OFFICIAL NAME: Principality of Madripoor
LOCATION: Southeast Asia, approximately 0°- N 105°- E
SIZE: Approximately 100 miles in diameter
POPULATION: Estimated 1 million
CAPITAL CITY: Madripoor
GOVERNMENT: Principality, former British colony
MAJOR ETHNIC GROUPS: Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai
MAJOR LANGUAGES: English, French
MONETARY UNIT: Madripoor Dollar
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Crime, textiles, clothing, tourism, gambling, electronics, shipping
FIRST APPEARANCE: New Mutants Vol. 1 #32 (1985)
HISTORY: Madripoor is a small island nation located to the south of Singapore in the vicinity of Kepulauan Riau and Kepulauan Lingga in the Indonesian archipelago. Conquered by freebooters centuries ago, its heritage of piracy evolved into the present system of government whose laissez-faire policy allows for virtually any business transaction provided that the status quo is not threatened. Madripoor does not allow criminal extradition from within its borders, making it an exotic diplomatic haven for many international criminals and organizations who help maintain the stability of the government through a sophisticated system of corruption that includes payoffs to the Chancellor, who runs the day-to-day government operations, and, it is speculated, to the ruling prince as well.
The island is mostly covered in jungle, leaving little cleared land able to be cultivated, and as such Madripoor is dependent on imports for virtually everything. Because of its strategic location near a major trade route, Madripoor’s harbor and dock facilities are among the largest and most extensive in the world. In addition, Madripoor has a large international airport. In keeping with its history of piracy, there are a number of isolated landing strips that are used by crime organizations for illegal operations ranging from slavery to drug-running.
The society and living conditions of Madripoor are an exotic paradox. The capital city, which shares the island’s name, lays claim to the most luxurious and expensive hotels in the world. At the same time, it possesses one of the most severe pockets of poverty on the planet. This economic polarization has effectively divided the capital city into two parts: Hightown, the high-tech haven of the very rich and powerful, and Lowtown, the medieval domain of the hopelessly poor.
During the early 1940s, Madripoor was a second home for the mutant adventurer Logan, later known as Wolverine, who also used the alias of Patch and acted as the island’s protector alongside his mentor, Seraph. The island has long been of interest to the ninja cult known as the Hand, and in 1941 Seraph and Logan worked with the super-soldier Captain America against an alliance between the Hand and the Nazis. In later decades, Logan occasionally frequented Madripoor’s branch of the interdimensional firm Landau, Luckman, and Lake, where he worked with his friend Chang.
In recent years, the psionic entity called the Shadow King, in its human guise as Amahl Farouk, possessed the body of the young mutant Karma to hold court in Madripoor, although Karma was eventually freed from his control by her teammates in the New Mutants. After Wolverine and his teammates from the X-Men faked their own deaths, Wolverine again frequented Madripoor, buying into Lowtown’s now defunct Princess Bar; formerly managed by Seraph, with a man known only as O’Donnell. Among his friends during this period were South Sea Skyways pilot Archie Corrigan, American private investigators Jessica Drew and Lindsay McCabe, former LL&L operative Rose Wu, corrupt but honorable Police Chief Tai, brothel proprietor Madame Joy, and banker-turned-crimelord Tyger Tiger.
During this time, Madripoor was ruled by a crimelord known only as Roche, who sought to eliminate Tyger Tiger because she posed a threat to his organization. Tiger and Wolverine together defeated Roche’s forces, and Roche himself was beheaded by Tiger, paving the way for her to take over his criminal empire. Wolverine helped maintain an uneasy truce between Tiger’s organization and that of rival crimelord General Coy, clashing often with Coy’s super-powered enforcers Bloodscream and Roughouse. Wolverine was ultimately framed by Coy and Madripoor’s then-ruler, Prince Baran, for the murders of several of his friends. When their deception was revealed, Coy turned on Baran and killed him, only to be killed himself by Tiger.
Baran’s death left the throne of Madripoor without an heir; however the criminal known as the Viper soon usurped control after Wolverine was forced to marry her to fulfill an old debt. Viper had gambled that Wolverine’s respectability in Madripoor would enable her to seize the throne. She also used him, along with the feral mutant Sabretooth and Wolverine’s longtime friend and X-Men teammate Shadowcat, to foil attempts by her former criminal organization Hydra and the league of assassins known as the Hand to control the island. Subsequently, Viper was installed as the ruling princess of Madripoor and Wolverine was decreed a wanted man. Wolverine was subsequently invited back to Madripoor to participate in the Bloodsport, an illegal fighting tournament held every year in the nation’s capital.
Later, Madripoor became the site of an attempted invasion of Earth by the interdimensional warlord named Khan. The Viper helped organize a resistance force against the invaders, who were ultimately repelled by the combined forces of the X-Men and the team of superhuman adventurers the Avengers.