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Marvel 1602

(Marvel 1602 #1-8)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  54,929 ratings  ·  1,916 reviews
In Marvel 1602, award-winning writer Neil Gaiman presents a unique vision of the Marvel Universe set four hundred years in the past. Classic Marvel icons such as the X-Men, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and Daredevil appear in this intriguing world of 17th-century science and sorcery, instantly familiar to readers, yet subtly different in this new time. Marvel 1602 combin ...more
Paperback, Quill Award Edition, 248 pages
Published August 2nd 2006 by Marvel (first published October 29th 2003)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  54,929 ratings  ·  1,916 reviews

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Bumping it up to 5 stars!

I read this back in 2009 and liked it quite a bit. It felt like a very cool What If kind of thing, the art was pleasant, and I understood most of what I was reading.
However, I simply hadn't read enough comics at that point to fully understand everything. And I'm mentioning that now because I don't think a casual graphic novel reader will enjoy this as much as someone who knows all of the characters.


If you don't already know, the premise is this:
Something happened that
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.
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 ta
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sr3yas by: Jaya
T'was the year of our Lord 1602 when the universe was facing an untimely demise in the hands of paradoxical laws, and unless the odd bard who goes by the name Neil Gaiman perform a grand tale with the help of the Marvels, all will face the doom.

Not Victor Von Doom, but actually doom.

In Marvel 1602, the classic Marvel heroes and villains are re-imagined as 17th-century characters, rearranged appropriately to take upon new roles, and relocated to the heart of Victorian-era Europe. Of cour
Imagination flourishes at Elizabethan Era of Marvel Universe!

This TPB collects “Marvel 1602” #1-8.

Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrator: Andy Kubert

Digital Coloring: Richard Isanove

Covers: Scott McKowen

Lettering: Todd Klein (best letterer in the business!)


Nowadays the universe of Marvel 1602 is managed as a parallel dimension in the Marvel Comics Universe, BUT

…a key factor when the story was originally published is that it was considered the Earth-6
This was tongue in cheek fun and it was beautifully illustrated. I am beginning to believe that Neil Gaiman can do anything.

I'm not very familiar with the Marvel universe as I'm still relatively new to comics and graphic novels and superheroes really aren't my thing. But you don't need to know all of that stuff to enjoy this. I knew enough to recognize most of the characters by their real names and that was all I needed to know. So if you're thinking about giving this a try, I say go for it.

Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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 :)
mark monday
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: comicon
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
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Give this a try even if you're not a Marvel/X-Men/Dr. Strange fan
Quintessential Gaiman where we have a story within a story. Full 5 stars for the sheer ingenuity of taking the Marvel characters to circa 1602 where the mutants are known as witchbreed. There's enough intrigue, mystery, treason and action going on to keep you guessin' what the hell is goin' on?"
So basically

The artwork!! ❤ ❤ ❤
Time travel! Apocalypse! Which Marvel book am I talking about? While these themes are old hat for Marvel, Gaiman does a good job writing this otherworld story called 1602.

So it makes old themes interesting. But they're still old themes. And the stories are what usually bore me in Marvel comics. While DC has its share of time travel and apocalypse-themed stories, it seems like too many Marvel comics are about this. So be forewarned, while the story is very different and unique, its themes are no
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

Retellings offer writers the chance to explore the core personality of heroes and villains as they pursue their lives in never-before-seen settings. Often, this allows readers to ponder questions that reshape their own understanding of life, faith, hope, and beliefs. What does destiny have in store for us? Will our decision-making process remain intact, favouring good or evil based on who we once were? Rediscovering the characters under differen
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
1602 was a very well written and a very fresh outlook on the Marvel universe by Niel Gaiman. I must, for the sake of spoilers, keep my description of the story brief.

In essence, it is a Marvel tale told in the setting of 1602. James is about to become King of England and he bears no tolerance for the "Witchbreed" (mutants) that having been plaguing Christendom. Queen Elizabeth, the previous monarch, used her Spymaster- Sir Fury to keep close tabs on these events. We also meet the Spaniard Carlos
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, 2013, comix
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
Elizabethan court intrigue, Templar conspiracy and Roanoke colony mystery, all wrapped up together with a Marvel bow and written by Neil Gaiman? Yes, please.

Strange storm clouds have been hovering over Europe. Queen Elizabeth’s health is declining, and she is worried. Her “magician”, Doctor Stephen Strange, tries to figure out what this unusual weather is all about – meanwhile, spymaster, Sir Nicholas Fury wants to secure the possession of an artifact imported from Jerusalem – the kind of artefa
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I will need way more time to truly digest this story. In typical Gaiman fashion, he crafted something far more epic than what is at first revealed.

The heroes here are not exact mimics of their universe-616 counterparts; they have subtle changes in personality if not powers. I especially liked Daredevil and Nick Fury's portrayals. Also, the much talked about twist was as satisfying and unexpected as I hoped it would be.

