Welcome to The Comic Book Virgin, the series where I dive headfirst into the world of comics and never look back.

This week: “Marvel 1602“.

I must admit, when I first took this from Bridget, I was very excited. I love Neil Gaiman; in fact, his episode “Nightmare in Silver” was the only episode of Doctor Who with Clara that I actually liked. But that’s another article for another day. But I was a little disappointed.

The premise of “Marvel 1602” is extremely interesting. Gaiman takes classic Marvel characters and puts them against the backdrop of the Spanish inquisition and Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. This is what initially drew me in; as a history nerd, I eat this stuff up all of the time. It was really cool to see Marvel characters I recognize in accurate period clothing in seventeenth century Europe, and I commend Gaiman and his artists for their work.

The writing was good as well. I absolutely loved the way that Gaiman wrote the characters, each had language appropriate to the time period. I also really liked the clever references to the different characters. For example, the Fantastic Four were referenced as being “one who burns like flame, one who flows like water, one made of rock, one of air…” and Sir Nicholas Fury’s assistant was named Peter Parquagh. I mean, seriously. That aspect was brilliant.

But here’s where it fell apart. There were far too many characters. The issue was huge, and full of action between different settings and characters. Too many things were going on for my tastes. I had Fury, the X-Men, the Black Widow, Doctor Doom, Steven Strange, Peter Parker, Thor, Quicksilver, and Daredevil all happening at once. I felt overwhelmed and really confused. I felt like it was too much to take in. It was so hard to keep track of that I couldn’t even finish the issue.

That’s really all I had to say about “Marvel 1602“. Great premise, too much action. Thanks for reading!

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