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.
Yet the forces that would firstmost protect humanity are finally coming together in a last desparate struggle to save all. The question you might be asking however is... "Is this story just a cheap Marvel rip-off, or is there some underlying explanation as yet unrevealed?"
Dr. Strange finds his astral form summoned to the moon, to speak with the "Watcher". Though condemned to watch, and never participate, it seems that the severity of the situation has pushed the boundaries of the Watcher's role. The space-time disruption, centered in America of that time, threatens to destroy the entire universe.
Since that would destroy the watchers, hence ending their role entirely, it seems that they must act in order to protect their sacred vigil. The watcher explains that the simultaneity originates in the 21st century, with the creation of a "Chronal Engine" by an inhabitant of our time. The watcher provides Strange with the knowledge which might revert the damage before it is too late, but forbids him from speaking a word as long as he lives.
Back on earth, Javier aids "Master" Jean Grey (her feminity hidden to the world) to telepathically fly their newly acquired ship all the way to Doom's castle, where they launch their assault. They are assisted by Matt and the Fantastic Four, who make their own escape. Furthermore, the old man who had brought the "weapon" from Jerusalem activates the power he had carried so far, transforming into Thor.
Back in Spain, the Pope's envoy believes he has captured Magneto and his brotherhood. Time will tell who has captured who.
Plenty of action now, all embedded in a plot which winds its way relentlessly through a series of cunning revelations and inspired inventions. There's two issues left to go, and you can be damned sure that there'll be plenty more twists left in this tale before we're done.
What's more, it's quite clear now that this is more than just another interminable "Alterverse" story. This tale is cunningly woven into the Marvel Universe (TM), and that gives it just a little bonus point in my book.
My only complaint is that there's no sign yet of Peter Parquagh gaining his powers. There's been a couple of teasing moments with spiders around the place, but it'll be a little bit of a shame not to see our hero get to play a slightly bigger part of the action. But hey, that's a tiny gripe, it would actually be quite a sneaky little twist if he never got to use his powers. Anyhow, I'll just stop whining now, and get back to enjoying the story!
Woo-Hoo! Five webs.