Friday, April 25

Comic/Book Review: Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

Author: Neil Gaiman
Title: Marvel 1602
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, Comic, Graphic Novel
Pages: 248
First Published: 2003
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"All's not well in the Marvel Universe in the year 1602 as strange storms are brewing and strange new powers are emerging! Spider-Man, the X-Men, Nick Fury, Dr. Strange, Daredevil, Dr. Doom, Black Widow, Captain America, and more appear in the waning days of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. As the world begins to change and enter into a new age, Gaiman weaves a thrilling mystery. How and why are these Marvel stars appearing nearly 400 years before they're supposed to?"

Randomly stumbled upon this when I was at the library. I use to read comics and mangas all the time in my youth, but when High School came around, I stopped. Maybe it was because I got a group of friends (who were mostly girls) and none of them were really interested in that stuff. Well, one other girl. Our nerd world was a secret world. Thus is life. Now that I'm out of High School and dating someone who is also into this stuff, my love of comics and manga are resurfacing. yayy! When I found this I HAD TO READ IT! It mixes my love of history and superheros. eeek!

First off....this was certainly a spin on the original marvel comics. They had an interesting cast playing interesting roles: Spiderman (who didn't even get his powers until the very end), Nick Fury, Dr. Strange, Daredevil, Dr. Dooom (wish he played a bigger baddie), Black Widow (who was a baddie), Captain America (didn't expect him to pop up), Quicksilver, The Fantastic 4 crew, Thor, Cyclops, Ice-man, Professor Xavier, the Beast, the Angel, Jean Grey, and many more random ones. Clea was there too, but I didn't think that was her until I looked it up. Sad to say it, I thought she was a white version of Storm. Well, she looked like her and she summoned thunder and etc. I missed the reference that she went back to her dimension. >__< I liked the characters they picked. It mashed well. There were a couple characters I wished they put in there, but honestly there is only so much one can do. I do wish that Spiderman got his powers sooner, but oh well.

I loved the cast of real historical figures as well: Queen Elizabeth, King James of Scotland, William Shakespeare (I didn't catch that was him until waaaaay later), and legend that is Virgina Dare. I loved how they made Miss Dare sort of into a superhero with powers of shape-shifting and whatnot. It was a nice twist to that. 

The blending of two different worlds is tricky. It's like adding two different book genres together. One slip-up could ruin the whole story. This did wonderful at combining the two worlds. The characters didn't seem cheesy in this world, they made some sort of sense. I loved how they blended Magneto's Jewish history into that of the Spanish Inquisition years previous. His parents fell victim and he somehow managed to get away and grow up to be a Christian priest in disguise. Clever writer.

The drawings were lovely and the dress that he had them wearing was done well. Some were off by historical measure, but on the whole he did a great job with being historically correct. He should have given Black Widow more weapons (I think she at one time had a cross-bow...I don't recall). I loved the drawings...they had that classic comic-ness about them. Beautiful and gory (but not over the top) when need be. 

Honestly, there is so much I want to talk about, but I shall stop myself. I'm trying to get Boyfriend to read it (he's into all that stuff), so we can chat about it. Alas, he says he'll try. Hopefully he does before I have to take it back to the library. I recommend this to those that like comics or just the superhero genre. It's interesting. In the end, I shall stamp this with 5 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Nick Fury, Dr. Strange, Cyclops, Virgina Dare, Jean/John Grey, Javier, and Elizabeth I
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Magneto (I usually like him for the baddie he is, but he was a hypocrite), The Hulk (he's a baddie), and Iron Man (a a way...). 


Matt Oaks said...

Marvel has always been my favorite comic genre read, there is something so good about it every time I read it. I have been reading Strange Birth, Short Life and Sudden Death of Justice Girl. It's by Julian David Stone and it's about 1950's era TV and how a man came up with Justice Girl and how her character helps a man fight Mcathyism. It's actually quite good. is the author's site, I recommend it.

Blodeuedd said...

I am confused...oh well

Carole Rae said...

Matt, thanks for stopping by and informing me! I'll have to check it out.

B, lol it's kinda a what-if type thing

Tania Stanwood said...

Just a quick heads up to Matt who commented earlier, You misspelled the authors name in the link, it should be I just wanted to clarify!

Carole Rae said...

Thanks for clarifying!