REVIEW SUMMARY: Gaiman weaves a strong tale of apocalypse in the 17th century.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The Marvel super heroes emerge in early 17th-century Europe, and must save the planet from imminent destruction while being hunted by the Catholic church, the Spanish Inquisitors and the King of England.
PROS: Super heroes without the silly costumes, very interesting story with several surprise elements, excellent illustration by one of the the top comic artists, great coloring, wonderful ‘scratchboard’ cover illustrations, a nice ‘how we did it’ section at the end that gives insight on how comics are put together
CONS: Some of the heros weren’t developed (sequel in the works?)
BOTTOM LINE: If you like super heroes or Gaiman, or just appreciate comics for outstanding art, you should read this.
My review will be biased since I’m a hard-core Gaiman fan. I’ve read most everything he’s published, and enjoyed it all. This story is perhaps closer to American Gods than his Sandman comics, but I actually think this is something altogether different.
In 1602, the world is coming to an end. A rift in time has opened and everything that ever was is threatening to become undone. It is theorized that in times like this, the world creates heros to save itself, and so abberations are born with powers greater than normal man. They are called monsters by some, including the Catholic church and the Inquisitors who hunt them down and burn them. England, ruled by Queen Elizabeth tolerates them, and in fact her physician is Dr. Stephen Strange, while her spymaster is Sir Nicholas Fury. There is a hidden academy in England, led by Professor Carlos Javier that harbors and trains the ‘monsters.’
Every character in this story is interesting in his own fashion, but my favorite was Matthew Murdoch (Daredevil) – a blind travelling bard who wears a red blindfold.
The story is very well constructed, with a surprise on almost every page.
I’m guessing Marvel will continue forward with this series, though I haven’t heard anything about it, or whether it will be the same team producing it.