Marvel 1602
ISBN: 0785123113

Bet you couldn’t imagine a world where Marvel supers — Spider-man, the X-men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Nick Fury — coexist with their respective nemesis, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

I think you have to be British, like Neil Gaiman, to pull this off.

This alternate universe starts with a sombre meeting between Sir Nicholas Fury, an aged Queen Elizabeth I, and Dr. Stephen Strange. Their world is apparently dying and they obviously would like to find the cause and stop it.

The breakthrough comes when they eventually meet Virginia Dare. She is a young girl from the far colony in America, back to seek an audience with the queen. Her bodyguard, a huge blond-haired Indian native named Rojhaz, has good reason to be overly protective of Virginia. Because Virginia has the ability to turn into animal forms, but it was a power she could not control.

Initially, the signs seem to point to Virginia as the cause of the strangeness in the world. But the real cause was the presence of a super from a later time, whose very existence in this current universe is tearing the world apart. I won’t spoil your enjoyment by revealing this super. I’ll just say “O Captain, My Captain” and leave it as that.

Other familiar characters, in subtle character guises, include: Peter Parquagh and Count Otto von Doom.