Corrections, additions, and suggestions are of course welcome. Please e-mail them to me.
Updated 30 September. Updates in blue.
Jason Pomerantz has written an interesting article on the mysteries behind 1602, which acts (along with the responses to it) as a nice complement to these annotations. Julian Darius, unaware of these annotations, took it on himself to do his own annotations (heavier on the history, lighter on the Marvel Comics stuff) to 1602, at his The Continuity Pages site.
These annotations are mirrored at the Comic Book Annotations site
(The image above is © copyright 2003 Marvel Characters, Inc. The text here, except where otherwise credited, is © copyright 2003 Jess Nevins, and may not be duplicated, in part or in whole, without my permission).
Cover. Loki Carbis sez, "like Watchmen, it appears that the covers of 1602 will double as first panels of the story." Jason Pomerantz says, "The Elizabethan equivalent of Dr. Strange approaches Hampton Court, a royal palace in Surrey, a city in England, just Southwest of London, on the River Thames."
Page 1. Panel 1. Dave
points out that "red skies are a standard indication of world-changing
temporal instability in the DC Universe, most notably in Crisis on Infinite
Earths." In Crisis on Infinite Earths the continuity of the DC
Universe was changed, so that the past, as previously seen in various comics,
was altered. If the events of 1602 have actually occurred in mainstream
Marvel continuity, as Gaiman has indicated, then a revision of the timeline
may lie ahead.
Geoffrey D. Wessel adds
From the String Theory Discussion Forum:
Is there scientific validity to the saying 'Red sky at night, sailors' delight; red sky in the morning sailors take warning'?
Joe Sienkiewicz, chief of the Ocean Applications Branch and a science and operations officer with the NOAA/NWS Ocean Prediction Center, explains.
Indeed, there is scientific validity to the adage, "red sky at night sailors’ delight; red sky in the morning sailors take warning." This saying has very old roots. In the bible (Matthew 16:2-3), the following quote is attributed to Jesus: "When it is evening, ye say, fair weather: for the heaven is red. And in the morning, foul weather today for the heaven is red and lowering." There are also versions of this saying that refer to shepherds instead of sailors.
Two factors contribute to the cogency of this saying. The first is that weather systems generally travel from west to east in the mid latitudes. Because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, a rising sun in advance of an approaching weather system would illuminate the approaching mid- and high-level clouds to create a red sky in the morning. Alternatively, if the sun is setting as a weather system exits and high pressure is building, then the departing clouds would be illuminated. This would create a red sky at night with fair weather to follow.
The reddish color results from scattering of sunlight by suspended particles and aerosols in the atmosphere. The sun’s rays pass through a greater length of atmosphere at sunrise and sunset than at any other time of day. In addition, aerosol, dirt, and dust concentrations are maximized in the lowest layers of the atmosphere when the atmosphere is dominated by sinking air (high pressure). Therefore when under high pressure we can see vivid red sunsets and sunrises.
So this saying is valid in mid latitudes if the timing of weather systems is just right. That is, clearing in the east at sunrise with approaching clouds and clearing prior to sunset in the west as clouds exit to the east. If weather systems and their associated clouds are moving from south to north (as can occasionally occur), however, then the saying does not hold.
Panel 4. For the history-impaired among you, this is Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603). Elizabeth reigned from 1558 to her death; for more information, go to the Britannia page on Queen Elizabeth. Paul O'Brien adds,
the reason Elizabeth has such bizarre facial colouring is because she was fond of wearing tons of make-up which she believed was good for her skin. In fact, at least as it was taught to me at school, it was a dreadful health hazard and probably accelerated her death. So her bizarre appearance in this story is not mere accident; it's both historically accurate and directly related to the plot point that she's likely to be dying soon without issue.Phil Nelson adds, about Queen Bess' makeup, that
at the time, that some of the popular cosmetics were (in no order):Dave amusingly asks, "is it just me, or does Kubert's Good Queen Bess look a bit like Quentin Crisp (who played the role in the film version of Orlando)?"
For that white skin effect, Venetian Ceruse and Lead White were used. As the name says, there's lead involved. The lead eventually absorbed into the skin and caused many many cases of acute lead poisoning.
They were also fond of using Mercury sublimate to get rid of freckles and blemishes. As you can guess, this often had the same results as the Lead White.
Belladonna was used to get that red in the cheeks look. It's a pretty deadly hallucinogen.
Page 2. Panel 1. Reg Osborne notes that the quote here is from
the Gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 24 with "No man shall know the day nor the hour." This is a chapter which refers to the dangers of looking for omens of the end times and warns against false prophets who claim that the end is nigh. Note that he doesn't use the more familiar King James Bible phrasing, since the King James Version is still some years in the future at this point.Panel 3. “Doctor Stephen Strange” is of course an analogue for Dr. Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe. And “Sir Nicholas Fury” is of course an analogue for Nick Fury, head of SHIELD (Supreme Headquarters of International Electric Lymphatic Disorders, or whatever SHIELD stands for these days), the major good-guy spy agency of Earth-Marvel. But both are analogues for historical figures in addition to comic book figures.
“Doctor Stephen Strange, master of the Queen’s medicines” is an analogue for Dr. John Dee. There’s a lot written about Dr. Dee, much of it tosh; the John Dee Society can provide some information on him. What we can say with some degree of assurance is that he was born in 1527 and died in 1608, that he was an English mathematician and astronomer, and that Queen Bess consulted him on various astrological matters. (For the mainstream version of his life, see the “John Dee” entry from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica site). He was reported during his lifetime to be a wizard, and astrology may not have been all that the Queen consulted him on. Peter Birk, among several others, noted that Gaiman dealt with a "Dr. Dee" before, in the early issues of Sandman.
