Rampage was a UK-only magazine for the teen market. Each issue featured a couple of short out-of-continuity stories with Marvel comic characters. The rest of the issue was filled-out with puzzles, posters and fact files, along with a solid helping of comp-ad-titions and promo-mercials for Marvel products, along with Star Wars and other non-Marvel movies and games.
The creative team from Rampage seems to cycle through the same basic list of UK creative talent that produces the Spidey stories for Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine), so it's perhaps not surprising that the look and feel of the Spider-Man stories is very similar between them.
Recently, Rampage seems to have adopted the annoying idea of spreading stories over several issues, six pages each issue. Wait four months, you'll get a regular comic's worth of story. These things are sent to try our patience...
I'm not gonna go into any real detail about what's in each issue of Rampage - mostly because it's such a melange that it's really hard to describe. It's sort of a "FHM meets Woman's Weekly for Pre-Teen Geeks". Computer gaming is a huge part of the focus, but Pokemon, Harry Potter, Starwars, Marvel, DC, Madagascar and the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie (Johnny Depp version) all get a mention in this issue. No mention of girls, and no pop music. At least that's a relief.
Let's check out the lead story.
The Fantastic Four are all hanging around in Reed Richard's lab when "Maestro" comes crashing through an inter-dimensional portal. Ah... yes. Inter-dimensional portals. The go-to gimmick of lazy story writers everywhere.
Maestro is an insane alternate universe version of the Hulk, but with Bruce Banner's intellect. He can't be that clever, as he immediately explains his entire plan to Reed Richards. Specifically, how has come to this time-line as part of a deal with this dimension's Doctor Doom. Doom has offered to give the Hulk (currently under Doom's control) to Maestro as an exchange. In return, Maestro is to defeat Doom's foes, the Fantastic Four.
It seems a bit odd, personally. Doom has a massive ego, and he's not really the type to admit defeat and ask for help. But hey, I'm not the one telling the story.
Anyhow, the FF defeat Maestro and send him back to his home dimension. But that's only the beginning, as Doom teleports onto the scene, with a tame Hulk in tow.
To be continued...
The story is six pages of near-continuous action. Which makes it all the more surprising that it feels so flat and uneventful.
Fight, fight, fight. Explosions, flame and special effects. Yawn!