As you know by this post I love Neil Gaiman. His novels are awesome and I've read several of them twice. I read The Sandman series last year and I enjoyed it overall, but there were some repeating themes that I got tired of toward the end. I expected some of the same themes in this series, but was pleasantly surprised that he reached outside that scope.
In this series Neil Gaiman explores a "what if" situation. What if the Marvel universe started 300 years before it did. I went into to this expecting a mirror of the Marvel characters, but what I got was characters with similar qualities but essentially different people.
Nick Fury working for the Queen and having that crazy English loyalty. When Scottish James takes the throne Fury flees out of necessity to save the universe, but nothing less would make him betray England. He struggles with that fact for the rest of the series.
Magneto, the Grand Inquisitor, was my favorite character in the series. It was interesting that he was known for burning mutants at the stake. At first I didn't think it was true to form, but when it was stated that he only burned the ones who were physically identified and hid the passable ones away it was a lot like the modern Magneto. He would do anything for the superiority of the mutant race including sacrificing his own kind.
The way Gaiman incorporated so many characters into this story was artfully done, and the explanation for the storyline was interesting and a little over my head.
There wasn't much of a main character in the series which was how it should have been, but Gaiman did focus on Dr. Strange more than I was expecting. I don't know anything at all about Dr. Strange so all I can say is I liked the character for the story, but I definitely liked his wife the best.
My only complaint for this series was the limited exposure (and life) of Jean Grey, it was interesting that Gaiman incorporated the Phoenix aspect in her death she is my favorite X-Men though, so I am biased.
Overall, this was an enjoyable series, an interesting look at an alternate timeline beautifully written and expertly illustrated.
Have you read 1602?