“Sir Nicholas Fury” is an analogue for Sir Francis Walsingham (1530-1590);
he was a member of the Queen’s privy council, her Secretary of State for
most of the 1570s and 1580s, and the head of her spy system. For more information,
entry on the 1911 Encyclopedia
Geoffrey Wessel points out the synergy of these two being together, as they "used to share a title in the 1960s, Strange Tales--and so far, this is a pretty damn strange tale!"
Panel 5. Reg Osborne writes,
The Queen shows symptoms of tuburculosis throughout this scene, the blood spots on her handkerchief in this panel being the clearest indication that she is coughing up blood suggesting the disease is in an advanced stage. TB, (or consumption as it was called in polite society,) was one of the most common causes of death amongst the upper classes of the time.Page 3. Panel 2. David Goldfarb notes, "I note that Dr. Strange wears a skullcap. Could he be Jewish?" Several folks, including Greg Rucka, pointed out that Doc couldn't have been Jewish, as there were no publicly avowed Jews in England at this time. (The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 by King Edward I and were not admitted back until the end of 1655, thanks to Oliver Cromwell). (Moreover, the skullcap was not adopted by Jews until the 18th century, so even if Doc was Jewish he wouldn't be wearing the yarmulke). Bill Stiteler says, "The university skullcap (which would later evolve into the modern mortarboard) evolved along with religious "biretta," both probably finding their origin among the act of a tonsured monk or priest shaving a portion of his head." Joseph Finn contributes this FAQ Regarding Academic Costume which explains a bit more. Damian Gordon adds that Dr. Dee is always portrayed as wearing a skullcap.
Also in this panel, the Queen's quotation is from Proverbs chapter 16, verse 18.
Page 4. Panel 1. Reg Osborne notes, "I could be wrong, but that looks more like the Tower of London that Strange and Fury are walking away from. Notice the four turreted White Tower at the centre. What's missing is the Water Gate which should open onto the Thames just right of the centre of the panel." Kelvin Green responds, "Unfortunately, I suspect that Reg is wrong, because it can't be the Tower of London AND Hampton Court, as they're a fair distance from each other. It does look like The Tower though, so it's most likely Kubert getting his visual references mixed up."
Panel 2. The “Templars” are the Knights Templar, one of the linchpins of medieval and modern conspiracy theory. They were formed in 1118 as an international monastic military order to fight in the Crusades; they became very wealthy and powerful as time passed and were finally crushed in 1307 by King Philip IV of France, who with the help of Pope Clement V arrested the Knights, seized their wealth, and convicted them of heresy.
Loki Carbis had the patience to write all this up (I did not):
The Templars were originally founded to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land. Since there were only a handful of them at first, many historians believe that they had another goal. That goal may have been temporal power: as Fury notes here, they became very powerful, largely due to running the biggest bank in all Europe. It is generally agreed today that their suppression in France was largely the result of the King wanting to get his hands on their money.(Bruno Batista adds to this that "The correct and more common term for the portuguese Templars would be 'The Order Of Christ.'")
But there are more mystical versions of their history. They are often rumoured to have carried out excavations beneath the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, where it is further rumoured they uncovered a great treasure, possibly the Holy Grail itself. It is also often claimed that many Templars in nations other than France avoided persecution by going underground and re-emerging as differently-named orders. The Scotch Rite Freemasons and the Portugese Order of Navigators (of which Columbus was a member) are claimed to be Templar-descended organisations by some.
Scott Morse followed up with:
The Knights Templar did indeed excavate beneath the Temple Mount for years, and it is beleived by some that they were searching not for the Holy Grail, but the Arc of the Covenant, once housed in the original Temple of Solomon. Some reports have the Knights delivering the Arc to an island off the coast of North Africa, then eventually to Ethiopia, where it is purported by some to still rest under the guard of one holy man. Others claim the Knights did indeed recover the Arc and eventually deliver it, along with FOUR OTHER identical Arcs, to Scotland, where all five still remain, buried under a Templar castle. The Arc itself would fit inside the box the Old Man is delivering to London in 1602, as depicted in the book.Daniel Lindquist adds,
Further, the Arc is of course noted as having immeasurable power. Some believe it was actually a crude battery, one of many made with knowledge from the Pharoah's court in Egypt before the exodus of Moses and the Jews. Moses, having been among the Pharoah's inner circle for most of his life, would have had access to the knowledge of how to build an arc, justifying his possession of one when storing the Ten Commandments.
The arc, as the device in 1602, would also readily lend itself to many religious themes in the book.
many cospiracy theories involving the Templars say that they found the Ark of the Covenant, and that was the real reason for the Church to condemn them (so that the Pope could get the Ark, for much the same reason as the Nazis in "Raiders of the Lost Ark"; so goes the thinking of the average anti-Templar conspiracy theorist). This would also account for the "unremarkable wooden chest"; if the Templar secret was the Grail, then it'd probably be in a smaller package.Oliver Barker adds,
Various conspiracy theories surround the Templar treasure. The mystical possibilities include the Holy Grail, the Body of Christ and the Ark of the Covenant. If the Templars were indeed Devil-worshippers, the treasure could be the Head of Baphomet, the idol they allegedly worshipped.Joe adds, "you should add that there is a chapel in Scotland, built by the Templars, which is rumored to be the resting place of The Holy Grail, the Arc of the Covenant, and who knows what else. The Grail is supposed to be in a pillar and the Arc would be in the sealed vaults under the chapel. This is chapel is called the The Rosslyn chapel and it has some of the weirdest carvings in any Christian place of worship. People still arn't sure what they all mean."
