"We live in a time of miracles and wonders and I cannot say that it pleases me."
— Queen Elizabeth
It is the year 1602, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First
and all is not well in Merry Olde England. Strange storms have rocked the continent, the sky has been cast in haunting tones, rumour on the street speaks of the end-times and only one man might discover the truth behind these unusual occurrences. He is Doctor Stephen Strange
, The Queen's Physician.Marvel 1602
was an Elseworld
miniseries written by Neil Gaiman
, transporting the Marvel Universe
into the Elizabethan Era. It took heroes such as Nick Fury
, The X-Men
, Doctor Strange
and found a way to make them work in the period and tell an original tale centering upon them.
The original mini-series has had several follow-ups by other writers, focusing on particular (sets of) characters. 1602: A New World
by Greg Pak, which introduces Lord Iron
, Fantastick Four 1602
by Peter David
, and Spider-Man 1602
by Jeff Parker.
This work provides examples of:
The sequels provide examples of:
- A God Am I: Octavius, when he embraces his transformation instead of trying to undo it.
- Cthulhumanoid: Victor Octavius's actual form is revealed to be this.
- The Dreaded: The King's Pin is a pirate who is rightfully feared by all sailors.
- Dropped A Bridge On Her:
- Natasha, a major character from the original miniseries, questions Doom about his plans... and he pushes her off his flying ship to her death.
- And poor Virginia Dare, whose death makes way for Peter to get together with actress Marion Jane Watsonne.
- Giant Foot of Stomping: How Octavius is dispatched, courtesy by Henri le Pym.
- I Have Your Wife: Baron Octavius keeps Henri Le Pym working for him by continually reminding him that if he doesn't comply with demands, his lady, Janette, will be fed to Conners, who is almost fully dinosaur in this world.
- Jekyll & Hyde: Inverted. Hulk is the good persona, Banner is a sadistic bastard who was one of the best torture agents in England.
- Mad Scientist: Octavius (squid), Conners (dinosaur), and eventually Osbourne (also dinosaur?) are all lab-table mutates, the prior two by their own doing. Octavius' mutation was accidental, though, which was the original reason he'd used a hostage to press-gang Pym into creating a cure. Then, as part of a Kick the Dog moment, he reveals to Pym that he'd been experimenting on Janette while she was in his keep, mutating her into an insect hybrid.
- Pirate: Kingpin (Captain Wilson Fiske, the King's Pin) and Bullseye (The Bull's Eye) are pirates in this continuity.
- Plague Doctor: In Spider-Man 1602, Baron Octavius (who is dying of the Black Death, and willing to go to any means to cure it) makes his first appearance flanked by plague doctors.
- Put on a Bus: At the end of the first series the characters talk of making the colony a safe haven for people with unusual abilities. At the beginning of 1602: New World there is a vague mention of the Witchbreed leaving, and they have not been seen or mentioned anywhere else in the follow-up series since.
- Except Hal McCoy (Beast), who ends up as a test subject for Octavius, and mutated to his familiar blue, ape-like form.
- Redemption Equals Death: Deciding to become a good man, Banner goes to subject himself to execution. Possibly subverted, however, in that it was likely a ploy to get close to King James as he was shown Hulking Out
- Revenge Before Reason: Arguably Lord Iron, who doesn't particularly give a damn about either side of the fight, but sides with King James because it means getting to kill Banner.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Once McCoy is released from captivity, he rips his way through the military guards in an attempt to find Octavius, not knowing he's already fled.
- Sissy Villain: King James.
- Steam Punk: Lord Iron's lightning bottle powered armor, which is the only thing keeping him alive after Banner got through with him.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Arguably, Virginia Dare, in 1602: Spider-Man.
- Take That: The Spider, after getting doused with ink, points out that no audience wants to see him in a black outfit.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: At the end of Spider-Man 1602, we find out that in the 40s, the Americans discovered an unfinished version of the serum Pym had created from Peter's blood, and refine it to create Captain America.
- It's also possibly implied that history eventually corrected itself to the point that World War II starts off as normal. Meaning that everything Rojhaz has done to prevent his world from coming to be was all for nothing.
- Tin Tyrant: Do you even need to be told it's Doom?
- Walk the Plank: The crew on Captain Stacy's ship are just about to kill Peter for being Witchbreed when he saves his life by saving their asses from the pirate ship The King's Pin.
Fantastick Four provides examples of:
- Bad Boss: Doom, natch. King James I too.
- Cool Airship: Doom has a literal airship - a galleon slung under a balloon.
- Executive Meddling: In-universe - James I has opinions about what should be in Shakespeare's plays.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: A creature referred to only as the Leviathan turns up from nowhere, menaces them for a few pages, and is Taken for Granite.
- Gorgeous Gorgon: The Medusa, one of the Frightful Four.
- Historical In-Joke: The woman Johnny Storm kidnapped ended up writing most of Shakespeare's plays.
- Series Continuity Error: Shakespeare first becomes interested in a certain character as a writing partner when she uses the "damned be he who first cries 'hold enow'" line which would end up in Macbeth, which starts him looking for a pen, even though that line is the first one he says in the series.
- Shout-Out: The 1602 version of Namor is called "Númenor" after J. R. R. Tolkien's Atlantis, while his kingdom is called Bensaylum after Francis Bacon's New Atlantis.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Near the end of 1602: Fantastick Four, the main characters catch a glimpse of the giant form of The Watcher looking down upon them. Everybody is convinced they saw the face of God, causing agnostic/atheist Richard Reed to have a massive crisis of faith.
- Taken for Granite: Anyone who looks into Medusa's eyes.