This week, on the Major Spoilers Podcast, we’re taking a trip back to the year 1602 to take a look at the Marvel that might have been.

Marvel 1602

The eight-part series takes place in a timeline where Marvel superheroes have been transplanted to the Elizabethan era; faced with the destruction of their world by a mysterious force, the heroes must fight to save their universe. Many of the early Marvel superheroes — Captain America, Nick Fury, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man — as well as villains such as Doctor Doom and Magneto appear in various roles.

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The Author

Robot Overlord

Robot Overlord

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to the Robot Overlord. Robot Overlord may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds. The Robot Overlord contains a liquid core, which if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. If Robot Overlord begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head. Do not taunt the Robot Overlord.

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7 Comments

  1. September 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm — Reply

    I really enjoyed this series. The portrayal of Nick Fury as a Agent of the Crown, and the utilization of Daredevil was fantastic. I can barely even find anything to nitpick about this series other than the balancing issues, but with a cast that basiclly consists of the entire Marvel Universe circa 1962 it’s not that bad.
    I am giving this series three and a half slices of meatloaf, due to all the rotten follow ups souring the original.

  2. Russ Catt
    September 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm — Reply

    I remember reading htis series as it was released.
    At the time, I was an immense fan because I really wanted to know what new characters would be introduced and how Neil Gaiman would portray them.
    I remember being a little disappointed in the ending, feeling it was a little rushed and not keeping to the tone set early in the series.

    I feel this story actually loses some of its impact if you read it in a collected version.
    The outstanding amount of hype surrounding Neil Gaiman coming to Marvel really added tension to reading the story and certainly increased my enjoyment.

    On the whole, I’d give it 3.5 slices of meatloaf out of 5. Read it, enjoy it and stay away from all the sequel series that tried to capitalize on earlier successes.

  3. tidge
    September 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm — Reply

    I read this series when it came out as single issues, and it has the distinction of being the book that convinced me to never buy another non-Sandman/Miracleman Neil Gaiman-penned comic without knowing what I was getting into. I only recently read his “Eternals” and I’m glad that was only a library borrow.

    The premise was interesting, and there was one twist I appreciated (the identity of the blond guy) but ultimately the story fell flat for me.

    I don’t dislike the Marvel work from Gaiman, I simply find it unsatisfying.

  4. Slappy
    September 6, 2010 at 6:51 pm — Reply

    A wonderful tale in an unusual setting. I really enjoyed the twists on the familier characters while keeping theor essences intact.
    The use of Virginia Dare as a major character was particularly interesting to me. Being a history buff I know that she was the granddaughter of Sir Walter Raleigh and the first European born in North America. Like the rest of the Roanoke settlement, she disappeared over 300 years ago. This twist on history also got the wheels turning in my mind.
    Unfortunately, I found the ending to fall flat and did not live up to the building of the relationships with an ending that was too quick for my tastes. This is a story that should have been written for the trade.

  5. theSuperAlbino
    September 6, 2010 at 7:42 pm — Reply

    Gaiman’s best Marvel work! 1602 provides and alt reality twist unlike many others and in the same way Gaiman crafts a story that only he could write I particularly enjoyed his use of the Hulk among other things. A great read!

  6. September 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm — Reply

    I bought this comic in trade. I liked the idea of Marvel 1602, and it had a really good twist with Rojas’ identity. Another idea I felt was really cool was the concept of Thor’s mortal identity being extremely conflicted about being both a Christian and the host of a Norse God. However, I felt it was not nearly as good as other Gaiman works. I think that without narration, a lot of what makes Gaiman’s writing powerful is lost – his hyperbole and wordplay that don’t make it into the dialogue. My biggest complaint is the “Synchronicity” the story used – I don’t see why Peter Parquah had to get bitten by a spider, or why Banner had to become the Hulk at the end of the story, other than the “need” to have the status quo. It felt too contrived to me, even with the explanation given.

    All in all, this is definitely a 3 slicer for me.

  7. peter
    September 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm — Reply

    this was one of the first comics I ever read.

    I have been collecting european comics for years already. but I never really got into american (read: from an englisch speaking country) comics. I had received bone as a present but that was about it.

    Me and my then girlfriend, now wife went to london, and across the street from the british museum is a comicshop. I decided that I had to by a comic while I was in london. But I didn’t know a thing about comics.

    So the things I ended up getting were: serenity: those left behind (being a fan of firefly) and niel gaiman’s 1602 (because I really liked his novels)

    Up to that point I had never read a marvel comic, so most characters in this book where foreign to me. I knew the x men, the fantastic four and daredevil from the movies, but I had no idea who nicolas fury, or doctor strange were supposed to be.
    Till this day, I’m still not sure who the girl is that travels through europe with daredevil.

    And still it was a very good read for me.

    So I blame this book, and the major spoilers podcast (which I discovered a lot later) for getting me into comics.

    I also really liked the art, and the coloring (the brightness) when I first saw this.

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