Most alternate realities that make up the multiverse at both Marvel and DC Comics are variations on a theme. There are some completely originally universes, but most are inhabited by Elseworlds and What If? stories that take our familiar heroes and villains and apply a twist. Maybe the hero and villain have changed roles. Or our hero was raised in Russia instead of on a farm in the middle of the US.
A common twist is to time displace characters. For example, what if Batman was around in the days of Jack The Ripper? In 2003, writer Neil Gaiman transplanted the Marvel Universe to the Elizabethan Era in the hit 1602. Not surprisingly, a domain of Battleworld gets dedicated to this time period in 1602 Witch Hunger Angela. Unfortunately, while the original series was a huge success, this Secret Wars version is quite poor. But to fulfill my contract here at Gabbing Geek, I still need to cover the last two issues after the break.
In much the same vein, the Secret Wars series 1872 takes the Marvel Universe and places it in the old West. So after the break I’ll also be cluing up the final 3 issues of that series…for better or worse. (For worse if you ask Ryan.)
We’ll start at the beginning, when he was writing straight parody humor of writers like JRR Tolkien and still finding his eventual voice for the series. The first book is The Color of Magic, one I actually have not read before, so this will be a new experience for me as well.
On a side note, while many of these novels are short, and most of them are a good, quick, fun read, I’m also an English teacher currently working my way through Infinite Jest, Shakespeare’s Othello and King John, A Canticle for Leibowitz, and the first of the Harry Bosch mystery novels, so I have no idea how often this column will appear, but for now, let’s see if we can get through the first one and go from there.