Saturday, October 28, 2006
Hey Look! It's Queen Elizabeth I! In a comic!
As has been stated previously in this blog, I enjoy graphic novels, but when it comes to being well-versed in character history... I'm just not. Really, my knowledge is almost (but not entirely, thank you very much) limited to the movie versions. Sorry. In all fairness, I do tend to see quite a lot of those movies...though I think I can safely say I have no intention of seeing Ghost Rider. So, when I step into something as elaborate and meticulous (well, I think) as Gaiman's re-imagined Marvel 1602 I think that I would get a great deal more out of it were I the type of reader who possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of the extensive Marvel Universe, or even if I were obsessive enough to go to the fantastic character database. Which I'm not. But hey, maybe you are. I won't judge. Promise.
For instance, I truly have no idea who some of the characters in this actually are. However, other the obvious ones, I think I caught on to most of them by the end. There were two characters in particular whose more familiar personas' were especially amusing with their reveal at the end. Surprisingly, though I don't know why, the character commonly known today as Daredevil was the most engaging in this compilation. I now think that Mr. Fantastic is a total dork. Mostly because his constant stretching about was annoying. I don't know if he does that normally, if he was just showing off (or the artist was) or if he just has trouble holding a standard form.
However, none of this is relevant. The basic premise is: What would the world look like if super powers began to appear 400 years ago? How does it happen and how does the world cope? The answer: Not terribly well, but it really does get nicely folded into the actual historical events of the beginning of James I's reign in England and the later years of the Spanish Inquisition (which, I'm totally ashamed to admit I didn't realize until I just looked it up lasted for the better part of 400 years. Must read Incantation to reconcile my failure. Good thing it's conveniently on the Cybil's YA list!).
My only quibble? The end was, um, confusing? I'm still not quite sure what happened. I should probably go back and re-read, but that's so not going to happen. I think that there were several different endings. Some possibly occurring in alternate realities. Or not. Really, I did read it. Sigh. Oh well. I'll convince myself of some happy ending that is completely contrary to what actually happened. That's not to say whatever did happen wasn't happy. Oh dear. Well, read it if you want to. I might have just lost interest when Matthew Murdoch left the picture. ;)
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This is a great graphic novel, though I agree that it became a big confusing with Dr. Strange and all of that. Anyway, Neil Gaiman makes almost anything cool.
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