Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

details
Title: Marvel 1602.
Writer(s): Neil Gaiman.
Illustrator(s): Andy Kubert.
Digital Painter(s): Richard Isanove.
Letterer(s): Todd Klein.
Publisher: Marvel.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: August 2nd 2006 (first published October 29th 2003).
Pages: 248.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9780785123118.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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35 thoughts on “Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

  1. Hah! Glad you enjoyed this one, Lashaan! It’s not mind-blowing, but it’s very charming, full of tongue-in-cheek inside jokes and yet retaining a sense of wonder – and Cap’s ambiguous role (no spoilers!) works wonderfully well. Fab review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank YOU for pushing this higher on my TBR (alongside Eternals, which I’ll probably start reading when some kind of trailer drops for the upcoming movie). It was indeed wonderful and impressive in how he inserts and plays with these characters, drawing parallels with relationships that fans are bound to recognize in their heroes. Cap’s role was indeed a huge surprise for me too. I should’ve taken a second to think about his disguise but I let that slip and was gladly surprised by that twist! Thanks again for reading, Ola!

      P.S. I want to also hunt down one of the pretty editions for the classic Punisher run but I wanted to make sure that we’re both on the same page here since we all know how much you love that character’s background. It is Garth Ennis’ run that impressed you the most? Or do I have it all wrong and you have no fondness for any Punisher story, besides the cancelled Netflix series? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I started with comics, Netflix was later 😉

        Garth Ennis’s run of The Punisher is absolutely the best! 🏆 Not all of his arcs are equally good (I’m particularly not fond of Barracuda though even this story is still head and shoulders above the other writers) but his Punisher Vietnam War stories are a must-read masterpiece. Start with Born, and if you can, get the soldier/skull edition, the cover is amazing 🤩

        And while we’re at it, give Ennis’s War Stories a chance, too! 😁 I don’t care for his Thor, but War Stories are just perfect, with an impressive cast of artists illustrating the gut-punch stories.

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  2. Love this book, and even onced referenced it when writing an assignment for my degree a few years back. It was an essay exploring whether superheroes are actually good role models for kids, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s hilarious! I love the idea of that thesis, something that many would probably still argue about today. Bet with how DC movies tend to be darker than their Marvel counterpart, many must prefer the bright and shiny Marvel universe and its heroes to be their role models too. 😀 Have you ever tried the sequels of Marvel 1602? 😮

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    1. Nop. I find that he found the perfect balance to make the story work without drowning it with too many recognizable heroes, like Civil War where everyone and their grandma was involved and only some were central. In here, I mostly found the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Spidy, and Daredevil were central. There are a couple more that play interesting roles for some of the subplots but I definitely noticed that other beloved heroes didn’t make the cut. Then again, they did make sequels for this with other creative teams (Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert were not part of those teams). I’m not sure yet if I dare look into those though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good that he seemed to find the balance then.
        I don’t know what to tell you about the sequels. I’ve never even heard of them, so I don’t even a “rush to judgement based on the cover” feeling 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I did indeed find Doctor Strange such a perfect fit into the story; good thing he plays a central role too. So many of the others have really clever roles though. For example, Spidy doesn’t really exist as we know him here, he’s simply Peter Parquagh and he works under Fury as a spy who is learning the curve and trying to understand where his moral compass points at. Rest assured that everyone else has a similarly clever role too. Captain America is a huge twist in this case. You’d think he’s not even going to show up but what writer Neil Gaiman does with him is quite original here. He basically serves as the medium through which Neil Gaiman reminds readers that even if all these heroes are set in an Elizabethan time, they are American at heart. Somehow. 😉

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  3. The story was a perfect way to freshen up the franchise and reboot some of the hero’s storylines. Considering how much I loved this book, I wanted to read further into the series but then discovered that different authors and illustrators took over future volumes. I briefly flipped through them but was not interested. Why change the creative team? I felt the same way with Old Man Logan- great start, then lousy followups.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It indeed was! I like how they also officially turned this story’s universe into Earth-311 too. I saw the sequels/spin-offs and whatnot that came after this one but also hesitated immensely on picking them up knowing that Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert aren’t involved. At least this one reads quite well without any additional sequel! Thanks for reading, Nancy! Always a pleasure to hear from you. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting. I’d seen this out there before but didn’t really know what it was about. I like the idea of a story set apart from all the normal monthly series, with no need to invest in some huge collection to get anything out of it. I might have to pick this one up. Thanks for the review, Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is indeed one of those stories that don’t necessarily require any prior knowledge of ongoing Marvel events. What’s also cool is that they ended up officializing this universe into Earth-311 too. I do think that fans who have some knowledge of the characters, the relationships, and some known Marvel events will find this one even more rewarding (especially X-Men-wise). I do hope you get the chance to try it out for yourself, Todd! I would love to hear your thoughts on it when you do. 😀 Thanks for reading as always, my friend!

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  5. Neil Gaiman, like Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, can be relied upon for a mighty good yarn. I think I let Marvel 1602 come and go but your post has made me curious. Well, considering it was way back in the early aughts when this first came out, I was simply too deep into the great wave of alternative comics at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really glad to hear this from another fellow comic book enthusiast! All three names you mentioned are high in my mandatory reading whenever possible, although I do feel like Grant Morrison does have some very questionable titles with questionable quality but they’re still interesting in some way. Thanks for reading my review of Marvel 1602 though! I hope you get around to trying it out again soon! 😀

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      1. I’ll definitely stop by again. I think Grant Morrison remains a very interesting writer. I suppose he can always be relied upon to bring something intriguing to the table, even if it turns out to be highly experimental.

        Liked by 1 person

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