Ruritania in EuropeOfficial Name: Unrevealed; purportedly Kingdom of Ruritania

Continent: Europe

Population: Unrevealed

Capital City: Unrevealed

Government: Monarchy

Major Languages: Unrevealed

Monetary Unit: Unrevealed

Major Resources: Unrevealed

National Defense: The Ruritanian National Guard has authority to protect the Ruritanian Royalty even outside of its borders

International Relations: The Ruritanian Royal Family is related to the British Royal Family (Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) and are in good terms with Great Britain, to the point that a Ruritanian Royal marriage was staged in London's St. Paul Cathedral. 

    Ruritania is in reasonably good terms with the United States and obtained the collaboration of the US State Department in joint activities

Extraterrestrial Relations: None known

Places of Interest: Unrevealed

Domestic Super Humans: Unrevealed

Non Human Population: Unrevealed

Prominent Citizens: The Elfburgs, Princess Judith Rassendyll, Colonel Max Reiger; unidentified Prince (presumably at least formerly married to Judith Rassendyll)

Superhuman Residents: None identified

Domestic Crime: Unrevealed

International Crime: The prospective Queen of Ruritania was the target of an assassination attempt when parties unknown hired supervillain Arcade to murder her. Later, the wedding of that same Queen was infiltrated and interrupted by the Agent of extradimensional media mogul Mojo who, uninterested in Ruritania at all, was targetting other superhumans in the area.

Location: Eastern Europe, in the Bulgaria-Romania border

First Appearance: (Mentioned) Uncanny X-Men I#204 (April, 1986)

History: Royal Wedding of the Queen of Ruritania (Marvel Atlas#1) - Ruritania is a small, landlocked country in Europe, close to the Black Sea. Ruritania is bordered by Romania to the north and Bulgaria to the south. To both east and west, the border's northern part leads to Romania and its southern part leads to Bulgaria.

(Uncanny X-Men I#204 / Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem#1 - BTS) - Ruritania was ruled by the Elfburgs, a dynasty related to the British Royal Family. In recent times, though, Ruritania had failed to find any surviving member of the Elfburg family.

(Uncanny X-Men I#204 - BTS) - Ruritania public servants discovered the existence and importance of the last living descendant of the royal Elfburgs line, heir to the throne of Ruritania: Judith Rassendyll, a college student born and raised in NYC who, unaware of her past, was living on the Upper West Side (apartment 4C of an ordinary building). Ruritania contacted the US Department of State to officially approach Rassendyll. At the same time, an unrevealed party hired extravagant hitman Arcade to kill Rassendyll. While Rassendyll is out jogging in the rain at night, Colonel Max Reiger of the Ruritanian National Guard and Colin Lewis of the State Department broke into her house.

(Uncanny X-Men I#204) - Arcade's henchmen kidnapped Rassendyll while she was jogging, and threw her into Arcade's Munderworld, a secret complex filled with traps and murdering robots apparently underground in North Bronx. Arcade, via hologram, promised Rassendyll her freedom if she could find her way out of Murderworld. On her own she would have been in trouble, but mutant superhero Nightcrawler had coincidentally witnessed the abduction and rushed to the rescue. After saving Rassendyll, Nightcrawler left her to sabotage Murderworld. While Rassendyll was separated from Nightcrawler, Arcade's agents offered her employment as a prostitute in a brothel, or death; but Nightcrawler returned, took her to safety and humiliated Arcade. 

    Afterwards, Nightcrawler escorted a still nervous Rassendyll to her home. Noticing that someone was inside waiting for her, he kicked open the door ready for a new fight - only to find Colonel Reiger and Colin Lewis, bowing and telling Rassendyll about her heritage as ruler of Ruritania.

(Uncanny X-Men I#206) - Lewis and Reiger convinced Rassendyll to go to Ruritania. A few days later, Rassendyll went to the airport with two bodyguards and said goodbye to Nightcrawler, enjoying his company and making fairy tale parallels about her inherited throne and the knight-errant defending her. After hugging Nightcrawler, she boarded the plane.

(Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem#1) - As the ruler of Ruritania, Rassendyll agreed to marry, as a matter of state, a prince older than herself. The wedding was arranged to take place in London's St. Paul's Cathedral, with Handel's water music, and broadcast live on the BBC; the print media picked up on the event. Meanwhile, superhero Shadowcat tried to protect the X-Babies, creations of the extradimensional half-mogul Mojo who were trying to escape from his Agent on Earth. Seeing herself outmatched, Shadowcat decided to call in reinforcements from her Excalibur allies and, knowing that at least one of them was watching the Royal Wedding, Shadowcat bursted into St. Paul's using her powers to get the attention of the BBC cameraman and shout her S.O.S. The officiant of the ceremony revealed himself to be Mojo's Agent in disguise, and he attacked Shadowcat and the X-Babies, Li'l Longshot and Li'l Storm. 

