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.
The mysterious Watcher has revealed the truth to Dr. Strange, but forbidden him to speak a word as long as he may live. How then can he aid his friends to save the universe from the spreading effects of the temporal singularity which was thrust back into their time by a chronal tinkerer 400 years in the future?
Strange has been taken by King James, held as one of Nick Fury's partners in treason. With his newly-given boundless knowledge, Strange knows what his fate will be - beheading. On another continent, this world's Magneto is chained to a pyre as the papal agent prepares to torch him. Naturally, the roles are soon reversed.
Meanwhile, Javier and his mutants, the Fantastik Four, the redheaded daredevil adventurer Matt, and Thor are all now at sea in their (previously airborne) ship. They have decided to head to the Americas, which they now understand to be the source of the temporal disturbance. But first, they must deal with the tragic loss of one of their number.
Back in England, Dr. Strange speaks from beyond the grave. He has a few precious moments to communicate with his beloved Clea, and to send her off to the Americas by ship, along with Virginia and her native American bodyguard, Rohjaz. Not far behind them, a ship carries King James' trusted agent Banner, and his new servant, Peter Parquagh, former young aide to Nick Fury.
But James' men do not yet know what Clea has learned. Though the young girl Virginia gained her powers by approaching the chronal rift, she is not the "Forerunner", the prime agent. That honour belongs to Rohjaz, who is at least revealed as being the traveller from our time.
It's good. It's all good. If you haven't figured that out by now, why are you still reading these reviews! If you haven't been picking this one up, then for goodness' sake make sure you grab the TPB! Heck, I'm tempted to pick up a copy of the 'trade so that I can lend it to my friends and make them understand how good a comic can be!
Five webs. No surprises!