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Marko's Magic Football

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Marko gains his magic football

Marko's Magic Football is a 6-part story, beginning in Issue 41.

Staff

Story

North Sterlington is your typical Northern town; it has terraced housing, factories, a funfair... and a castle. Marko lives there and he's got a secret - his football is magic. Before he can elaborate on this revelation, his mum warns him to come home after his kickabout, since there's black pudding and lard barm cakes for tea. Marko goes on to show us that his football is magic, returning to his foot wherever he kicks it! He remembers how it got its powers, when Marko accidentally kicked his ball in a barrel of The Colonel's sludge. Rushing to save it before getting ruined, he found himself tripping over the ball which had inexplicable returned to his foot. Back in the present, a police officer on a bicycle stops Marko for playing football in an area with a "No Ball Games" sign. Marko pleads that he was daydreaming, but the police goes on to say that this is a serious offence. Before the policeman can take down Marko's details, the pair are attacked by a swarm of bees. Marko kicks his ball at them, scattering the swarm, then runs home. The officer gives chase but bumps into a barrel of sludge, covering him from head to toe in gunk. Marko wondered what would happen if the slime came into contact with a human. He quickly realises when the officer changes into a monster!

Marko feels like he shouldn't be too scared, with a magic football capable of vapourising monsters and everything. He just can't shoot straight with all the nerves and the monster's coming closer, throwing globs of slime. He's saved when the monster half-changes back into a policeman, taking up a new beat in the sewers. Marko has a moment of madness and enters the sewers after him. In the castle, Colonel Brown and his Professor are watching Marko's trespassing antics on a security camera, the Colonel furious that Marko is invading his town's sewers. Back with Marko, he vapourises a group of spiders for no real reason (although they seem to have metal legs), before running off. He comes face to face with some angry rats, but he's more worried about the appearance of three slime dinosaurs.

Confused but defiant, Marko uses his football to dispose of all dinosaurs with one kick. In the castle, Colonel Brown realises that the football is bewitched and wants the professor to invent something to stop it. Unfortunately, Wednesday is 'Inventing Day'. Today is Saturday, 'Evil Laugh Day'. Brown thought that was on Mondays (actually 'Evil Plan Day') but he doesn't care, just wanting the professor to invent something now! In the sewers, Marko comes across more sludge but doesn't have time to wonder as Captain Smirk appears. Despite not wanting to reveal his identity to Marko (yet doing so), he informs the boy that he and his football are the only hope against Brown turning the future nasty. The Colonel is trying take over the working class town with his sludge. This will somehow affect the space-time continuum, polluting the Earth. He instructs Marko to go and destroy the castle, before awarding Marko an "extra life" by kicking the football through this teleporting body. The Colonel is not scared of this revelation, as the professor has developed a seductive, female football.

Coming out of the sewers, Marko finds himself at the circus, wondering if he can find help here. He explains his situation to a clown, but the villain simply squirts slime at him from his fake flower. Marko gets ready to smack his football at the clown, but a sniper appears from around the corner, shooting Marko and killing him. The clown captures the ball but it miraculously returns to its owner, who's extra life has revived him. Marko, with his football, makes short work of the sniper and his associate. He then heads to the castle, where the villains are waiting for him. The female football comes into view, luring Marko's football away and up the stairs. Marko is left to face several evil, killer toys.

Marko manages to dodge the toys' killer firepowerm booting some of the robots away. He tries and gets the attention of his ball, but it's busy canoodling with the trap set for it. The toy soldiers catch up with Marko and carry on shooting him. One of the bullets ricochets off the wall, destroying the female, sending Marko's back to him. He then makes short work of the small models. Fortunately for the villains, the professor has made a suit capable of repelling the football's attacks. Marko finds his way to the laboratory responsible for creating the green sludge, intent on destroying it, but is caught by a couple of welders brainwashed by the sludge. The thugs chase Marko right into the path of Colonel Brown, now indestructably suited up.

Cornered, Marko is ordered into one of the barrels to be turned into yet another sludge monster. Marko aims an overhead kick at Brown, but the football bounces off his special suit. The Colonel orders his welders to fire at Marko as he flees, but their flames hit the sludge barrels, causing them to explode. The brutes resign and flee, leaving the Colonel to fight Marko himself. Activating a jetpack, he aims a sludge gun right at Marko. The hero decides to use his ball to knock Brown into the path of the oncoming sludge avalanche, enveloping him. The electronics in the suit and the sludge cause a chemical reaction; Marko manages to leave just before the castle explodes. Outside, the professor tries to convince the police that it was Marko and his magic football that stopped him from taking over the world, while Smirk appears again to congratulate Marko on a job well done. Marko's mum comes outside, right on time to berate the world's hero for missing his tea, just for having a kickabout. If only she knew...

Trivia

  • Each part was only 4 pages long. This made sense in Issue 41 and Issue 42, where there were 6 stories per issue, but only served to make the total number of comic pages smaller in future issues.
  • The Professor is never named, but simply called a scientific genius on numerous occasions.
  • It is suggested that Marko has had some previous adventure, knowing already that his football can vapourise foes.

Timeline

There are no other stories in this series.

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