a single room on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Helicarrier and internally maintained by benign incarnations of Ultron. The placement within the Helicarrier proves disastrous in the series premiere, Breakout |"Breakout", as a massive prison escape across several superhuman penitentiaries results in the Big House growing to full size, causing enough internal damage to force the Helicarrier to crash.
Project Pegasus
Created in Marvel Two-in-One #42 by writers Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio, Project Pegasus was originally intended to research alternative forms of energy. It was later used as a prison for super-powered individuals with energy-based powers. It was originally located in the Adirondack Mountains, New York.
Several heroes have served terms working security at the facility, including the Thing and Quasar. At one time, it also served as a temporary home for the Squadron Supreme when they were exiled from their own universe.
In the Ultimate Marvel reality, P.E.G.A.S.U.S. appeared in the series Ultimate Power. This Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S was located in Devil's Point, Wyoming. It was a S.H.I.E.L.D. program that served to store all objects of mysterious origin or unexplained power that United States authorities had accumulated over the years, in which every precaution was made to keep the objects safe. Originally, Project Pegasus was the center of "S.H.I.E.L.D.'s universe". It was later reduced to a storage house, but still kept some of the original facility which included an underground laboratory. Project Pegasus was attacked two times by the Serpent Squad, who had come for the Serpent Crown that was stored there, and was protected by the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Iceman, and Rick Jones. P.E.G.A.S.U.S. also housed the Watcher Uatu after it was discovered by American personnel at Project Rebirth, until Uatu was "activated" and forewarned the Fantastic Four, Carol Danvers, and P.E.G.A.S.U.S.'s overseer, Wendell Vaughn, about an upcoming cataclysm before it disappeared.
Following the events of Ultimatum, Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. was put on alert in the wake of unexplained attacks on the Baxter Building and Roxxon Industries. P.E.G.A.S.U.S.'s personnel were aided by Captain Mahr-Vehl, but Mahr-Vehl was infected with an unknown virus and went berserk, attacking P.E.G.A.S.U.S. personnel. Mahr-Vehl was transported away by Rick Jones/Nova, but that left Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. vulnerable. It was invaded by the true instigator of the attacks, Reed Richards, who pilfered the facility's valuable possessions.
Project Pegasus in other media
Project: Pegasus is seen in Iron Man Armored Adventures, led by Russian scientist Anton Harchov. In this version, Project: Pegasus is an energy research facility located in New York City and is responsible for the creation of the Crimson Dynamo armor using Ivan Vanko as a pilot. It later becomes absorbed into Stark International under Obadiah Stane, who uses his head of security, O'Brien, to helm the new Dynamo armor.
P.E.G.A.S.U.S. appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Captain Marvel, it is a joint venture between the United States Air Force and NASA housed at an Air Force base. Later, "Phase 1", better known as Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S., was a joint venture between S.H.I.E.L.D. and NASA, formed to investigate phenomena beyond the range of conventional scientific understanding. Both major contributors provided scientific expertise to the project, and due to the highly sensitive nature of the research conducted there, S.H.I.E.L.D. also provided its security force. It is also where Dr. Wendy Lawson experimented on a new drive for transportation for the refugee Skrulls. Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S. played host to the Tesseract for many years, its scientists completely baffled by the object. By the early 21st Century, they had determined that it was an incredible source of energy, but they had found no way to tap it. This changed when S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury found Culver University Professor Erik Selvig, and brought him in to investigate the object. Upon seeing it, he readily agreed to probe deeper, although unbeknownst to everyone at the time he was also being influenced by Loki.
Eventually, Selvig came to a rudimentary understanding of the Tesseract's capabilities, although he was taken quite by surprise when it began to exhibit a curious energy build-up. Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S. was hastily evacuated, but not before Loki himself appeared, apparently having triggered the Tesseract remotely to open a portal for him to reach Earth. In the confusion, Loki made his escape, but the unrestrained energies released from his transit finally erupted to consume the entirety of the Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S. facility, leaving a vast crater in its wake of destruction. The final death toll measured in the dozens.
The Raft
The Raft is a fictional prison facility for super-human criminals in the Marvel Universe.
