Fanzine ScrapBook: SuperHeroUK

The world looks down on role-play gamers and the world of role-play gamers looks down on Super Hero role-play gamers.

Simon Burley makes this comment in Part Two of the interview that I did for the GROGNARD files episode 20 (currently in production).

I’m not sure if it’s the case that the RPG hobby has a complete downer on supers, but it is a niche within an already niche hobby that needs to fight its own corner against the opposition of the available alternatives. This activism probably accounts for the longevity of GOLDEN HEROES in the hearts of its fans; despite it’s relatively short shelf-life, there are enough supporters out there to ensure its continuation in the form of it’s most recent, wholly rewritten iteration Squadron UK. 

Since producing the podcast about GOLDEN HEROES, I’ve become aware of the enthusiastic fans that have been the driving force behind sustaining active interest in the game, for example, Steve Race and Kevin Rolfe host a podcast SQUADRON CHATTER which is the unofficial podcast of Squadron UK. It’s currently on an hiatus, but episodes are still available to enjoy. There’s examples of actual-play as well as progress reports on Kevin’s ambition to revise and update the supplements for GOLDEN HEROES. They also tell the story of a mythical project that was promised but never produced: “The Lancelot Caper” is mentioned by Pete Tamlyn in passing in a White Dwarf article but disappeared until it was uncovered by Kevin. 

Steve and Kevin’s interest was maintained through Yahoo Groups, which connected them to others who still had an interest in the game and developing a ‘back story’ and rationale for the GOLDEN HEROES universe. Back in the eighties, Simon Burley encouraged a like-minded team of Super RPG fans to develop scenarios and articles for his fanzine Superhero UK. He produced the first few before it had a life of its own and continued for 20 issues. 

It’s thanks to the fans that the game continues to Sunday Punch above its weight: “It’s Clobberin’ Time!

Thanks to Duane Woolley and Graham Kinniburgh for sharing some sample covers and pages from their collection.

Superhero UK 1.jpg


Superhero UK 2.jpg


Superhero UK 18.jpg

Pages 1.jpg

Superhero UK 6.jpg

Pages 2.jpg

Superhero UK 15.jpgSuperhero UK 16.jpg


Superhero UK 20.jpg

Author: Dirk

Host of The GROGNARD RPG Files podcast. Talking bobbins about Runequest, Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, T&T, AD&D and others from back in the day and today.

26 thoughts on “Fanzine ScrapBook: SuperHeroUK”

  1. O god! I remember being involved in the playtest of The Lancelot Caper as Kaleidoscope. I’d forgotten the scenario didn’t see the light of day. Pete Tamlyn ran an excellent superhero campaign using the Golden Heroes rules, worth the trek to Aylesbury from London each month. I was gutted when the high-ups told me to stop running GH stuff in White Dwarf.

  2. Wow. Those pictures have left me speechless and nostalgic for material i’ve never seen before. It’s a shame these aren’t floating around in PDF because they look amazing. I like to think of our scrappy little Squadron Chatter podcast as a spiritual successor to these fanzines. Motivated purely by our love for a niche within a niche genre. Thank you so much for turning the spotlight on Golden Heroes and for posting these images. I’ll be staring at them for days.

  3. Some of us would sell a child for copies of those…

    Obviously not one of mine, theres loads running around, no one would miss one. Anyway, a pdf of these would be awesome…

  4. I worked on those first few issues of SHUK, Did spot illo’s (that Spearhead is mine), even did a set of cardboard heroes. I didn’t realise it lasted so many issues, I guess whoever took over editing didn’t like my work!

  5. I have 14 of these issues.. pity there aren’t a lot of these floating about these days


  6. Awesome post, thank you. Adding my voice to the chorus of those who are begging for scans.

  7. By chance I picked up issue 20 somewhere, containing that sequel to Legacy of Eagles shown above. I didn’t know a fan sequel was in that issue, so it was a lovely surprise. I played Legacy of Eagles a few times, and ended up shifting a bit across genres. I’ve always enjoyed seeing what other people do to a campaign around it. Like many above, I’d love to see the other issues on PDF, or revised for Squadron UK.

  8. Wowsers… I used to get copies of this delivered through my postbox… as a zine editor myself at the time (Dark Elf, Cerebretron, Amulet, and Eh?) I used to see loads of these sort of things through a ‘trade’ system that generally benefitted everybody…. Halcyon days indeed… lol

      1. Hi Dirk… yes, I think so… might take a while to rummage through and find them, though….!

        I definitely have some old cover images of both Dark Elf and Cerebretron (SF & SFRPG zine), and in fact, of Amulet #1, too (it was colour – a rarity at the time!)…!

    1. do you know the number of issues for each at all? just seeing what issues I’m missing.. there are what I think they are…

      Amulet (I think it says “New Amulet”) 1 issue
      Cerebretron 9 issues
      Dark Elf 2 issues

      1. Hi Brette… I think Amulet made it to two issues, but your spot on with DkE and CB – was gutted didn’t make it to 10 issues with CB (it became too popular for it’s own good and I couldn’t afford to print it — the follies of youth!)

      2. Thanks.. That leaves me to find
        Amulet #2
        Cerbretron # 1,3,5
        Dark Elf #1


  9. I’ve also got PDF copies of The Adventurer magazine (up to 11 or 12 I thnk), so can supply you with copies if you want — my fanzine review column (with Ben Goodale) started from issue #4…!

    1. It would be good to hear your views on the zine scene in more detail. If you’re interested in contributing please – contact me.

      1. Sounds interesting… must admit though, my memory is terrible, so I’d probably have to rake through some of those old Imagine and The Adventurer magazines to get a handle and reminder of what was going on back then… it was 30-odd years ago…! That all said, me and my little group were spoilt in the sense of how many different game systems and RPGs we used to play when we bunked off school… Stormbringer, Paranoia, Runequest, Call of Cthulhu, Tunnels & Trolls, Golden Heroes, Champions, Traveller, 2300AD, Spacemaster (FutureMaster?), Dr Who RPG, Car Wars, Ogre, and so many more I only have vague memories of… lol The only one we definitely did NOT play was D&D, because we considered ourselves rebellious!

  10. Wow. Can’t believe I only just stumbled across this. My name’s Jonathan Clark, I took over as Editor of SUK from issue 6 and I’m the specky guy in the black and white checked shirt! I still have every issue 🙂

  11. And if anyone’s interested in the “next generation” of SUK, the Paragons Of Virtue comic strip [which was based on the Golden Heroes team we played for 10 years through the ’80s] are now being turned into superhero novels. The first 2 are on Amazon and the author would appreciate any fan love he can get.

    1. Best o’ luck with your efforts Jonathan… are you the same Jonathan that’s behind the Farsight Blogger blog…? Looking forward to hearing how your Advanced Fighting Fantasy gamebooks get on… I’ve been mulling over doing something similar with the brilliant OpenQuest system, although I’m a huge fan of Chaosium’s percentile dice systems, too… 😉

  12. I am Daisy, I remember producing the copies of SUK#1 on an old Gestetner machine 1984. I still have 2 mint copies. I did the cover artwork and page 10 the cutouts. No Dennis the Ogre in this alas. I also have issues 1, 2 and 3 of Secrets of the Koan with Dennis the Ogre and other artwork by me adorning SPB(FE)’s articles from 1981. Time for scanning these to pdf I guess. I also have SUK#3 which was A5 format.

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