The Old Man could in fact refer to the Old Man of the Mountain and the Ancient One. The Assassins/Hashashin (or more properly, the Nizari) were an Ismaeli Islamic sect (the Ismaelis were a branch of the Shiites). They were viewed as heretics by the Sunni branch of Islam that was dominant in Iran(one theory states that the name Hashashin is Sunni propaganda to illustrate their immorality). In order to ensure the survival of their faith, the Nizari occupied a number of mountain fortresses, such as Alamut. They sent out missionaries and cultivated the arts of infiltration and subversion, allowing them to take the fortresses intact and place agents close to their enemies. Many prominent members of the Sunni community fell at the hands of trusted servants; after a while, any assassination attempt was automatically blamed on the Nizari. This naturally discouraged interference. The Nizari fortresses eventually fell to the Mongols, but survivors and missionaries continued to spread the Ismaili faith. It even spread as far as India, where the Ismaeli community is known as the Khojas. Their Imam is the Agha Khan.In response to Fury's comment that "...if I know, then I can wager you the Spanish and the Portuguese and the Russians also know," Bruno Batista notes, "In 1602, Portugal was under the rule of Spain (if i'm not mistaken, from 1580 to 1640), so this sentence is erroneous." In 1580 Cardinal Henry, the King of Portugal, died, and a regency of five was established to govern the country. The most powerful of the claimants was King Philip I of Spain, who invaded Spain on Aug. 25 and defeated his oppponents in the battle of Alcantara. From 1580-1598 Philip ruled over Portugal, and in 1598 Philip II of Spain succeeded him, ruling until 1621. Soon Lee adds, "Portugal under Spanish rule was still a distinct entity. I think of it as e.g. Scotland under English rule was still Scotland and Scottish interests may run counter to English interests in the same way that Portuguese interests and Spanish interests are not identical. And we might be assuming too much if we think the Spanish, Portuguese and Russian references are to the respective monarchs and their interests. It could easily refer to factions within Portugal, Spain and Russia that are interested. This would resolve the apparent mistake."
I freely admit that I may be over-interpreting this, but the Ancient One that instructed the modern-day Dr. Strange could have come into contact with the Khojas. He may even be one of them. Ismaeli and Nizari thought tended towards mysticism, and some of their ideas were incorporated by the Sufis. It is not inconceivable that a wise old Nizari could become the Sorceror Supreme of Earth.
Panel 4. In the Marvel Universe Dr. Strange’s home is in Greenwich Village, in New York City. In reality Greenwich is a borough of Greater London as well as of New York City.
Panel 5. John Dee was reputed to use a mirror of obsidian to perform his magical scrying. Jason Pomerantz adds this book review which has some information on Dee and his mirror.
Page 5. Panel 1. “Domdaniel” is not a real place in Spain, but rather is (per the always useful Reader’s Encyclopedia)
a fabled abode of evil spirits, gnomes, and enchanters, ‘under the roots of the ocean’ off Tunis, or elsewhere. It first appears in Chaves and Cazotte’s Continuation of the Arabian Nights (1788-1793), was introduced by Southey into his Thalaba, and used by Carlyle as synonymous with a den of iniquity.Suzy Covey notes that "Throughout Sandman, Neil refers to Auberon, the King of Faerie, as 'Auberon of Domdaniel' -- so it already has some resonance for him as a magical realm."
“Yesterday they burned a Jew. He was a secret Jew....”
In 1492 King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain (the same king and queen who funded Christopher Columbus’ voyage) ordered that all of the Jews of Spain should be driven out of the kingdom and all its territories. The Jews of Spain were left with the choice of converting to Christianity or leaving their homes. Most of the Jews left. Others stayed. Some of those who stayed were real converts to Christianity; they were known as “conversos,” or “the converted.” Many others who converted were suspected (truly or falsely) of being “secret Jews,” of pretending to be Christians but secretly practicing Judaism. These latter were known as “marranos.”
Panel 6. “Did I kiss the Devil’s Rump before I grew my wings?”
Part of the black Sabbath which all witches were suspected of taking part in was the kissing of the Devil’s hindquarters.
As an analogue for mutants, “witchbreed” (presumably the product of the mating of witches and the Devil during the orgies of black Sabbaths) works well; medieval and even Renaissance Europe feared and hated witches as much as the population of Earth-Marvel hates and fears mutants.
Page 6. This figure is an analogue for Warren Worthington, the winged mutant Angel of the X-Men. Kelvin Green points out that his body, bound as it is, makes an X.
Page 7. Panel 1. “The Moor’s Head.”
There were and are various taverns and pubs with that name, although I’m unaware of any in Westminster. Variations of the name were “The Black-a-moor’s Head” and “The Black Moor’s Head.” Chad Underkoffler quite usefully provides a link to "U Moru," a site explaining the symbolism of the Moor's head. Reg Osborne amusingly adds, "I'm wondering whether there aren't a couple of "Easter Eggs" in the "The Moors Head Tavern", we don't see the tavern sign, but I'm wondering if it might actually show a certain yeti-like comics creator rather than the traditional Moor's head image." Rachel says, "The tavern name of The Moor's Head, while historical, could also be another Templar reference. As you mentioned earlier, they were accused of idolizing the head of Baphomet, which is widely regarded as a bastardization of Mohammed. "
Panels 1-2. “‘There were four brave souls rode the oceans abroad,
T’was on the Fantastick they sailed, And one was the Captain, and one
was a Lord, And one a young hothead who carried a sword, and the last
was a maiden so pale–so pale....’”