Created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Finch, it first appeared in The New Avengers #1 as the "Maximum-Maximum Security" wing of the Ryker's Island Maximum Security Penitentiary. The Raft is introduced as the setting of a large-scale prison break, with the New Avengers being concerned when their analysis of computer records shows that some of the Raft's inmates are listed as having been dead for years. One of the former guards notes that the prison developed various 'hierarchies', with prisoners congregating with those inmates who shared some aspect of their powers or nature, such as Crossfire forming a small gang consisting of himself, Controller, Corruptor, Mandrill and Mister Fear, due to the fact that all of them relied on manipulating the minds of others.
The Raft is the setting of a multi-part story in Spider-Man's Tangled Web featuring Tombstone as a villain-protagonist.
The Raft was later converted into Spider-Island Two by Otto Octavius until it was destroyed by the Goblin King.
The Raft in other media
Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane was a maximum security asylum for the mentally ill. Many insane murderers and supervillains were kept at Ravencroft.
The institute was first mentioned in Web of Spider-Man #112, written by Terry Kavanagh.
The institute is officially opened in Web of Spider-Man Annual #10. The institute is featured in a number of Spider-Man storylines. Dr. Ashley Kafka was the founder and first director of Ravencroft. John Jameson was head of security. Both were fired in Spectacular Spider-Man #246 and Dr. Leonard Samson became Ravencroft's new director. In Leonard Samson's next appearance, he owned a private practice instead of running the institute.
Known patients at Ravencroft include Carnage, Chameleon, D.K., Doctor Octopus, Electro, Gale, Jackal, Massacre, Mayhem, Mysterio, Prism, Pyromania, Ramon Grant, Shriek, Venom, Vulture, and Webber.
The institute reappeared in Vengeance of the Moon Knight. In this incarnation it housed mostly non-superpowered psychopaths and had an imposing metal front gate with a Gothic facade similar to DC's Arkham Asylum.
Ravencroft in other media
It appeared in the 1990s Spider-Man TV series.
It is also appeared in The Spectacular Spider-Man animated TV series, having housed Electro, Doctor Octopus, Cletus Kasady, John Jameson, and Venom.
It is also mentioned as being used to institutionalize Rhona Burchill in .
Ravencroft appears in the 2014 film The Amazing Spider-Man 2 where Dr. Kafka is in charge and both Electro and Harry Osborn are prisoners. Set photos indicate that the State University of New York Maritime College is being used to represent Ravencroft Institute in the movie. A plaque dedicated to the memory of Thomas Warren has been seen on the set.
The movie-iteration of Ravencroft appears in the tie-in video game, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It is a safe port for secret Oscorp experiments like "The Venom Project" using experimental nanite body armor which is used on the "Carnage Killer" Cletus Kasady that transforms him into Carnage.
Ravencroft was also mentioned in several books. Chameleon is listed as being held in Ravencroft in Christopher L. Bennett's book Spider-Man: Drowned in Thunder.
Ryker's Island
Ryker's Island is the Marvel Universe counterpart to the real-world Rikers Island, New York City's largest jail facility, which also includes the 415 acre island on which it sits.
The fictional Ryker's houses both conventional criminals and costumed offenders lacking superpowers. Daredevil is held there after his arrest in Daredevil #80.
In Amazing Spider-Man #1, Ryker's Island has been renamed the "Cellar" when it was bought and improved by Empire Unlimited.
Others held there include Alistair Smythe, Blacklash, Black Tarantula, Blizzard, the Brotherhood of Mutants, Bullseye, Carnage, Chemistro, Cheshire Cat, Cobra, Commanche, Dontrell "Cockroach" Hamilton, Enforcers, Griffin, Hood, Jigsaw, Kingpin, Melter, Mister Hyde, Mr. Fish II, Nitro, Punisher, Rhino, Sandman, Spear, Spider-Man, Turk Barrett, Ulik, Venom, Vin Gonzales, Wizard, and the Wrecking Crew.
Ryker's Island has a special branch for dangerous superhuman criminals called the Raft.
Ryker's Island in other media
Ryker's Island appears in the 1990s Spider-Man TV series.
Ryker's Island appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man.
Seagate Prison
Seagate Prison where the wrongly convicted Carl Lucas agreed to become a test subject for Dr. Noah Burstein. These experiments lead to him gaining super powers. He changed his name to Luke Cage.
Known inmates of Seagate Prison are Beetle, Comanche, Crimebuster, Noah Burstein, Plantman, Robert Rackham, and Shades.
Seagate Prison in other media
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the prison appeared on-screen in the Marvel One-Shot short All Hail the King and the Netflix series Luke Cage. Justin Hammer, Trevor Slattery, Luke Cage, Comanche and Shades were all inmates in the MCU version, while Noah Burstein and Reva Connors were among Seagate's faculty.
The Vault
The United States Maximum Security Installation for the Incarceration of Superhuman Criminals., known as The Vault, is a defunct prison facility for super-human criminals in Marvel Comics' Marvel Universe. It first appeared in Avengers Annual #15 and figured prominently in the 1990 Marvel crossover "Acts of Vengeance". It was destroyed in Heroes for Hire vol. 1 #1.

