Comic Review – “1602”

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.

5 replies on “Comic Review – “1602””

  1. jbrecken says:

    Spot the hero
    Does Snowbird really have high enough of a profile as a Marvel hero to play an integral part in something like this?

    • questor says:

      Re: Spot the hero

      Does Snowbird really have high enough of a profile as a Marvel hero to play
      an integral part in something like this?

      Virgania Dare was not supposed to be Snowbird (who’d have been limited to
      Canada anyway, right?); there is a legend about the real Virginia that she had
      (maybe just some of) the transform-into-white-animal ability, and Neil has
      said he thought the legend was more well known than it is. Neil stayed with
      the base 1960s characters, and Snowbird definitely does not qualify.

      • jbrecken says:

        Re: Spot the hero

        Virgania Dare was not supposed to be Snowbird (who’d have been limited to
        Canada anyway, right?); there is a legend about the real Virginia that she had
        (maybe just some of) the transform-into-white-animal ability, and Neil has
        said he thought the legend was more well known than it is. Neil stayed with
        the base 1960s characters, and Snowbird definitely does not qualify.

        Virginia Dare died in infancy when her colony disappeared. How can there be any legends about her having supernatural abilities? Or is it some kind of ghost story where white animals haunt Roanoake?

        In this Marvel Elseworldy story, I see a character doing Snowbird’s shtick, she’s Snowbird to me. I thought it was a neat idea, since as part of British North America, the Virginia colonies were effectively Canadian at the time.

        (I briefly considered her as a Silverclaw analog, too)

  2. UncleJam says:

    An interesting read…

    …but ultimately pointless.

    I really should have stuck to my guns and not bought each issue.

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