This is a reference to the analogues of the Fantastic Four. In the Marvel Universe the FF gained their powers during a secret rocket trip to the moon.
Loki Carbis notes, "The song that Murdock sings
here uses the same scansion as the song Gaiman wrote for Thomas the Rhymer
in "The Books of Magic". If you want to know how it would sound, Tom
Lehrer's "The Irish Ballad" also uses this tune and scansion. It's
a very old folk song tune."
Bill Stiteler says, "In the Marvel Universe, the
Fantastic Four went on their exploratory mission into space, crashed safely,
discovered their powers and became a team of superheroes with no secret identity.
Yet in the world of 1602 they are believed to be dead. Could this
event be the key to the Primary Mystery of 1602? What would have happened
had the Fantastic Four not returned from their trip?"
Panel 3. A “groat” was a coin which was worth four pence.
The blind minstrel “Matthew” is an analogue for the Marvel Universe hero Daredevil, who is blind and whose civilian name is Matthew Murdock. Reg Osborne wonders if Matthew might be an analogue for "Christopher Marlowe, poet, playwrite and also one of Walsingham's agents." For more on Kit Marlowe, one of history's most interesting characters, read this biography. Damian Gordon says,
My suggestion that he could be an analogue from a real-life Irish blind balladeer Anthony Raftery (Antoine Ó Raiftéirí). He is Ireland's most famous Ballader (Bono not withstanding) and he sung songs and wandered around the country, and is said to have spent time with magical creatures, fairies and leprechauns. He lived much later 1779-1835, but could be an inspiration for the character.For more information on Raftery, read this biography.
“Bog-trotter” was and is a derogatory term for the Irish. (‘cause there are bogs in Ireland, see, and so the Irish must trot across them....)
Page 8. Panel 1. “...if the Queen had had
issue, the world would not be in the parlous state it is.”
The fact that Queen Elizabeth never bore children was a source of some dismay to the English, especially as she grew older. The peaceful transition of kingdoms, from one ruler to another, was more often accomplished via family, from father to son, than otherwise, and the awful years when the Catholic Queen Mary, who had gained the English throne following the death without issue of Edward VI (1537-1553), persecuted Protestants, including burning around 300 of them at the stake in 1555 and 1556, would still have been remembered by the English in 1602.
Panel 2. This is an analogue for Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man. Chad Underkoffler wonders if "Peter's almost unnatural fascination with the spider be riffing off of JMS's concept of "Spider-Man as totem-warrior" that's being explored as a subplot in ASM?"
Panel 3. Jason Pomerantz, among others, wonders if we were about to see the re-enactment of Spider-Man's origin, in which he was bitten by a radioactive spider and so gained superhuman abilities.
Panel 4. Kelvin Green wonders if the large man who crushed the spider is "The Kingpin, eliminating his enemy, the spider?" In the Marvel Universe the Kingpin is the portly crime boss who is a prominent member of Spider-Man's Rogues Gallery.
Page 9. Panel 5. “If a Devil is one who
dares, when others hold back, then I am happy to play the Devil in this Mystery,
In the Middle Ages and Renaissance a “Mystery Play” was a dramatic presentation of a Biblical story. Although they began with a simple retelling of the Christmas or Easter story during their heyday, from the 13th to the 16th century, they were lavish presentations performed by various trade guilds on movable stages. There were four cycles of English Mystery Plays, and some included various comic elements, such as the story of Noah’s wife, who was so stubborn that she refused to enter the Ark.
Panel 6. “Peter Parquagh.”
If there’s a reference, historical, cultural, or etymological, to “Parquagh” beyond its homophonic similarity to “Parker,” I’m unaware of it. John Simpson says, "The name "Parquagh" sounds like a play on 'por quoi,' which seems appropriate for the inquisitive young Peter, who does little more in issue one than ask questions."
Page 10. Panel 2. “‘...Count Otto Von Doom–'
'The one they call The Handsome?’”
In the Marvel Universe Victor Von Doom, who later became the ruler of Latveria and the supervillain Dr. Doom, was very handsome until a laboratory experiment scarred him. Don MacPherson says,
Regarding Otto Von Doom: the first name is an interesting choice. A reference to Otto Octavius, AKA Dr. Octopus? I'll take it a step further. Imagine Dr. Doom with Doc Ock's mechanical arms. A tentacled, menacing figure... almost like a Hydra? Given Fury's and Peter's roles in the story, transforming Doom into a combined archenemy of the FF, SHIELD and young Peter Parker might be an interesting possibility. Just pure supposition, though, and probably well off the mark.In the Marvel Universe Otto Octavius, a.k.a. Doctor Octopus, is one of Spider-Man's arch-enemies; he is a human with four long mechanical arms.
Panel 6. The reason that Matthew does not need the light to catch the diamond is that he likely has the same sensory powers that Daredevil does and so does not need his sight to catch the diamond.
Page 11. Panels 5. “‘He is not afraid of
the dark.’ ‘No, Peter. Nor anything else, I’ll wager.’”
