Graphic Novel Review: Marvel 1602 By Neil Gaiman

Marvel 1602 puts some of the big names (Nick Fury, Peter Parker, The X-Men, Fantastic Four etc.) in the Marvel Universe in 17th Century England. The Queen is ill, the witchbreeds (mutants) are being captured and burned, an unknown force is threatening the world and Dr. Doom is also plotting a scheme that may lead him to world domination.

With the award winning Gaiman telling the story, one can expect one hell of a story with twists and turns and an unpredictability that keeps the readers guessing. However, Marvel 1602 falls short in that section and does not quite deliver story wise. That said, it does not mean that it’s a bad one but it is a fun read and seeing some of the superheroes out in their 17th Century clothing is quite a refreshing view. There are a lot of characters in here and most are creatively utilized, some however could’ve had better writing like Peter Parker/Parquagh who’s role is mostly Nick Fury’s errand boy. The 17th century dialogue is also there but most of the time it comes off quite cheesy and could be somewhat uninteresting.

The artwork, as most Marvel works is amazing and even with the 17th Century style of the characters you would not fail to recognize who they are in relation to the current ones. The subtle change in the names of the characters is also a nice touch. From Nick Fury to Nicholas Fury, Charles Xavier to Carlos Javier. Once again this adds a refreshing feel to the whole series.

One major complaint in the series is the lack of super villains. With Victor Von Doom labelled as the major villain. The threat that he brings is not very convincing. With the amount of superheroes present, the presence of Dr Doom is underwhelming.

To conclude Marvel 1602 could have been a classic, great concept and a roster of characters that are used in very creative ways. It’s all there, however what the series lacks is direction. There are so many things happening here at some points it gets convoluted. Nevertheless, it’s still enjoyable as most Marvel works are and with the large roster of characters used here it always gives a reader an exciting vibe for anyone in the Marvel Universe can show up at any moment in the book. Therefore it still possess an unpredictable yet delightful read overall.

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