Comics : Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #27

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This review was first published on: Oct 2011.

Background...

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.

In Detail...

"Code of Honour"
Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #27 (Story 1)
Nov 2010 : SM Reference
Summary: 3-Nov-2010 (Captain America & Iron Man Story. Spider-Man References)
Publisher:  Panini
Editor:  Ed Hammond
Writer:  Ferg Handley
Pencils:  John Royle
Inker:  Gary Erskine
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Review

"One of our Helicarriers is missing..." complains S.H.I.E.L.D.

Specifically, a carrier has been stolen while under repair. On board was a skeleton crew. Oh yeah, and Tony Stark was among them. Stark Industries provides tech for the carriers, and he was making an inspection tour.

The carrier has been tracked to a foreign country, where it is being used to threaten neighboring nations in a demand that they cede disputed territories. But S.H.I.E.L.D. suspects super-villains at work, especially since the carrier is being defended by an unidentified force field.

Captain America is sent to lead a small S.H.I.E.L.D. unit. However, the squad resent being treated like cannon fodder and lead by one of them fancy super heroes. Their suspicions are proved well-founded when three of the four troops get zapped during the attack. The remaining squaddie is only mollified when Captain America apparently sacrifices himself to save the mission.

But will it be enough.. as the bad guy is revealed to be armed with an extensive range of "alien technology". We'll learn more about him in the backup story, Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #27 (Story 2).

In General...

I can kind of see the "human story" that is being offered here. But really, I can't swallow the idea of a S.H.I.E.L.D. elite task force acting like a bunch of stuck-up kids when they are assigned to work with Captain America. For starters, these guys are supposed to be professionals, and secondly this is Captain Freaking America we're talking about here. The whole point about Captain America is that every man woman and child in the U.S. services adores him. That's basically his super-power.

Not only that, for some strange reason, all the villain's troops are only firing non-lethal stun guns, so the "cannon fodder" eventually wake up and feel much better, as does Cap himself after his "heroic sacrifice". That does rather deflate the emotional impact of the tale.

Finally, if this super-villain already possess a huge stash of alien technology, why does he need the carrier? Maybe he just needs somewhere to put it all?

Overall Rating...

This tale would be a stirring human drama... except it's not particularly stirring, nor particularly dramatic.

One and a half webs.