Marvel 1602
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Marvel 1602 (Marvel 1602)

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  29,975 ratings  ·  818 reviews
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 myste...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Marvel Comics Group (first published 2003)
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Stephen
Dear Mr. Gaiman and Nameless Marvel Suits:

I’d like to start this mostly favorable review by first dropkicking in the baby maker the marketing wizard who approved the decision NOT to include Wolverine in the story-line.
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Remember him…the surly, long-lived, fast-healing anti-hero who’s been your most popular character since “Hey bubbing” the Hulk for the Canadian government back in the 1980’s**. Yes, that guy. Not only was his absence noticed, but his persona would have been PERFECT for the tale....more
mark monday
in elizabeth england - and across the world - mysterious and sinister events are taking place that threaten existence itself. a varied cast of heroes and villains seek to understand and perhaps even control this threat. of course, the heroes and villains in question are a gallery of classic Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Doctor Doom, and Nick Fury.

Neil Gaiman is known for his striking reinventions of classic and even mythic characte...more
Brandon
Sudden strange disturbances in weather have provoked panic all over Europe. With Queen Elizabeth on her deathbed, political maneuvering has begun in an effort to slide the “witchbreed” (mutants) hating James VI of Scotland into a ruling position. Before her passing, the Queen instructs Sir Nicolas Fury to arrange for the safe passage of an unknown item making its way to England under the protection of the Knights Templar. Why weren’t the Knights Templar protection enough? Well, there are many po...more
Felicia
I'm a sucker for anything renaissance, so this was SO much fun for me. I loved the idea of integrating and re-inventing the Marvel characters in Elizabethan Europe. The parallels were really clever between the mutants and the Inquisition etc. Despite some confusing panel art, I read this whole graphic novel in one sitting, and definitely want more in this universe!

I <3 you Neil Gaiman :)
Jonathan
I once had a teacher remark how lowly they thought of graphic novels. And yet I believe that graphic novels are one of the more creative methods of generating stories for modern audiences myself. As such I am an avid fan of many of DC and Marvel's more brilliant story line arcs.

Having, with my typical flair, discussed my particularly good reasons for reading graphic novels, I shall now briefly review in particular Marvel 1602. Millions of readers, film viewers and pop culture observers know of...more
Chris
Some things in life are just cool. Leather jackets, for example, also laser beams. Sometimes Charles Nelson Reilly, but only if he's being impersonated by Alec Baldwin. Scientists aren't completely sure, but they believe coolness comes from some ineffable, perhaps quantum, relationship between the observed and the observer. Are laser beams cool if no one witnesses their awesome powers of destruction? Do cows share our appreciation for the kick-assedness of a finely cut leather jacket?

Gaiman's M...more
Amanda
Apr 10, 2009 Amanda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marvel Comics Lovers
Shelves: comics
I could say a lot here, but I won't. Why I loved it: Neil Gaiman, really inventive premise, beautiful artwork, and a lot of fun matching up the Elizabethan superheroes to their modern day counterparts. This is what a good comic book should be--draws you in and won't leave you alone until you've finished it, all the while reading with a ridiculously big, childlike smile on your face. Loved it.
Kurt
Aug 31, 2011 Kurt rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: long-time Marvel fans
Recommended to Kurt by: Matt
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I like to read occasional Marvel alternate reality stories, but I've never had any interest in 17th-century history, and my experience with Peter David's Fantastic Four 1602 was rather unpleasant. This story, though, was engaging on many levels, and I'm thankful that my brother loaned it to me.

