Comics : Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #28

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This review was first published on: Feb 2012.

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...

Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #28 (Story 1)
Dec 2010 : SM Reference
Summary: 1-Dec-2010 (Blade & Wolverine Story. Spider-Man References)
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It's a quiet Halloween night at the X-Mansion, when the villainous Viper (cute girl, green lipstick, leader of Hydra) comes crashing through the windows, begging the X-Man "Beast" to protect her from Dracula, who apparently wishes to take her as a bride.

The rest of the X-Men quickly arrive, and some history is covered. Wolverine was once married to Viper. Storm was once taken as a potential bride of Dracula.

Now that we have the recap, the battle can commence. Dracula crashes onto the scene as well, with minions in tow. A furious struggle ensues - Dracula and pals vs. Wolverine, Cyclops, Colossus, Beast, Storm, Emma Frost.

The X-Men don't fare too well, until Storm turns the battle in their favour. That, however, is short-lived as Viper reveals herself to be a traitor, allied with Dracula. Storm is subdued, and the prince of darkness flies away with his two brides-to-be... Viper and Storm.

Six pages of story down. This is the end of part one.

In General...

Personally, I always struggle with Dracula stories in Marvel comics. It's not the mystical element as such.

It's more of a personal thing. I have read the original Dracula, and I found it a wonderful book. It is set in a very different era, and it stands alone so strongly. Adding Dracula into Marvel doesn't make the Marvel universe better... it just makes Dracula worse.

In terms of the story itself, my major objection is the complete lack of defences around the X-Mansion. Dracula himself explains his ability to enter uninvited to the fact that the mansion is "a School, a public place". Really? That shows a pretty poor grasp of X-Men history on behalf of the writer. The school is very much a private school, and the private home of many people. The offered explanation doesn't hold water - especially not holy water!

Overall Rating...

Irritating, and mildly unsatisfying.

Still, we're only half way through the tale. Let's see how it finishes in Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #28 (Story 2).