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.
Most recent issues feature a pair of interlinked half-length stories. There's the occasional one-story exception. In any case, the total "story content" of each issue adds up to about fourteen pages. The rest of the content is puzzles, posters, fact files, letters page and other fun and games. Early issues were padded with DVD, movie and video-game "comp-ad-titions" and "infomercials". That commercial filler has quietly disappeared in recent issues.
Again this month we have two linked stories that form a single short arc. Same writer, different artists. Space-going parasites "The Brood" appear in both stories, against the X-Men in one, and Hulk in the other.
The X-Man have taken their Blackbird aircraft/spacecraft into space to rescue a Shi'ar Cruiser that is in trouble. When coming on board, they soon discover that the Shi'ar crew have been killed and their places taken over by The Brood (inter-stellar shape-shifting alien parasites).
The X-Men fight The Brood and escape, destroying the ship as they leave.
The good guys believe they have saved the Earth. However, unbeknownst to them, a few of the aliens have escaped in... escape pods.
I started collecting X-Men just around the time that The Brood returned in Uncanny X-Men #232-234. Claremont was in fine form, and this X-Men were riding high.
I have long since abandoned my attempt to collect Mutant comics... with the bloated title range, Spider-Man now takes all my time and money just to keep up. But the Brood hold a very special place in my comic-reading memories.
This loveless pastiche of a tale takes all those fond affections, lines them up, and pisses on them one by one.
And one question. Why do bad rehashes always happen to good stories?
The Brood escapees re-appear a few pages later in Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #25 (Story 2).