This UK kids magazine is one of three regular Spidey magazine offerings from Panini. Spider-Man & Friends targets the 4-10 year old market, while sister publication Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) aims at the pre-teen and teen crowd. Finally, their Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) hits the same mid-teen crowd but with a video game/movie angle.
But let's get back to Spider-Man & Friends. It features a distinctively drawn semi-Manga style kiddie Spider-Man, his cousin Spider-Girl, plus early school versions of Hulk, Wolverine, Beast, Storm and Captain America along with guest appearances from many other big name Marvel heroes and villains. Toy tie-ins are also available, plus in 2009 they produced a hardback annual.
Published every four weeks, this UK magazine features a toy taped to the front of each issue. Inside you'll find a four page Spidey & Friends story with three panels per page, captions of 8-20 words per panel. Then there's some nice simple kids puzzles, some coloring, a couple of competitions, and a page or two of Spidey merchandise. It's similar to the formats used for the older kids' magazines, just pitched for a much younger target audience.
This month, our story is entitled "Snow Prints!"
It is winter time at the super-hero's school. Spider-Man and Wolverine see some giant footprints in the snow. Could they belong to the mythical creature known as... The Yeti?
The intrepid pair stalk the mysterious creature. Is it really the Yeti? Could the two junior heroes truly be on the trail of a curious, unseen monster?
Ah no, it's not really the Yeti. It's just the Hulk.
The Hulk is taking part in a snowball fight, and is outnumbered by his opponents - Rhino, Spider-Girl and Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man and Wolverine join in the snowball fight to help the Hulk.
Ya know, normally a kids story about a Yeti would raise a certain sense of tension. But given the circumstances, the whole story inevitably falls flat at the end.
Seriously, when you go to school with the Hulk and the Thing, well, finding a Yeti would actually seem pretty reasonable. A snowball fight is a disappointing alternative compared to that.
Actually, I can't help but feel that even if they DID find the Yeti, it would still be a bit of an anticlimax.
All I can offer is a a couple of webs, tops.