Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman is unique and groundbreaking for a Marvel comic series. In the DC universe it would be another Elseworlds collection. But you have to hand it to Marvel on this one. It is inventive, daring and just plain great storytelling by a master in the craft; Neil Gaiman. The graphic novel collects Marvel 1602 issues 1-8 from 2003.
It is the year 1602, a sick and dying Queen Elizabeth fears the strange happenings in England and around the world as weather and bizarre phenomenon lead the populace to fear the end of the world is upon them. The Church believes it to be the acts of heretics and those known as the Witchbreed under the care of Carlos Javier. The Court Magician Stephen Strange and the Queen’s master spy, Sir Nicholas Fury fear an assassination attempt is coming from winged creatures in the employ of the tyrant, known as Doom.
Amidst the action is the arrival of a young girl from the New World colony of Roanoke with her Native American protector. They are Virginia Dare, a shapeshifter and a Indian of fair skin and blond hair. Are they a risk to the queen? Can Fury and Strange find the truth among the strange happenings before it is too late?
Gaiman does an incredible job of infusing his Elizabethan fantasy tale with the Marvel characters, Nick Fury, Dr. Strange, Otto Von Doom, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, Black Widow, Daredevil, Peter Parker and so many more. It is done seamlessly, masterfully and without at any time seeming forced or trite. Marvel 1602 is a tremendous graphic novel that will leave you wondering why Marvel doesn’t do this more often.
A terrific book!