Marvel Heroes is the third UK Spider-Man/Marvel Magazine title from the Panini stable. The others are Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) for early teens, and Spider-Man & Friends (UK Magazine) for the pre-school market. Marvel Heroes is a recent replacement for the relatively short-lived Rampage (UK) which was also aimed at the mid-late teen market.
This magazine features 36 glossy pages. As the title indicates, the content is 100% Marvel related, and most of the major Marvel Heroes get a look-in from time to time. The audience is clearly early/mid-teens, with plenty of DVD, movie and video-game link-in. Over time, the excessive self-promotion which marred earlier issues was gently scaled back to more acceptable levels.
Cage and Sabretooth share the honors for the cover this time. According to the blurb, they fight each other. But you have to wait for the backup story to see that. First up is Thor...
Ah, I see now. The lead story is actually a "Tale of Thor", even though he gets no billing on the cover at all. Shame, Thor stories all seem to be the same. I can't remember the last time I read an original tale with Mr. Thunder-Pants in it.
So, let's see. The Trolls of Gundersheim have built a magical device which... surfs the Internet. The find a bulletin board where some kid says that Thor gets lame villains like Ulik. Even the kids grandmother could beat Ulik, this boy reckons.
Well, Ulik is the strongest of all the Ogres and the king of Gundersheim, and when he learns of the insult he heads to Midgard (Earth) to kick this kid from here to the 1990's. Fortunately, Thor hears of the Troll invasion and turns up to defend the kid, and saves him from being immediately turned into teen-paste. Not only that, the kid's grandmother turns up and gives Ulik an earfull, causing Ulik to admit that on that front the kid spoke verily.
Still, that doesn't assuage all the other insults that the teenage flame-baiter threw out. And when Thor won't let Ulik turn the boy into a smudge, Ulik points out all the insults the kid made about Thor too! Oh boy! Now Thor admits that the lad needs a lesson, and they all agree that the kid should give Ulik the videogame he just got as a present. Vengeance is satisfied. Ulik returns home.
But that's not quite the end. The kid and Ulik eventually end up playing the video game online against each other, and Ulik has his butt handed to him on a plate. Ulik gets merked like a n00b. BUT ULIK WILL HAVE HIS REVENGE. Time for a re-match!
Fine, I take it back. This is one Thor story I have never seen before. Still, it seems a bit unfair. The ping time to Gundersheim has to be pretty laggy, surely?
Ridiculously silly, but 100% original.
Four funky webs. Nice going.