Hey, remember Neil Gaiman’s kinda-okay 1602 ? No? Forgot it already? Well, let Peter David’s Marvel 1602: Fantastick Four refresh your memory. Or, y’know, not, because it turns out that Peter David can’t do much more with that Elizabethan superhero thing than Gaiman did. This is a decent enough storylet, but nothing particularly special. As alternate takes on the Fantastic Four go, it’s better than that Unstable Molecules tripe, but not as good as the Ultimate Fantastic Four. I will say, though, that Pascal Alixe’s art is interestingly different, with a Mr. Fantastic who borders on the creepy.

Peter David’s X-Factor: Life and Death Matters and X-Factor: Many Lives of Madrox are very good works in the increasingly interesting X-Factor series, which continues to be focused on a ragtag bunch of mutants working as private investigators (but getting mixed up in bigger problems). The characterization and interpersonal relations of the characters are great, the plots interesting, and the puzzles intriguing. I don’t know that “superhero mystery” is really a genre, but if it is, this is a fine exemplar of the genre. Highly recommended.


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