Other locations

Outer space prisons

The following prisons are located in outer space:
Anvil is a penal colony on the planet Annoval XIV. It was the site of an attempted breakout by Nebula. First appeared in Silver Surfer #74.
The Kyln were a series of artificial moons at the edge of known space, which served both as a superhuman prison and a source of nearly unlimited power. Operations at the Kyln were overseen by the Nova Corps. All life on the Kyln moons was extinguished in Annihilation Prologue #1.
Kyln in other media
The Kyln appears as a Nova Corps prison in the film Guardians of the Galaxy. Before coming together, the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy had been imprisoned here alongside other unnamed inmates where some of them have personal issues with Gamora. The Kyln was later destroyed by Nebula on Ronan the Accuser's orders to "cleanse" it.
Negative Zone Prison Alpha
Introduced in #5, it is a prison originally constructed to house super-villains but which acted as a holding facility for unregistered heroes during the civil war. The portal to the prison is operated by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. The prison itself is an automated facility. Designed by Reed Richards and built by Stark Enterprises and Fantastic Four Inc., it is located in the Negative Zone. The inmates call the facility "Fantasy Island" and "Wonderland", probably because prisoners who are unable to manipulate technology to their own ends are connected to virtual reality systems.
It is also referred to as "File 42" due to it being the 42nd item on a list written by Tony Stark, Reed Richards and Hank Pym of ways to make a world with super-powered beings safer. The prison is an extremely secure, clean facility with cells custom-designed for each inhabitant. Notable inmates during the war include Daredevil stand-in Danny Rand, Robbie Baldwin and Cloak & Dagger. After the war, it is now used for super-villains, and was known to house at the very least Taskmaster and Lady Deathstrike until Taskmaster made a deal with Camp Hammond to become an instructor and Lady Deathstrike somehow escaped as she appeared in X-Men: Messiah Complex. However, the prison was later overrun by Negative Zone ruler Blastaar.
Negative Zone Prison Alpha in other media
Prison 42 appears in the season 2 episode "Assault on 42", without the Civil War background as the event never happened in the cartoon's continuity. Instead, it simply serves as a new prison for superpowered individuals which is eventually attacked by Annihilus.
A 31st-century prison planet in the Guardians of the Galaxy universe, shown in Guardians of the Galaxy #21 and #51-53. Known inmates of Stockade have included Charlie-27, Tork and Teju.


Government agencies


Some items have been created specifically for the Marvel Universe and many of them carry immense powers:

Mystical artifacts