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.
This month we follow the recent trend of having both stories written by the same writer, and heavily linked, though featuring different star characters. There's an eight page Beast/Kitty Pride story, followed by a six page Elektra tale. The rest of the content is advertising, puzzles, promos, posters and other filler.
Our first tale features Beast attending the public presentation of an advanced series of A.I. robots being given by a former colleague of his. The presentation is hijacked by a member of the Anti-A.I.-Brigade who introduces a virus into the system to make the robots run amok. The Beast is forced to save the day, with a little assistance from Kitty Pryde.
However, in order to stop the robots and halt the modern-day Luddite's deadly plan , Henry's colleague is forced to shutdown all the lab's computer systems. This causes the death of their beloved A.I. What a tragic waste of non-human proto-life.
Is there supposed to be some kind of challenging moral dilemma here? Should the lives of innocent people be saved, even if it means the shutdown of a computer simulation? Is that a difficult question? Are we supposed to have developed some emotional attachment to this A.I. we just met half a page back? You ask too much.
Anyhow, has nobody ever heard of backing up systems? If you're work's so important, go buy yerself a few spare hard-drives, Lady!
This one fails to fire on the emotional or intellectual level, but at least there's some sort of effort being made.
And that's the end of that. Mostly. Actually, there's a bit of a tie-in to the follow-up tale from Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #19 (Story 2).
Strangely enough, the issue number is missing from the cover of this issue.