The premise is that we are in the regular Marvel Universe, but certain Marvel characters are appearing about 360 years too early, and the players (mostly N...more
Steve
American comics seem to go for alternative futures (various potential futures) or parallel universes in the present - anyone who has read Superman comics from the 1960s knows what I mean.
British comics, on the other hand, often tend to lean more towards addressing alternate pasts - something I found more enjoyable, since it's grounded in something (history) rather than being an imaginitive free-for-all (hence, the camp of the 1960s, which American comics are still recovering from). While Alan Mo...more
Miriam
Jul 24, 2008 Miriam rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marvel fans, Reformation historians
A temporal anomaly causes many Marvel mutants to be born hundreds of years earlier (so they are actually inhabitants of the Elizabethan era, not time-travellers). They must save the world (natch) despite the Inquisition, political intrigues, and supervillains. The suppositions "Church = bad, Queen Elizabeth = good and enlightened" kind of annoyed me with their lame ahistoricism (suuuure Eliz I was against torture)but overall the setting was well done and interesting.
Kristopher
Despite being written by Neil Gaiman and starting with an interesting concept, I had a lot of trouble working up any enthusiasm for this book. It took me a long time to read, and in the end I was pretty underwhelmed. It didn't give me lots of time to think about what makes a good alternate universe/Elseworlds story, though.

The best, like Red Son and Days of Future Past (actually set in a possible future, not an alternate universe, but let's not split hairs) are first and foremost, great stories....more
anthony e.
A great premise, bogged down by a sort of feeble, overly-glitzy art style, and a vaguely-too-complicated story, given the length of the series. The cahracters were, fundamentally, interesting reinterpretations of basic Marvel characters, but what really prevmneted this series from shining is that, essentially, every character (except Peter Parker) was exactly what you've come to expect from Marvel characters. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Professor X...they are all hear in really recongnizable forms, but...more
Justin
So, now that my newfound love of graphic novels has really taken hold, I figure it's about time to take a few cautious steps back into the Marvel Universe, in which I more or less lived from the ages of 9 to 13. What better place to start than an alternate history tale by Neil Gaiman?

This collected volume of eight comics posits the existence of Marvel superheroes in Elizabethan England. The world appears to be coming apart at the seams; strange storms and unexplained phenomena rip across the cou...more
Kenneth
As a boy I loved comic books. My first choice was DC Comics. Marvel comics came later. During that time I also discovered comics that presented illustrated biographies and histories. One that still stands out in my mind from that time was the biography of St. Francis of Assisi.

As an older adult I once in a while will look at some comic book but I find them on the whole disappointing as they try to re-invent stories in so many ways that they lose any fabric. The female heroes are very disappointi...more
Anthony Chavez
I realy liked Neil Gaiman's twist on the Marvel world. And Andy Kubert's illustrating was beautifully done. The story worked out wonderfully too, something happens to mess with the fabric of time, possibly bringing the impending destruction of the universe forcing the season of heroes and marvels to come hundreds of years early, almost like the world is fighting to save itself. It was done so well and half the fun was figuring out who all the characters were, some are blatantly obvious but other...more
Matthew
True Rating: 3.7

Ever since I read the Graveyard Book, I am starting to have this loving relationship with Neil Gaiman. At first when I saw that he had written his comic series, I was a little cautious by it because I do not see a thrill of reading what life was like in 1602, let alone with a bunch of mutants. To my surprise, it was very fascinating especially adding a little bit of historical characters like Queen Elizabeth and Virginia Dare. Overall I can see the disappointment with many people...more
Melissa
It pains me to give anything by Neil Gaiman less than 5 stars. I think the only other book of his that got this treatment from me was Anansi Boys, which I basically liked only because Neil signed my copy right before he spilled silver ink all over my friend Norm's pristine first edition Sandman #1. But while I get what he's trying to do here, and I'm not entirely without appreciation for it, I'm just not that interested.
Melvin
I've got to say, this book made me feel Marvel characters could actually be subtle and nuanced. Gaiman's handling of these heroes is (in my opinion, anyway) a welcome breath of fresh air. Almost DC-like. (And no, I'm not trying to start a fight.)
Phillip Berrie
From one extreme to the other, though this should probably be only 4.5 stars.

After reading 'World War Hulk', this was just what I needed to renew my faith in comics, though I actually came to this story with some trepidation, because I didn't think the concept would work.

I won't say much more about this story because I don't want to run the risk of spoiling the story for anyone who hasn't read it, but I can only tip my hat to Mister Gaiman with regard to his storytelling, it's superb.