Daredevil is known as “The Man Without Fear.”
Page 12. Panel 1. In the Marvel Universe Dr. Strange’s house is a creepy, magical mansion with a similar design to the one seen here.
Panel 3. The white-haired woman is an analogue for Clea. In the Marvel Universe Clea was a woman from another dimension who Dr. Strange rescued and fell in love with, and who lived with Strange for some time before leaving him to become Queen of her native dimension.
“Or another Spanish invasion?”
This is a reference to the attempted Spanish invasion of 1588, when the Invincible Armada of Spain was destroyed by English ships, a massive storm, and the spells of Dr. Dee.
“Or James of Scotland, who has no love for magics, or those who try to
This is a reference to King James I (1566-1625), who succeeded Queen Elizabeth as ruler of England. James’ mother was Mary, Queen of the Scots, and before his ascension it was widely rumored in England that he, like she did, would make Catholicism rather than Protestantism the legal religion of England. As well, James was paranoid and suspicious, esp. about magic. Paul O'Brien adds
For the benefit of American readers not familiar with British history, it may be worth clarifying some very basic stuff.Page 13. Panel 3. “Triaseia Ogneia....”
This story takes place before the United Kingdom was formed. Scotland was still an independent country at this point. However, thanks to intermarriage between the royal families, when Elizabeth I died, the throne of England was inherited by James I - who was already James VI of Scotland. Scottish school history textbooks generally refer to him as "James VI and I", or at least they did when I was at school. (The present queen insists on referring to herself as Elizabeth II even though there was no Elizabeth I of Scotland. Some people find this very annoying, and bizarrely enough, Scottish postboxes reflect this by carrying a logo that reads "ER" instead of "ER II.")
refs to Enochian, the angelic language. Note that Strange takes Edward Kelly's role and Clea takes Dee's. From the Britannica ref you provided: "Dee and Kelly lived for some years in Poland and Bohemia in alternate wealth and poverty, according to the credulity or scepticism of those before whom they 'exhibited.' They professed to raise spirits by-incantation; and Kelly dictated the utterances to Dee, who wrote them down and interpreted, them.""Eroom Nala" says, "kron and zeves appear to be Latvian for Saturn and Jupiter, so I'm guessing Aris might be Mars." Dave says, "'kron, zeves, aris, dennitsa' could be mangled Greek gods (Kronos, Zeus, Ares, Demeter)."
Daniel Lindquist adds:
the characters in Strange's magical utterances aren't Enochian (for reference, the alphabet is shown here). They look more Arabic than Enochian, to me; the fact that they almost all have dots seems odd. I really have no idea what these letters are taken from, if they're not created out of whole cloth, but it looks slightly like Hebrew written with vowel-points (which would account for the dots by every letter).Jason "Protonik" says,
Triaseia Ogneia is more than likely Chaldean or Coptic, another group of languages used in western occultism. Enochian can be easy to see when you know it is usually a string of consonants or a string of vowels. What makes it pronouncable is using the sound AH after each letter except the last, in some cases. Omp Pujo Vls would be enochian E Mamor and Oop Teaa Pedoce is Enochian. Very hard sounds and spellings. The ia is what leads me to believe either Chaldea or Coptic. Both languages are a dialect of the Greek.Maureen O'Brien says,
Chaldean and Coptic are not _even vaguely_ dialects of Greek!Coptic is descended from Egyptian. Chaldean is a dialect of Aramaic.Pages 14-15. Panel 2. The white-haired girl is be an analogue for Virginia Dare (1587-?), the first white child of English parents born in America, in the Roanoke Colony. I had originally supposed that she might be an analogue for Storm of the X-Men, but Gaiman has said that no characters created after 1969 will appear in 1602, which excludes Storm as well as the rest of the New X-Men. (Gaiman has also said that Arthurian legends won't play a part in 1602). Matt Cruea was the first of numerous fans to suggest that Virginia Dare might be an analogue for the Hulk; see Page 21, Panels 6-7 for more on this.
Ogon' is fire in Russian, and in the other cases, it becomes ogni, ognei, ognya, etc. Other Slavic languages follow similar patterns. So this could be Latverian, perhaps.... <g> Tri is three in Russian. So the phrase probably means something like "three fires".
This Slavic language idea is supported by the fact that Zvezda Dennitsa is the goddess of the morning star. (Zvezda, star; Dennitsa, dawn.)
Panel 3. “I am in the heart of a mountain, far from here, a place
built to hold Earth and Air, Water and Fire.”
Mike Grasso notes what I should have gotten immediately: that in the world of 1602, in which the Fantastic Four gained elemental powers, a "place built to hold Earth and Air, Water and Fire" is obviously an analogue for the Baxter Building, the headquarters of the Fantastic Four. Don MacPherson notes that the FF as elementals has been touched on in comics before, in Avatars, among others.
Another alternative is that it is a prison for the Four. Bala Menon wonders if it might not be an analogue of Wundagore Mountain, which in the Marvel Universe was the tomb/prison/resting place of the primal god Chthon.
Or perhaps there's an Earth, Wind and Fire joke here I'm not getting.
Several folks, including Reg Osborne, James "Morph," and Ron Imsland, noted the steam coming off the hunched figure and theorised that it's the analogue for Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, in an environment too wet for his flame powers to work.
Brook Freeman says, "Given Dr. Strange's (and Dee's) interest in the occult "a place built to hold Earth and Air, Water and Fire," it could be a reference to the Philosopher's Stone as the ultimate goal of alchemy was perfection embodied by the synthesis of the elemental building blocks of the universe."
