‘1602’ thrills comic readers

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By Brian Jurilla

By Brian Jurilla

Most everyone is accustomed to seeing Marvel Superheroes in a landscape full of skyscrapers and colorful costumes. Now what if the characters were in a time and place where the costumes weren’t colorful on the characters and the tall city landscape wasn’t even built yet. The story of Marvel’s 1602 places the Marvel Universe in the year 1602 during the last year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. The catch to the story is that the story isn’t a what if story but is linked to the current Marvel Universe. Because of the time period readers see the ancestors of fan favorites like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Bruce Banner and Nick Fury, long with villains like Doom and the Brotherhood of Mutants. The likeness between the characters is apparent and readers can easily identify who represents whom.

The story is it is the year 1602, and strange thing are happening in England. In the service of Queen Elizabeth, court magician Dr. Stephen Strange senses that the bizarre events occurring are not a natural event. Her Majesty’s premier spy, Sir Nicholas Fury, fends off an assassination attempt on the Queen by winged warriors rumored to be in the service to a mad despot named Doom. News is spreading of “witchbreed” sightings – young men bearing fantastic superhuman powers and abilities. And in the center of the rising chaos is Virginia Dare, a young girl newly arrived from the New World, guarded by a towering Indian warrior. Can Fury and his allies find the connection to these unusual happenings before the whole world ends?

Written by acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman who created DC’s Sandman, and artwork from Andy Kubert who also illustrated Marvel’s Wolverine mini-series Origin. The six issue mini series is now available in a hardback book collecting all six issues as well as including special features like character sketches and the script submitted by Gaiman. The features also include how the idea of the Marvel Universe 400 years ago came about.

The story is easy to follow and can be picked up by anyone. It is a perfect blend of fantasy and history and with the twist at the end of the story will have readers wonder what are the affects of the story in the Marvel Universe. The artwork is some of the best you will see any comic. The coloring of story, done by Richard Isanove, gives the characters their appearance fitting for the story. This story is a unique take on the characters of the Marvel Universe. With 17th century science and sorcery this make the characters recognizable to the readers, yet makes the characters fit within the time setting. This gives the mini-series a unique feel unlike anything published by Marvel. For those looking for a period piece with familiar characters should pick up this book and enjoy the intriguing story and beautiful art work.

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