Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

7/10 Not only a simple and brilliant concept, it is a thoroughly enjoyable graphic novel.

Illustrated by Andy Kubert
Digital painting by Richard Isanove

Review by Bindi Lavelle

Marvel 1602 is a great read for Marvel and Gaiman fans alike (it's a real treat, if like myself you are a huge fan of both) which presents a rich concept to explore: What would Marvel superheroes have been like in the 17th century?

This hypothetical is explored in Gaiman's trademark manner using a mix of history and mythology to bring new elements to the characters, while still ensuring that they retain their defining qualities. For instance Nick Fury of SHIELD, is now Sir Nicholas Fury, head of the Queen's intelligence organization. And Daredevil, naturally is no longer a Hell's Kitchen lawyer/vigilante, rather he is a bard and a spy for Sir Fury.

The beauty of this concept is that they are still the same characters, with all the quirks comic book fans love; no character has been compromised, they simply have been moved in time.

Andy Kubert's art sets a dark tone for a plot full of political intrigue. The art serves to give the reader an atmosphere, a sense of time place and largely mood. Kubert's illustrations are wonderfully coupled with the colouring work of Richard Isnove, who completes the Gothic look of the graphic novel.

This graphic novel will without a doubt satisfy fans of Marvel and Gaiman alike, and those outside of that bracket will still find a riveting read containing a healthy dose of magic and politics. Marvel 1602 is not only a simple and brilliant concept; it is a thoroughly enjoyable graphic novel all round.

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