Scott Cozzolino says,
I believe that this mountain cave is an analogue for the one in which Don Blake found the stick which transformed into Mjolnir, and transformed him into Thor. First of all, note that this scene was in response to the question, "How may the darkness be lifted from the land?" Who else, besides Thor, could cure the strange weather that the world is experiencing? He is, after all, a weather God. And, "a place built to hold Earth and Air, Water and Fire" sounds an awful lot like, "a place built to contain the elemental powers of a God, until such time as a mortal worthy of them shall find them." Lastly, note that the art depicts a solitary blond man in the cave, crouching with steam rising from his back. Hmmmm.... :-)Kelvin Green says,
There's also that persistent speculation about turning the 1602 logo upside-down to sort-of spell "LOQI", which may identify a villain for Thor to fight. And of course, Loki caused the Avengers to form (in Avengers #1 volume 1), so perhaps this series will revolve around the formation of the 1602-Avengers?In the Marvel Universe the superhero team The Avengers were formed due to the machinations of the evil Norse god Loki.
We've got Rojhaz coming in. There's your Captain (Native) America. We've got a possible Thor, and a possible Hulk. Of the "founding" Avengers (as seen at the beginning of Avengers volume 3 and Avengers Forever #6), we still need Ant Man, Wasp, and Iron Man (a Templar? Perhaps the Old Man's companion?).
Page 16. Panel 3. David Burrow says, "note that the ropes tied across the chests of the unfortunate heretics make an X, cementing the witchbreed/X-men analogy (and fits in with the brand on Summerisle). The image is reminiscent of the Silver Age and original X-Factor (big X) X-Men costumes."
Page 18. Panel 4. “Sister Wanda” is an analogue for Wanda Maximoff, who in the Marvel Universe is the mutant and Avenger the Scarlet Witch.
Page 19. Panel 1. Mike Grasso notes that the Grand Inquisitor might be an analogue for the Marvel Universe mutant and supervillain Magneto. Magneto, in the Marvel Universe, is the father of the Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver. He is also the archenemy of Professor Xavier of the X-Men. Reg Osborne writes
I also thought a real world analogue for the Grand Inquisitor might be Tomas de Torquemada, who headed the Spanish Inquisition during its bloodiest and most brutal period, but he died over a century prior to 1602.Damian Gordon also wondered if it might be an analogue for Torquemada, and provided a link to the Catholic Encyclopedia's biography of Torquemada. Damian followed up with:
His character fits the Magneto theory though since his greatest diligence given to the persecution of Jews, despite his grandmother being a Jew forced to convert to Catholicism, fitting nicely with the notion that the Grand Inquisitor is a mutant persecuting his own kind.
further on the question of the analogue for the grand inquisitor - in 1602, there were actually two of them, Fernando Niño de Guevara (Aug 1599- Jun?1602) and Juan de Zuñiga (July 1602 - Dec 1602), the first resigned, the second died. The former is more famous, as he was depicted by El Greco, so I'm betting on him.William H. Stoddard adds:
As a footnote to your comment on the situation of the Jews in Spain, several historical works I've read assert that converted Jews were unusually likely to work for the Inquisition. I believe it's historical fact that Torquemada was a converted Jew. There seem to be analogies in the apparent role of some witchbreed as agents of the 1602 Inquisition.Others, including Mark Coale, have wondered if the Grand Inquisitor, with his anti-witchbreed stance, might be an analogue for various anti-mutant types in the Marvel Universe, including the Reverend Stryker (a religious fanatic) or one of the Trask family (a group of anti-mutant types, one of whom was responsible for creating the Sentinels, the mutant-hunting killer robots). And Bala Menon said, "given the general aura of hate, cynicism and manipulativeness of the Inquisitor, I'm leaning towards Johann Schmidt, the Red Skull, a member of another (twentieth-century) inquisition of sorts." In the Marvel Universe the Red Skull was Captain America's German opposite number during World War Two.
“Javier” is a reference to the 1602 analogue for Professor Charles Xavier, the mutant telepath and leader of the X-Men.
“Petros” is an analogue for Pietro Maximoff, the brother of Wanda Maximoff and the mutant speedster Quicksilver. Kelvin Green says,
You can't really see it very well, but he appears to be chained or shackled to his table (there are strange metal bands on his upper arms, which could be decoration). He also looks less-than-enthused at being there. Will he, like his Marvel Universe counterpart, turn on his master? I also think it's a neat touch that he's being put to use as a scribe and messenger. Very practical.The quote here, about various types infesting England, may be real–certainly has the feel of a quote from those days–but I’ve been unable to find a source for it.
Page 20. Panel 1. “...obviously they wish
to blow up the Houses of Parliament in some sort of explosion.”
This is a reference to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when a group of Catholics, tried to blow up the houses of parliament; they were angered that King James did not do more for the Catholics of England. The Plot failed, obviously, but November 5, the day of the attempt, remains known in England as “Guy Fawkes Day,” after the man assigned to light the fuses on the explosives. Casey Moore adds that "it wasn't just a bunch of Catholics who tried to blow up Parliament, it was the Jesuits."
