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.
Spider-Man swings past to feature in a story ever now and again, but this month belongs to Iron Man (again... movie tie-ins dontcha know) and Ant-Man.
Yep, "Iron Man 2" is coming to a cinema near you, so you can also expect him to appear in a magazine like this one with a heavy promotional tie-in focus. And given that Iron Man is all about the shooting and fighting, let's get under way with a squad of A.I.M. agents assaulting the HQ of Stark Industries. Tony Stark quickly changes into the metal suit and easily defeats the attackers. Except...
...the A.I.M. guys were just a decoy to allow M.O.D.O.K. to get close enough to hit Tony with a nanotech missile. Yeah, it's time for the M.I.N.I.D.O.C.s ... Miniature Infections Nano Invaders Designed Only for Conquest. Heh. Not bad.
Iron Man continues to fight as M.O.D.O.K. uses his mental powers to turn Stark's security guards against their boss. But the real problem here is that Iron Man's armor is steadily powering down by the nano-tech invaders, leaving him (by page 7 and final of this story) frozen and locked-up on the pavement.
Good thing the Avengers are here to the rescue! A single hurling of Thor's hammer is enough to take down M.O.D.O.K. But what to do about ol' Ironsides?
Huh? The Avengers? Who mentioned the Avengers? Oh, yeah. A couple of pages back, Stark's secretary (the delectable Ms. "Pepper" Potts) phoned The Avengers, and after working through their automated answering system, finally called in the cavalry. Our second story will pick things up from that point.
To be honest, I'm no real fan of this magazine. Many (if not most) of the stories are written just to fill the space, and/or to help sell the toys and video games of whatever Marvel Mega Movie is being hyped at the time.
Still, writer Ferg Handley has being doing this stuff long enough that he must have learned a few things along the way, and as commercial tie-in fluff-pieces go, this one isn't too bad.
Let's call it a capable three webs, and pick up the conclusion in Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #13 (Story 2).