It's been a while since I've gotten lost in a good graphic novel,
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Gaiman's take on Marvel super heroes focuses on Britain in 1602 as a friendly Queen Elizabeth is likely to die soon and news comes of something worse than eradicating super heroes . . . the end of the world.

Some really interesting idea combos. It helps if you know the Marvel world already to get some of the references.

Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
In recent years, I haven’t followed so many comics, with all of these reboots, alternative histories and cycles. But, the name of Neil Gaiman attracted me to this book that, for my part, I can define a true masterpiece. The story is set in the year 1602, in England, at the end of the reign of Elizabeth I, with the threat of James VI as the next king and the Spanish Inquisition to its full power. The major Marvel characters such as Nick Fury, the X-Man and Spiderman, are inserted in this context, ...more
Himanshu Karmacharya
An adventure involving our favorite marvel characters, but set in an alternate timeline.

There are tons of stuffs going on in this book, ranging from royal conspiracies to the end of the world. Gaiman has certainly done his best with the characters, and given *almost* every one of them, the time to shine. The artwork with pencils by Andy Kubert, and the digital painting by Richard Isanove is spectacular to look at. The artwork does gives off an 'Elizabethean Era' vibe.

The problem with the book is
Jeannette Nikolova
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read on the WondrousBooks blog.

Never heard of it? Have no idea what it is? No problem. You are missing just one of the most fantastic things in pop culture. Now let me explain:

Imagine if all of the coolest Marvel heroes were born in Elizabethan England, Nick Fury was the queen's chief guardian, Doctor Strange was her personal physician, the Maximoff twins were working for the Inquisition, Professor X was gathering the prosecuted mutants, who everyone thinks are witchbreed.

And all of that wri
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I thought the concept better than the actual story, possibly because I haven’t had much to do with the contemporary x men, so the cleverness of the concept was slightly beyond me. I chose this more for the historical context, and with the first scenes set in Hampton Court,I was really excited to get started, but unfortunately my enthusiasm waned as the story went on.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
“We are a boatful of monsters and miracles, hoping that, somehow, we can survive a world in which all hands are against us. A world which, by all evidence, will end extremely soon. Yet I posit we are in a universe which favors stories. If we are in such a universe, as I hope, then we may have a chance…”
“…Reed…you spoke of transmutations. Can you restore to me my humanity? I have been a monster too long.”
“In truth, I do not know, my friend. The natural sciences say, YES, a cure is possible. But t
Jonathan Terrington
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
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Jul 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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. ...more
Vasilis Manias
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Αντιγραφω από το Afterword στο τέλος του κόμικ.
"And then the comic came out. Entertainment Weekly loved it. Times Magazine immediately proclaimed it the worst comic of the year (altough the journalist that made the list, later said he didnt actually mean it was the worst comic of the year). People bought it, and they argued about it. Most of them liked it. Some of them didnt, and those who didnt really didnt. There was, i learned, a definate consesus that it was not Sandman, which i found rathe
July 2020: The first time I read this I wasn't very well versed in comics, in the Marvel universe in particular, or in Gaiman's work. There was barely an MCU in 2011. The First Avenger would be released three months later. 1602 was an okay read for me at the time, but I remembered almost nothing about it before picking it up again. I definitely liked it more this time, and got more out of it, but there was some stuff that was sort of perplexing and things that bothered me.

The basic premise here
Gosh was Marvel 1602 dull! I had to force myself to finish it. I didn't much like the artwork and the story was really confusing. So much is happening but it's boring nonetheless.. how is this possible?! The only fun thing was to guess which guy/gal is which hero/ine. But yeah I kind of wasted my time with this. ...more
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Imaginative story and setting, where iconic Marvel superheroes and villains exist in the Elizabethan era fulfilling historical roles. Wasn't sold on the artwork at first, which was rather dark and blurry, but one-thirds in it did seem to fit the story. I liked how much of the setting and timeline was historically accurate. An original and entertaining read. ...more
Neil Gaiman is a genius. Everything he does has so many levels. He has taken modern characters and made the archetypes that can be used in any time. This is set in the year 1602. It is a great little story that was fun to read. Such a smart comic book.
Juho Pohjalainen
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
On a second reading, I don't find the great cosmic threats and such things all that necessary. I think this could have carried itself well enough even without. ...more
Ed Erwin
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
The Marvel superheroes, but in 1602. I loved this. I know very little about most of these characters. Some of them, including the Fantastic 4, Daredevil and Dr. Doom, I know nothing at all about. And I refused to consult a reference until I finished. (I had assumed the Daredveil character was Wolverine, whom I also know very little about.) So, this story had to stand or fall on it's own merits as a story, and it totally worked for me. Things get a little timey-wimey at the end, but no enough to ...more
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Other books in the series

Marvel 1602 (8 books)
  • Marvel 1602 #1
  • Marvel 1602 #2
  • Marvel 1602 #3
  • Marvel 1602 #4
  • Marvel 1602 #5
  • Marvel 1602 #6
  • Marvel 1602 #7
  • Marvel 1602 #8

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