Will Spratt notes,
There is a school of thought that suggests that this was "created" by King James' Spymaster, to get the public to support a shaky government and a stupid King. I recently (well, okay, almost a year ago, just before Bonfire Night) watched a documentary, so can't give exact details, but the evidence goes something like this. The storeroom beneath the Houses of Parliament were for hire to the general public at this time. Being right by (and under the water level of ) the river Thames, the Gunpowder would never have gone off. The timing of the discovery of Guido "Guy" Fawkes is a tad convenient, especially as day before the cellars had been searched, and Guy found in the storeroom with the explosives, and the guards didn't do anything! The note that led to the plot being revealed is a tad suspicious. Guy could remember nothing of a "previous" plot, to tunnel under the Houses (abandoned because it was to much effort) until "reminded" under torture! Contemporary accounts of the conspirators before the plot sketches a psychological profile of all talk, and no trousers - and incompetent to boot. They were seen as a bit of a joke, which was why nobody took their much publicized regentcide plans seriously (including the authorities) because they'd always talked like that.
In at least one novel, William Ainsworth’s Guy Fawkes (1841), John Dee is described as being a friend of Guy Fawkes.
Page 21. Panel 1. Mike Grasso points out what I should have immediately gotten: that "Rojhaz" is the analogue for Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America. Mike further points out that the Mandan people, natives of North Dakota, were said to be "white, blue-eyed Indians" and were possibly the descendants of a Viking expedition. (A quick Google search turned up this site for information on the Mandans). Matt Biswell adds, "This might also be an allusion to the ill-fated Viking expedition detailed in pgs. 53-55 of the hardback edition of Gaiman's American Gods. Perhaps Rojhaz is the ancestor of a survivor...."
Panels 3-4. “‘But if he sends his daughter, the first child born
in the colonies, and her Indian guard and protector, why then all of London
will be buzzing like a hive. Then Roanoke will see more colonists and
This is a reference to the 1587 trip of Virginia Dare’s grandfather, Governor White, to London. White was trying to gain aid and assistance for the colony, but suffered from bad timing–he arrived as England was about to war on Spain–and didn’t make it back to Roanoke with a relief expedition until August 1590, by which point the Roanoke Colony had disappeared, leaving behind only the word “croatoan.” Virginia Dare, along with the rest of the colonists, vanished, in what is an interesting historical mystery. The prevailing school of thought is that the colonists were absorbed into the local Croatan tribe.
Panels 6-7. “‘...what happens if it happens again, when I am in
London? What if I change?' 'No one will hurt you.' 'I know. But what if
I hurt them?'"
Page 22. Panel 3. Reg Osborne says, "The reason Peter doesn't know much about monks is that Elizabeth's father Henry VIII, dissolved all England's monasteries and claimed their holdings for the crown long before Peter was born. He would never have seen a monk."
Panel 6. Ted Anderson (and David Anderson) says, "Fury says, "That is a small question, but with as many answers as a hydra has heads." In the main Marvel universe, the opposition group to Fury's SHIELD force is known as HYDRA."
Page 24. Panel 3. A number of folks, including Mark Coale, Loki Carbis, David Goldfarb, and Paul O'Brien, see the man attacking Fury as an analogue for the Marvel villain the Vulture, because of his bald head, claw like hands, white ruff, and green cape. I'm not convinced of this, but the preponderance of opinion is against me on this one. A number of other folks, including J. Brian Hall, Michael Denton and Dapo Olasiyan, wonder if the man attacking Fury might be an analogue for the Marvel villain (and enemy of the X-Men) the Vanisher, who has some physical resemblance to the attacker and who is a teleporter, which might explain why the attacker appears from nowhere. James Veitch (and Jeff Webber) wonders if the attacker might the an analogue for the Green Goblin, a Marvel villain and Spider-Man's arch-enemy. Don MacPherson (and Julian Hazeldine) adds that if the attacker is tied to the witchbreed, it might be an analogue for the mutant villains the Vanisher or the Toad. David Anderson agrees with Don, saying, "The leap onto Fury's back, his overall crouching posture, and overall incompetence suit the Toad (and the Universe X Toad was bald)." Matthew Pederson says that the attacker may just be a lackey for HYDRA; Sean McGurr adds, "He is wearing all green, he is incompetent, he hates Fury." In the Marvel Universe HYDRA's agents wear green costumes.
David Hunt writes,
Although Fury claims that there’s nothing magical about the body armor that let him survive the attack of his mystery assailant, I don’t believe that it was simply mundane chain & leather. I’m not an expert on weapon and armor, but looking at how the knife was bent leads me to make two conclusions. First, that the attacker had to possess some form of superhuman strength to be able to bend the knife against Fury’s armor (I assume the assassin wasn’t sent against such a formidable opponent with a knife made of tin foil). Second, I don’t believe mundane armor of the time (at least armor fury could be wearing under his clothes) could have stood up to an attack with that much strength behind it. This could easily be a reference the “super-spy” equipment that Nick Fury usually had in his Earth-Marvel adventures (some type of SHIELD body-armor), or it could be a clue that there’s something not natural about Fury himself. Perhaps he had been replaced by some other sinister figure who is impersonating him, or maybe the Fury in this scene is the analog to a Life Model Decoy that SHIELD is so found of using. I’d tend to go with spy-fi body-armor at this point, however.Page 26. Panel 1. Reg Osborne says
The Tower, (of London, in case anyone really has no historical knowledge,) was not just a run of the mill prison. Aside from anything else, it was actually still classified as an official Royal residence at the time. More generally though, it had become a prison specifically for VIP prisoners, particularly those members of the upper classes who were suspected of treason. For Fury to be taking his assailant to the Tower indicates that the assailant is going to be under very close scrutiny, and also that he knows this is no common-or-garden street thug for hire, but rather someone with informationPanel 2. I've been prompted by several folks to point out what I thought was obvious: that Fury's comment, "I wish Sir Reed was still alive," would seem to imply that the 1602 analogue of Reed Richards is dead. If the theory that the "place built to hold Earth and Air, Fire and Water" (see Page 14, Panel 3 above) is a prison is correct, than Sir Reed is only thought dead, and is instead a prisoner.
