‘Marvel 1602’ review
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
Have you ever watched The Avengers and wondered, “Hey, what would this be like in Elizabethan England?” Neither have I, but that’s exactly what fan-favourite author Neil Gaiman gives us in Marvel 1602, a unique and action-packed alternate universe fiction.
The year is 1602 and London is plagued by assassination attempts, strange new men with mystical powers, and some pretty unique meteorological events. Who else can save England but the Queen’s own Nick Fury and Dr. Strange? Joined by a host of other Marvel favourites like Spiderman and a veritable plethora of X-Men, it’s hard not to find a character that piques your interest in this one.
Admittedly, if you’re looking for the innovation and wonder of Gaiman’s previous works, such as the Sandman series, you’re out of luck. There’s also the overall homogenized racial spectrum. Even the Native American character looks Caucasian. However, issues of race are addressed frequently throughout the narrative, which, given the 17th-century setting, you can almost say is justified. Almost.
Visually, Andy Kubert’s art for Marvel 1602 is not without fault. The use of colour and texture is great, but his ability to shade lighter tones, such as blond hair or variations of white, comes off as a little blocky. Aesthetically, the overall look of this book is a little brighter than I was expecting considering the content of the narrative, but that’s a matter of personal preference.
As far as recommendations go, I’d say give this one a go if you’re a big Gaiman or Marvel fan. Outside of that, I can’t really say this graphic novel would be a great introduction to either of those realms.