I haven’t been reading much for super hero comics or graphic novels lately. Wait, scratch that, reverse it. It is probably more appropriate to say that I haven’t been reading many of the titles from the big players in super heroes. The more recent titles from Marvel and DC haven’t had much to appeal to me so I haven’t been inclined to pick anything up from them. Of course, them keeping their titles out of ComiXology Unlimited doesn’t help them much either. I mean seriously, if they put some of their older stuff in, there’s a number of books I would be going through. But I don’t really go out of my way to find anything from them.
And then I ran across Marvel 1602 (Marvel Comics Group 10th anniversary edition 2013). Check the date and it we see that it isn’t necessarily a recent comic. The stories were originally printed in 2003. This was originally an eight comic run, written by Neil Gaiman (which is part of the draw for me).
And this is where it gets to be a fun play on my thoughts. So here I am talking about not reading too much within modern super heroes. And then I say that I read a comic that falls close to modern printings. But the stories themselves are anything but modern. We are reading a different perspective of the Marvel Universe where the timeline has started in the 16th and 17th century. All of the main players are still who they should be, while at the same time they are something else entirely because of the time periods effect on their lives.
Mind you, I am watching through the entire story, waiting for Peter Parker to become Spiderman. There are teasers all through the story but we never see the fateful spider bite (Marvel did put out a Spiderman 1602 line). But I digress…
Here would be the part where I might slip into a some thoughts about different aspects of life and how the comics fit into our world and all that. But I don’t have that today. Instead I am thinking of the story and how they interact with their own worlds as stories.
This is a grand story, a big world changing event. When things like that happen in comics they tend to be limited runs with cross over to different comic lines (a ploy to get us to buy all the comic lines we don’t usually read). We have a bit of that in this one, though I didn’t see the references to other stories. Instead we have a cast of characters all played through this limited series (or single graphic novel as the case may be), all with their individual stories that play into the bigger story as a whole. You can’t have a world changing event without showing the bigger world and how it is affected by everything going on.
For me, I tend to like stories like that. It gives us a bigger picture of the world as a whole. And I am reminded of the last Captain America movie. Some would argue that it played out more like an Avengers movie. But the thing of it is, we find in worlds like what have been created in the cinematic universe, nothing happens in a vacuum. Actions happen throughout that affect all the characters in those worlds. Mr. Gaiman gave us a similar story in the 1602 series. As you find through the story itself, a single event had greater implications throughout the world and in the lives of those within it.
Mind you, this means nothing to those mundane individuals who we don’t even see. The crazy world of heroes carries on without their knowledge. And we see mention of them only in passing. If the world were to end, would we want to know?
Anyway, I dare say that this is one worth reading. It gives an entirely new spin on the stories many of us have grown up with, while at the same time pulling at the strings of nostalgia enough to connect to the places we remember from our child hood. Or something…
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.