Missing in Action: Heroquest at Marvel UK, and the RPG magazine that never happened

Marvel UK's Heroquest - CoverBack in my Marvel UK days, I edited a one-off Heroquest magazine at Marvel UK – a one shot special licensed from Games Workshop that has some notable creators involved and, as downthetubes contributor Richard Sheaf notes over on his Boys Adventure blog, is quite a collectable today

HeroQuest, sometimes written as Hero Quest, was an adventure board game created by Milton Bradley in conjunction with Games Workshop, today better known for its Warhammer line and miniatures. The game was actually a game system, allowing the gamemaster (called “Morcar” in the original British version and most localisations, but “Zargon” in the United States and Canada) to create dungeons of their own design using the provided game board, tiles, furnishings and monsters.

Published in 1991, the 36-page magazine includes features by RPG game creator Ken Walton and then partner Jo Walton (now an award-winning SF and fantasy author), including a short story, and a comic strip by Alan Cowsill, just before his days as a Marvel UK editor and Ian Abinett, drawn by Gary Frank (before Marvel Genesis 1992 and his work on Motormouth and Killpower), inked by Cam Smith, lettered by Helen Stone and coloured by Peri Godbold.

Marvel UK's Heroquest - Strip

Adrian Salmon – today perhaps best known for his Doctor Who strips and illustrations did his first work for Marvel UK on the title, one of the first to be created on the company’s then new Mac computers!

“Paul Neary commissioned me to draw the artwork for the game pieces,” Adrian recalls. It was an absolute nightmare using a cheap airbrush and can of propellant!”

“I think we had to write the script overnight due to tight deadlines,” recalls Alan of the project. “If only there had been emails back then! It was a good looking magazine.”

Marvel UK Heroquest Quest Quest "Revenge of the Weather-Man" by Ken and Jo Walton

It contains a short story, the Quest “Revenge of the Weather-Man” by Ken and Jo, plus new Hazards for the game, stats for new monster types, tips for painting your miniatures and more.

I’ve no idea why it was just a one off, as Heroquest seemed very successful at the time. I’d long argued for a RPG/ gaming type magazine as part of the company’s line, but the suggestion never got beyond planning documents. Perhaps, knowing my interest, that was why Editorial Director Paul Neary asked me to edit this Special.

Marvel UK Heroquest Quest Hazards created by Adrian Salmon

Heroquest Hazards created by Adrian Salmon

“It was remarkably popular. I still meet people at cons who were kids when it came out and get all enthusiastic about it”.

“I’d imagine Games Workshop stopped it from happening as they were tough to work with back then,” Alan suggests.

Check out Richard Sheaf’s article on Marvel UK”s Heroquest magazine here

• There’s more information about Marvel UK’ s Heroquest here on nederlands.yeoldeinn.com

• HeroQuest and the Heroquest series at BoardGameGeek

Heroquest on Wikipedia

With thanks to Richard Sheaf

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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