    The unusual combat caused the groom to faint; Rassendyl tried to help the X-Babies, but the Agent's power was far beyond her capabilities. Fortunately, reinforcements arrived in the form of Excalibur (including Nightcrawler) and the Weird Happenings Organization, giving Lil' Longshot and Shadowcat a chance to defeat the Agent. Although Nightcrawler and Rassendyll recognised each other and wanted to at least say goodbye to each other one more time, circumstances prevented them from even speaking to each other.

Comments: Created by Chris Claremont, with inspiration from Anthony Hope (novel The Prisoner of Zenda).
    No artistic depiction of Ruritania itself has been seen, except for the map in Marvel Atlas 1, authorship uncredited.

    Several of the following comments are based on those written by Norvo, in his article on Judith Rassendyll, for which I thank him; I'm reusing those because they apply to Ruritania.

    The names Ruritania and Rassendyll come from the adventure novel The Prisoner of Zenda, by Anthony Hope, published in 1894, in which King Rudolf V of Ruritania is kidnapped by his half-brother so that he cannot be crowned, and then Rudolf's allies use an impostor as a decoy. The novel spawned a literary style or genre known as Ruritanian romance, both in literature, in film and in television. The novel's text states that Ruritania is east of Poland and covers a territory that is now half of Belarus and half of Ukraine.

    There has been no entry on Ruritania in any Official Handbook. Marvel Atlas#1 (2007) only shows the country's location on the map - In the real world, that territory is a part of Bulgaria and a part of Romania. The coloring of the Atlas is not accurate; the article on Romania should paint the part to the east of Ruritania in yellow. Marvel Atlas#2 (2008) mentions Ruritania in an appendix, with only its first appearance and the continent. Both Bulgaria and Romania are considered parts of Eastern Europe, so Ruritania should be an Eastern Europe country too. However, Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem#1 claims that Ruritania is a Middle-European country.

    The Ruritanian Royal Family has links to the British Royal Family, which is not particularly strange: many European royal families are related in good part due to marriages.

    It is unclear whether Rassendyll's marriage in Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem#1 is valid or not. The groom could have died of shock or from the battle but, except for that, the audience is led to assume that Rassendyll and the prince were married soon after in another ceremony.

    This profile was completed 5/3/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Skippy Farlstendoiro.

Ruritania has no known connections to:

Colonel ReigerAlternative colonel Reiger?Colonel Max Reiger

   Colonel Max Reiger was a member of the Ruritanian National Guard, a uniformed organization working for the defense of the small European country of Ruritania.

The Ruritanian National Guard discovered that the last member of the Elfburg line, heir to the Ruritanian throne, was living in New York City as Judith Rassendyll, a university student unaware of her heritage. The Guard contacted the Department of State of the USA so that Colonel Reiger be authorized to approach Rassendyll in American soil. With the mission approached, Reiger joined a Colin Lewis of the State Department and they both entered Rassendyll's apartment in the Upper West Side, without her knowing, while she was purportedly jogging.

Meanwhile, an attempt on Rassendyll's life was thwarted by mutant superhero Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler escorted Rassendyll to her home, then noticed that someone was inside, and he opened the door with a kick. Far from startled, Reiger took of his hat, formally kneeled to Rassendyll, and revealed her ancestry and claim to the crown. Reiger and Lewis convinced Rassendyll to travel to Ruritania and accept her responsibilities there, worrying little about the customed crimefighter listening them. A few days later, Rassendyll, with a two-man official escort, took a commercial plane to Ruritania, bidding farewell to Nightcrawler.

--Uncanny X-Men I#204, Uncanny X-Men I#204 (BTS?)

It is unclear whether Rassendyll's two bodyguards in the airport in Uncanny X-Men I#206 (image to the right of this text) are Reiger and Lewis, who were only seen from behind in #204 (image to the left of this text) and drawn by a different artist.

images: (without ads)
Marvel Atlas#1 page 32 (Europe map)
Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem#1 page 38, panel 2 (Royal wedding)
Uncanny X-Men I#204 page 23, panel 4 (kneeling Reiger)
Uncanny X-Men I#206 page 22 page , panel 4 (alternate Reiger?)

Uncanny X-Men I#204 (April, 1986) - Chris Claremont (writer), June Brigman (pencils), Whilce Portacio (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#206 (June, 1986) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem#1 (December, 1989) - Chris Claremont (writer), Arthur Adams (pencils), Terry Austin and Bob Wiacek (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Marvel Atlas I#1 (2007) - Michael Hoskins, Anthony Flamini, Stuart Vandel and Eric J. Moreels (writers); Eliot Brown (pencils); Jeff Youngquist and John Denning (editors)
Marvel Atlas I#2 (2008) - Michael Hoskins, Anthony Flamini, Stuart Vandel and Eric J. Moreels (writers); Eliot Brown (pencils); Jeff Youngquist and John Denning (editors)

First Posted: 09/28/2021
Last updated: 09/27/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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