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Marvel 1602, Marvel
written by Neil Gaiman; illustrated by Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove
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This is an eight-issue miniseries that came out in 2003. A friend lent me the trade paperback in 2011. The story is set in the year 1602, but it incorporates familiar Marvel Universe characters into that setting in new ways. Basically, something has gone wrong with time, and the world is on the verge of ending because of it. In fact, the whole universe or even the whole multiverse might end because of it. For now, though, this impending doom manifests mainly in strange weather. (I should also mention that there are dinosaurs, though that as far as I can tell was never explained, and also is of no real importance to the story.) Anyway, it appears time is trying to correct itself by having caused people that should have existed in the 20th century to have been born into this time, centuries earlier. (Most of their names are slightly altered, as are their circumstances, though it's pretty clear who everyone is supposed to be. With the possible exception of Captain America; though I did guess his identity before it was revealed, the revelation still held a certain surprise for me that I enjoyed.) Anyway, even while dealing with problematic aspects of actual history, these characters have to try to figure out how to save the world and restore time to its proper course.

Um... so, I don't know what to say without giving too much away. There are historical figures such as Queen Elizabeth, King James, and Virginia Dare, in addition to all the familiar Marvel heroes and villains. There's political machinations, and magic/pseudo-science, and the Inquisition served as a convenient reimagining of the persecution of mutants, with a neat twist involving the identity of the Grand Inquisitor. Anyway, it's a fairly interesting story, definitely worth the read, though perhaps some things never really made as much sense to me as I might have liked. The characterizations were good. There were pretty girls (though Virginia Dare just looked to me like a younger version of Clea Strange, for no reason). And... that's all I can think to say. Except there were later a few sequels, which I don't know if I'll ever read.

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