Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, July 23, 2007

So Where's the REAL Sequel?

(Warning, contains spoilers for Marvel: 1602)

Okay, I think I've mentioned before that I tend to really enjoy AUs and Elseworlds in general. Recently I've had the chance to read Marvel's 1602 and really really enjoyed it. The story was compelling, the characters were interesting beyond the whole "Hee! Familiar character in a new setting!" sort of way. The art was pretty.

The sequels though were incredibly disappointing. "New World" seemed to have no real plot whatsoever aside from "Look! Peter has powers now and is working for a colonial newspaper!" "Iron Man! real reason!" and "Let's have the Hulk kill King James and fight dinosaurs in early America!"

By the way, I'm not saying "Hulk fighting dinosaurs" isn't inherently awesome. It just...

It didn't feel like there was a story. At least the Fantastic Four version had something of a story, but still very disappointing compared to the original. Really though, while the setting was neat, there really wasn't anything left to say.

I think what bothers me most is that there IS a story in the aftermath of 1602 that wasn't written and I believe really really ought to have been. At least as much as New World.

Sir Nicholas Fury carried Steve Rogers/Rojhaz through the time portal. That means that there is an AU Elizabethan-Era Spymaster Nick Fury running around in a dystopian future with a Steve Rogers that was willing to risk the universe to build a better one.

A Nicholas Fury adept at intrigue and cunning, with the resolve to do what it takes, trapped in an alien dystopic future bad enough to send Captain America to such extremes. He's with a man who's a symbol for idealism, a believed-executed fugitive, who is at least a little bit insane and at the very least is bound to resent him a little for thwarting his last ditch crazy attempt to fix things. That's not even getting into the fact that he'll know Sir Nicholas as another man entirely, which will complicate things on a more personal level.

America is in the grips of a suspiciously purple-faced despotic dictator. Most of the heroes are dead. And we've suddenly got a guy that's really used to clandestine activities, with all the cunning and intelligence and charisma of his 616 version. If anyone could set up a guerilla fighting force and have it succeed, it's this guy. And he's walking around with a living symbol of hope!

There's all sorts of potential. Finding heroes that might have escaped capture or execution. Rescuing the captive ones. Dismantling governmental facilities. Spreading hope and whispers of liberty and freedom. Finally overthrowing the despot and seeding something new.

There's room for character growth as well, as Sir Nicholas is bound to begin to think of this country and its people as his, as well as building his friendship with Steve and the others. Steve can finally stop reacting and start really fighting back. The other characters will have their own demons and struggles. In the end though, it'd be all about hope.

I dunno. Maybe it'd suck, but I really resent that it went unwritten while we got "Let's shove more familiar characters in this unfamiliar setting and dick around with them pointlessly! Who needs a STORY?"



  • At July 23, 2007 10:43 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    You have a good point. I too read the original with Neil Gaiman, and enjoyed it, then read the first issue of the sequel,and firmly decided that it was NOT for me.

    Could've been done a whole lot better. Of course, that's true for a LOT of things lately.

  • At July 23, 2007 3:49 PM, Anonymous Dan Coyle said…

    I sort of liked the sequel, but I agree it was little more than Pak just throwing the characters in a bowl and stirring. His primary weakness has always been plot, which makes World War Hulk all the more impressive for being perfectly structured so far.

    But here's another thing, Kalinara:

    When Rojaz explained how he died, he said he was shot in the head.

    Captain America 616 was shot in the head. In a world that had becoming creepingly facist.

    Could it be...?

    Would make one hell of a plot twist, wouldn't it?

  • At July 23, 2007 4:12 PM, Blogger tavella said…

    Hmm. Do you think Fury and Cap were actually running around? My interpretation was that Fury was taking Cap to his death.

  • At July 23, 2007 5:04 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    sally: Yeah...*sigh*

    dan: Heh, I dunno. Does seem to make the 616 seem a lot less permanent in retrospect though. Heh.

    tavella: That's a fair interpretation. I like mine better though. :-)

  • At July 24, 2007 9:52 AM, Blogger tavella said…

    Oh, I like it better too, I just had never thought of Cap surviving, because I assumed the reason they were all so saddened by the betrayal they were undertaking was that they were killing a good man.

  • At July 24, 2007 9:53 AM, Blogger tavella said…

    In re Dan's thought, 616-Cap was shot in the shoulder and stomach, not head.


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