Neil Gaiman is back in Marvel’s playground. Is it
worth it?

General Information

Title: 1602

Author: Neil Gaiman

Illustrator(s): Andy Kubert (pencils) and Richard
Isanove (the rest)

Original Publication Date: The eight issues were
published between
August 2003 and April 14, 2004.

Premise

Something is wrong with the Universe, causing it to
create its heroes
400 years earlier than it should.

High Point

The Templar Treasure revealed.

Low Point

The pointlessness of Toad.

The Scores

This is a somewhat original idea in ways. I
can’t think of
another instance in the Marvel Universe, but I can
think of a couple
of examples from DC’s Elseworlds, which I didn’t even
pay much
attention to. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is passable, but drab. Kubert’s
work isn’t that
great, but Isanove did a great job of keeping things
looking rustic
and old. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is interesting, once you get past
the two-part
“spot the hero” games. I give it 4 out of 6.



The characterization is well done, with some
clear
differences between these versions and the
traditional versions of the
characters. Matthew Murdoch is particularly fun. I
give it 5 out of
6.

The emotional response was fine, but it
wasn’t enthralling.
I think I would have been more engaged had Gaiman not
insisted it was
in continuity so many times; knowing that, I couldn’t
believe anything
other than that things would work out, and be reset
to the status
quo. That’s not the way things turned out, but I
felt that way the
entire time, and just couldn’t involve myself in the
story. I give it
3 out of 6.

The flow was generally competant, but there
were a few scene
changes in the middle of conversations that were a
bit abrupt. The
action sequences tended to look like sequences of
still panels instead
of action, too. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent series, but I
wouldn’t strongly
recommend buying it. It’s a fun read if you’re the
kind of reader who
enjoys DC’s Elseworlds books. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, 1602 receives 27 out of 42.