You know what I hadn’t done in an exceptionally long time? Read a comic authored by Neil Gaiman! Luckily, Marvel 1602 exists to fill that precise gap, and now I’ve done so again. (But I am not convinced any other new ones exist, so that may have just been the end of that. Alas!, if so.) Imagine, if you will, the waning days of the reign of Elizabeth I of England. Only, over the past 50 or so years, important people are being born, people you would expect to be born almost half a millennium later, if you were familiar with the “Marvel Age of Comics”. So there you are in 1602, reading about the Queen’s personal physician and naturalist, one Doctor Stephen Strange, and her spymaster, Sir Nicholas Fury, and a school for certain gifted young people run by a Carlos Javier, and, well, really a lot of other names you’d recognize from the 1960s, if you had been reading these comics then, like me. In fact, what few names there are missing would be spoilers to reveal by their very absence.
Into that unexpected cauldron, we need only add mysterious weather harbinging the end of the world, and Virginia Dare, the first English immigrant born on American soil, lost in our history along with the rest of the Roanoke colony but somehow alive in this apparently altered timeline; and voila, instant Gaiman mythology, complete with meditations on predestination and sacrifice. It was interesting to learn that Virginia Dare is a highly mythologized character in her own right; I remember in the vaguest way learning about her existence in school, but not that she had drawn much focus in American folklore since. I wish to learn more, and particularly welcome any recommendations; my only source of book recommendations right now is to poke through the Wikipedia article.
Other than to approve of and recommend 1602, though, there’s not much else I want to say. There are lots of good twists, and not knowing about them in advance was a lot of my fun. But I will say that Gaiman’s use of spiders in and around Peter Parquagh constituted one of the largest literary teases it has ever been my pleasure to witness. There are a handful of sequels, none by Gaiman of course, and I own / will read one of them soon. I hope they are at least pretty okay, because I do want to know what happens next, yo. I just also want what happens next to be non-lame.
 Okay, but’s it’s a close approximation of true!