Thoroughly...more
Matt Anderson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ned Hayes
(a couple spoilers inline here)

Neil Gaiman's Marvel 1602 re-creates the Marvel universe as it might have been if it wasn't born in 1950s America, but instead in Elizabethan England. I found 1602 to embody all the pleasurable characteristics of a good graphic novel -- as Gaiman writes in his afterward, it was designed to be the perfect "comic book" to read on a long summer day, and really lose yourself in an alternate world.

I'm a big Dr. Strange fan, and it was also nice to see his occultic powe...more
Brian DiMattia
Gaiman's attempt at the usual superhero "What If..." genre is brilliant. He not only tells a good story, with beautiful art by Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove, but he re-tells the characters brilliantly.

Comic book writers have a fascinating challenge that few others do. They take characters that are well known, some might say intimately known by fans, and have to continue their stories while putting a personalizing touch on them at the same time. It's tricky, and hard to do well.

Most of the time...more
Adam Graham
I must begin the review by saying that this is anti-Christian book in both its focus and worldview. Neil Gaiman imagines a world in this setting of 1602 where murder and burning people in the stake is a sacrament practiced by nearly every Christian. And godless or at best non-orthodox flee to the new world free from the influence of the Church.

Of course, this is alternate history not real history, but the way you create your alternate history says something and it expressed a lot of contempt for...more
Abhishek
Afterword by Neil Gaiman: "Something for summer, to be read under a porch or in a treehouse; or up on a roof; or in a small field, a long time ago, beside the bulrush patch."

And that is exactly the feel that Marvel 1602 carries with it. A rustic feel of a time unknown. And yet, in such a backdrop, Gaiman brings across the characters of the Marvel Universe we have come to read and love, in a heroic and grandiose manner that they deserve. Altering their looks and names to suit the olden times and...more
Oya
Marvel Evreni'ndeyiz 400 yıl öncesi. Sebebini henüz bilmediğimiz bir biçimde, insanlar ve olaylar, olmaları gereken zamanın dışında karşımıza çıkıyorlar.
Sir Nicholas Fury, Kraliçe Elizabeth'in istihbarat şefi. Stephen Strange ise Saray Doktoru.Latveria Hükümdarı Otto Von Doom'un planladığı suikastı önleyip Kraliçe'nin ölümünü engellemeyi ikisi de başaramadı.
Anakara'da ise, Rahip önderliğinde Engizisyon, farklı görünen ya da olağanüstü güçlere sahip olan Cadı Soyu'ndan olanları yakalayıp idam edi...more
Sue Smith
Now this is a book to read on a warm summers day while you're lounging in the back yard, drink in hand and a bowl of something to munch close by .... fun and interesting with a well thought out idea to put some life back into old and remembered characters! Needless to say, I did enjoy this guilty pleasure .... even without the warm summers day (it happened to be -25 C for the last few days for me). But a warm wrap and a good cup of tea did the trick!

It's great to read a graphic novel that doesn'...more
Pranay
I really liked the overall premise of this book - its set in 1602, where the marvel heroes are revealed. it starts off nicely in the victorian era where the weather all over the world has started acting up. As the heroes rush towards the climax to unravel the mystery and at the same time struggle with various villains (who have their own agendas) the book patters to a very predictable end.
The concept is unique for the book but the playing field which Gaiman got was also vast with a huge lineage...more
Capella
Reasons I was more interested in this book than most books in the Marvel Universe:
1. The historical setting made the characters more real. We only ever know our favorite superheroes in contemporary settings, which makes me feel like they occupy another version of our world, one where people can actually have these kinds of powers. By putting familiar (and some unfamiliar) characters into the foundation of American history, they seem all the more believable, as if we share a similar history.

2....more
Peter
Feb 16, 2009 Peter rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gaiman fans, Marvel fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicholas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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“What are these fundamental principles, if they are not atoms?"
"Stories. And they give me hope.”
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