In truth, the main comic strip is actually a 12 page photo-strip in 4 page chunks, using screen grabs to adapt the first episode, Ring of Fire. They do a nice job of it, although the idea of tilting the speech balloons is somewhat distracting. (There's a good reason why it's never been done before. It just looks odd.)
There's also three illustrated mini-strips on one page intended as funnies, plus a couple of 'Teenage Tricks' strips showing kids how to fake having measles and how to hide a magazine inside a study book. Not too original, but probably new for the age range the mag is aimed at.
And that's the thing. It'd be easy to compare this magazine to previous publications that featured Thunderbirds strips, but times have changed. Yes, this is a far cry from the sophistication of TV21 fifty years ago, or Countdown weekly in 1971, but so is the series it's based on. The 1965 Thunderbirds TV series was a family show originally broadcast in an early evening slot. The new Thunderbirds Are Go series is squarely aimed at children and broadcast on Saturday mornings on CiTV. The magazine has to reflect that.
Judging the magazine on its own merits then, how does it fare? Well, it's good that over a third of its pages are given to strips, which is more than most kids' mags have these days. The activity pages should also entertain, and are on the same level as those seen in Doctor Who Adventures (its nearest rival). The target range is ages 6 to 12, and I think most of the contents are pitched in between that, which seems about right. There is of course a huge difference between the way a 6 year old and an 12 year old view the world, so it's not easy to make it work. As soon as the older end of that demographic feel something is 'babyish' they'll drop it like a stone, but Thunderbirds Are Go seems to get the balance right.
Thunderbirds Are Go No.1 is out now, priced £3.99.