Marvel in Elizabethan times, written by Neil Gaiman, art by Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove.
This alternative reworking of 1602 is scattered with the major players from the Marvel Universe, but not quite as we know them. The kingdoms of Spain, England, Scotland and the Vatican City vie for power as a strange dark force threatens to engulf them all.
On the splash page, Gaiman kicks down the "fourth wall", and introduces himself and Andy. He gives us a quick plot summary, but more importantly he (with a little clever irony) assures us that he knows what he's doing.
Of course, I wasn't worried. But ya know, some of the more nervous readers out there might have started to think there was no way that Gaiman could pull all his tangled plot threads together in a timely and satisfying manner. Please. If you're among the Nervous Nellies suffering such anxieties, then put your minds at ease. We are all in the hands of a master.
It is pointless, and near impossible to do service to the plot by describing it here. But let me instead say that the threads are now coming together most ingeneously. Count Doom has captured the "powerful weapon" which came from the middle east. He has Matt captured there in his dungeons, and we learn also that 1602's strangely familiar version of the Fantastic Four are also imprisoned deep in Doom's castle cellers.
Meanwhile, Nick Fury has abandoned his treacherous master, King James, and has thrown in his lot with Javier and his gifted students. Javier tells Fury to obtain a sleek ship, and they will journey to Doom's stronghold, although Fury does not understand how a ship could travel there in such short time as to save the world.
As for Dr. Strange, the mage loses consciousness, and seems dead to this world, as Clea watches on in horror...
We're really kicking into high gear. There's pace aplenty, while the last few characters are moving out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Yet there are still many mysteries as yet unravelled, and the promise of more in store is clear and undeniable.
All this is capped with Gaiman's masterful gift for script, and Kubert's peerless art.
Bliss, oh Bliss! Five webs.