Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #29

 Posted: Feb 2012
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


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. There are thirteen pages of U.K.-produced original story content set out of mainstream continuity. Normally this is made up of two short stories each six or seven pages in length. Typically there is a nominal link between the two tales.

The remainder is filler content. Early issues included a great deal of non-Marvel "infomercial" material. More recently, the advertising tie-in has become exclusively for Marvel products. The percentage of "infomercial" filler has also dropped, and now most of the bonus content is genuine content such as puzzles, art, and fact-files in a similar vein to the {{Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine)} sister magazine.

Story 'It's an Amazing Life'

  Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #29
Summary: 29-Dec-2010 (Spider-Man)
Publisher: Panini Magazines
Editor: Ed Hammond
Writer: Scott Gray
Artist: John Ross
Lettering: Tim Warran-Smith
Colorist: James Offredi

Hey, it's time for another Spider-Man story in Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine). There tends to be a bit of a cycle through Spidey, X-Men, Iron Man, and occasionally the Hulk. Well, the wheel has turned once more, and our favourite web-head is front and centre in a full-length (i.e. 14 pages) epic entitled "It's an Amazing Life".

We pick up our hero's trail just as he has emerged victorious from a wearing battle against the Rhino. But as we all know, just because he's put his neck on the line, that doesn't mean the people of Manhattan are going to organise a parade in his honour. And indeed, we see Spider-Man heartily berated both in person, and by Daily Bugle sponsored billboard.

Basically, Spidey ain't feeling the love. He reckons he could happily quit this planet and go somewhere that would appreciate him.

And... cue "The Exiles".

Who? Well, in case ya didn't pick up their comic book a few years back, the Exiles are a team of super-heroes that travel dimensions patching up cross-reality problems.

Specifically in this case, the shape-shifting "Exile" named Morph pops through a dimensional doorway right in front of our hero, and informs the web-slinger that his assistance is much requested in a dimension that is really in strife. Who could turn down an offer like that? Fortunately Spider-Man can't, or else our story would be very short.

Spidey follows Morph through to this other dimension. To cut a long story short, this is a "universe without Spider-Man". Most of the world is under the iron jackboot of the Green Goblin, assisted by Doc Ock, Electro, the Lizard, Mysterio, and a bunch of other villains who would usually be considered "Classic Spidey Villains", except for the fact that (as I mentioned) there is no Spider-Man here.

But what of the other heroes of this world? Well, they have foolishly become captured. The Green Goblin is just about to launch his plan to mind-wipe the other heroes and turn them into yet more villains, but Spider-Man and Morph will have something to say about that before we're done.

Spider-Man swings in to battle with a massive advantage. He knows all about these bad guys... their style, strengths, and weaknesses. By contrast, they know nothing about him. So it doesn't take him long to wipe the floor with the entire bally lot of them. Meanwhile, Morph uses his disguise powers to foil the plan to co-opt the other heroes into villainy.

Before long, Spidey has a bunch of just-released heroic allies, and it's all over. Yay for the good guys!

As a coda, Spider-Man meets the alter-verse version of Jonah Jameson, who is an underground journalist fighting for freedom. Inspired, Spider-Man reveals his identity to Jonah, who says in return that he is proud to have met "Spider-Man". Now there's a truly alternate universe!

General Comments

This is a great story with an original idea. They're quite right... in a world without Spider-Man, the real Spidey would indeed have a massive advantage against all his classic foes.

What's more, the tale is well scripted. The artwork is simple, but effective, and the overall result is a story that is well worth the telling.

Overall Rating

Full credit is due to guest writer Scott Gray for a fresh and effective story in a magazine that is severely lacking in quality material.

Four and a half webs.

 Posted: Feb 2012
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)