Apr 17, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 52: 1602 #6, March 2004

This issue opens with a conversation on the Moon between Doctor Strange and The Watcher. In which all the things that the Gaiman avatar in the previous issue's opening tells us are, in a far more organic way, revealed. I am still mystified as to the need for that opening in yesterday's issue. Ah well, I'll let it go, I suppose.
I need to also add a caveat to my promise to have music to link to on Sunday. Only 4 verses of the Ballad of the Fantastick have been released so far in the series, so it might be a very short bit of music. I'd considered trying to write a couple more verses myself, but, to be honest, I'm writing and studying an awful lot these days, so adding more to my plate seems like a great way to have a nervous breakdown. (Which might make for some interesting posts, but at what cost...AT WHAT COST!!???)

Anyway, on to today's comic.

I'm noticing a trend of sorts when I'm writing about runs or series of comics in this project. By about this point in a run, I'm running out of things to say. I mean, 1602 is still really good, but I think I've addressed the problems I have with it, and pointed to the things about it that I like, yet, including today's issue, I've got 3 more days of trying to find something to say about it. Perhaps now is as good a time as any to address whether or not this series was really the big deal it was made out to be at the time. A quick look at the GCD shows that this was Gaiman's first major comics work, really, since the end of The Sandman. I remember when it was solicited and then released that it marked Gaiman's "triumphant" return to the medium, but I wonder if the story was overshadowed by the man at this point. Not that I'm saying that it's a bad story. It's actually very good, and a very creative way of using these characters, aside from the heavy-handed exposition I've already complained about. But is it of Sandman calibre? No. It really isn't. I think I actually prefer Gaiman's next Marvel project, The Eternals, to this one, but again I wonder if it's because there was so much hype around this series and I'm not entirely sure it lived up to it.

Ah, is this another trend? The further I get into a series, the more critical I get? I shudder to think what's going to happen when I hit up Milligan's Shade. By the time I hit issue 70, I'll just hate it through and through. (That will never happen with Shade, by the way.)

Okay, that's enough of that. Tomorrow and Sunday we continue on with the rise of the Marvels in the seventeenth century. What I'm starting to think on is whether or not this series, aside from the sequels it spawned, has any real ramifications for the Marvel Universe, or, if not, whether or not it could have. See you tomorrow.

(Oh, actually, can I mention one other thing? I'm sooooo glad that there is no frickin' Wolverine in this series. Finally a Marvel comic that doesn't feel the need to use the most over-used [next to Batman] character in superhero stories to bump up its sales. Okay, rant over.)

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