1602: New World
Writer: Greg Pak
Pencils/Inks: Greg Tocchini/Mark Morales
Colors: Morry Hollowell & Wil Quintana
Neil Gaiman’s foray into the Marvel Universe with 1602 was an amazing mini-series. He’s the sort of writer that can take modern day super heroes and sprinkle them in this historical setting and make it work. From character origins, allegiances and even some surprising twists here and there, 1602 was a great and fun read.
Marvel should have left it untouched.
Greg Pak doesn’t have the chops to live up to Neil Gaiman, and it clearly shows in this 5-issue run, focusing on the characters left on Roanoke Island. He expands on Spider-Man and the Hulk and gives us Iron Man, but the rest of it falls horribly short. Osborne is played in much too broad strokes, making him an annoying villain, Virginia Dare (one of the weak links in Gaiman’s original) still doesn’t have any real purpose and before long it turns into a typical British vs Indians fight. Let’s not mention how the fighting eventually ends – it’s so ridiculous I don’t even want to say how and spoil anyone because it has to be seen to be believed.
I guess it was entertaining in a What The Hell Kind of Crack is Pak Smoking sort of way, but I wouldn’t reccommend it to anyone. If you’ve read 1602 and loved it, don’t even bother with New World. Not to mention the art – sketchy at best, lazy at worst, and that goes for the coloring as well. I didn’t even realize Lord Iron’s manservant was Señor Rhodes until his name was actually mentioned.
At least 1602: Fantastick Four was written by Peter David, so that’s something to look forward to after this hot mess.