Panel 3. Reg Osborne says, "Fury makes repeated reference to the two of them being a "shield" pretty clearly a reference to the organisation the Marvel Universe Fury heads up."
Panel 4. “Captain Nelson” is an analogue of Foggy Nelson, who in the Marvel Universe is Matthew Murdock’s best friend.
Page 27. Panel 2. Reg Osborne writes, "The explanation of the Inquisition's idea of mercy for those who confessed heresy is historically accurate."
Page 29. Panel 2. This is an analogue of Iceman, the mutant icemaker and X-Man.
Panel 3. This is an analogue of Cyclops, the mutant X-Man.
Page 30. Panel 5. Kuan Lee says, "Cyclops' eyepiece looks like it has been made from something organic. Could it be that it is a piece of dragon skin? Thus enabling it to withstand his radiant eyes?"
Page 31. The identity of the Old Man is a subject of some dispute.
Page 32. Panel 4. Kelvin Green points out, "The rocks to the left of the panel are forming the upper part of a face, and the outcrop in the upper-left background looks like a shouting face. Accidental? Red herring?" The rocks on the right of the panel might be grasping fingers, to boot.
Panel 5. As with the Old Man, just what the "most powerful thing in the world" is has been the subject of several differing e-mails
"Summerisle" is the name of the isolated island in the fantastic British 1970's horror/thriller flick The Wicker Man, where the Christians have been driven out and the old, pagan religion holds sway. Christopher Lee plays Lord Summerisle. What better name for a mysterious island full of witchbreed?Dave adds that in Wolverine: Knight of Terra, "the Cyclops equivalent in the high fantasy realm of Geshem was called 'Lord Summerisle'." Brian Woods says, "maybe the latin first name just indicates that he is a learned person?"
In the Marvel Universe Iceman’s name is “Robert Drake.” “Trefusis” is a English placename, from Cornwall. Mike Grasso quite usefully decodes the joke here: "Cornwall is close to Wales, and Wales' symbol is a dragon. Dragon = Drake." (Kelvin Green adds that in ancient times Cornwall was known as South Wales).Jim Van Verth, among others (including "Queen Volcano"), interprets the name this way:
John Trefusis is also a relative (by marriage) of Sir Francis Drake. From what I can puzzle out, Sir Francis Drake died at sea 1595 and left his estate to his nephew (confusingly, also Francis Drake). This nephew married, as his second marriage, Joan Strode. When the nephew died, his son (also Francis) carried on the line. Joan Strode married John Trefusis. The nephew's daughter, Elizabeth Drake, married John Trefusis, Jr.“John Grey”
Page 34. Panel 1. Bala Menon notes, "I quite like Gaiman's method of introducing these as "X-Men", something that no longer comes from Xavier's initial (which is a "J", here), but rather, from the brand inflicted on the witchbreed." Gerard Quichocho responds, "I recall an article of an interview with Stan Lee that the moniker "X-Men" was actually meant to be analagous to "Xtra Men" or "more than just man" (i.e., homo-superior). The fact that Xavier's Name also starts with an X is just "Xtra" fodder."
Thanks to: Chad Underkoffler, Mike Grasso, Phil Young, Paul O'Brien, Mark Coale, Loki Carbis, Jim Van Verth, Reg Osborne, Queen Volcano, David Goldfarb, Bala Menon, Brian Doyle, Adrian Brown, Matthew Campbell, Jeremy Henderson, Dave, Suzy Covey, Eduardo Blake, Ted Anderson, J. Brian Hall, Phil Nelson, Kelvin Green, Greg Rucka (!), Bill Stiteler, Doug A, James Veitch, Brook Freeman, Joseph Finn, Scott Cozzolino, Don MacPherson, Mack Parsons, Guillaume Legendre, David Hunt, Jeff Webber, Jason Adams, Brian Burns, Randy Johnson, Michael Denton, David Burrow, Jason Pellinen, Dapo Olasiyan, Matt Kleinert, Semicyon, Matt Cruea, Damian Gordon, Gerard Quichocho, John Benton, "Eroom Nala," "Chewy Walrus," James "Morph," Seneca Savoie, Scott Morse, Daniel Lindquist, "brodybanks," "Lord of Nothings," Ron Imsland, Peter Birk, Jason Martin, Oliver Barker, Julian Hazeldine, Casey Moore, Robert Karol, Jason Pomerantz, Brad Bond, Jason "Protonik," Scott Isaacson, William H. Stoddard, Stephane Lemieux, Matt Scarpino, Dennis Hughes, Matthew Pederson, Sean McGurr, Kristen Northrup, Bill Fisto, Dave, Dan Wickline, Rachel, Kuan Lee, Bruno Batista, Jon Athens, Sean Murphy, Mark Treitel, Will Spratt, Geoffrey D. Wessel, John Simpson, Matt Biswell, Maureen O'Brien, Soon Lee, Brian Woods, Dresbaj, Eric Glasthal, Vince Moore, Joe, Paul Craig, and Jason Meador.
- Notes to
1602 #2 -