Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

The year is 1602 in the court of Queen Elizabeth I, and turbulent and violent weather all across Europe is convincing many of an oncoming apocalypse. Queen Elizabeth, hoping to ensure England’s survival, turns to the help of court magician Dr. Stephen Strange, and intelligence officer Sir Nicholas Fury, both of whom are to help England secure a treasure of the Knights Templar long thought lost. To do so, however, they will have to contend with assassins, foreign powers, and the Inquisition.

Neil Gaiman’s reputation as a master writer shines in this work. Each and every Marvel character, slotted brilliantly into their role in this pre-colonial version of the Marvel universe, feels similar enough to recognize but unique enough to stand out as their own interpretations. The same goes for the character designs; similar, but different enough to delight fans. The art style, while nothing terribly unique, does include fantastic covers for each issue, rendered like 17th century paintings. The story itself is riveting, and though it starts slow with its world-building, is deeply engrossing with plenty of twists and turns. Some twists are easier to guess with knowledge of the characters, but others will keep even the most well-versed readers wondering until the very end.

Published by on March 16, 2020
Last Modified March 27, 2023