Cover for Marvel Fanfare #53 (October 1990). Art by John Buscema
(Vol. 1) bimonthly|
(Vol. 2) monthly
(Vol. 1) March 1982–December 1991|
(Vol. 2) September 1996–February 1997
|No. of issues||
(Vol. 1) 60|
(Vol. 2) 6
|Main character(s)||various Marvel Comics characters|
(Vol. 1) Al Milgrom|
(Vol. 2) James Felder
Marvel Fanfare featured characters and settings from throughout the Marvel Universe, and included stories of varying lengths by a vast array of different creators. The title was published every two months from March 1982 to December 1991 and ran for 60 issues. It was edited throughout its run by Al Milgrom, who also wrote and drew an illustrated column in most issues, entitled "Editori-Al". Marvel Fanfare's original working title was Marvel Universe, which was later appropriated by Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter for the encyclopedia series The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.
The series began with a Spider-Man/Angel team-up story by Chris Claremont and Michael Golden. Other Spider-Man appearances in the title included team-ups with the Scarlet Witch in issue #6 (Jan. 1983) and the Hulk in issue #47 (Nov. 1989). Several characters appeared in multiple issues including Doctor Strange, Weirdworld, the Warriors Three, the Black Knight, and Shanna the She-Devil. Writer Roger McKenzie wrote several stories for Marvel Fanfare including a two-part Iron Man vs. Doctor Octopus tale drawn by Ken Steacy. A Captain America backup story in issue #29 (Nov. 1986) featured early work by artist Norm Breyfogle.
Marvel Fanfare was envisioned as a showcase of the comics industry's best talent. Each issue featured 36 pages of material with no advertisements and it was printed on magazine-style slick paper. It was more than twice as expensive as standard comic books ($1.25 in 1982 when most titles were 60 cents and $2.25 in 1991 when most were $1).
Editor Milgrom wrote of his experience with the series:
It was intended that [Marvel Fanfare] would appeal especially to the fans. [I] tried to get the best possible stuff ( . . . by either established pros or talented newcomers). At least part of the purpose was to use better paper, more elaborate, detailed coloring and, by charging a higher cover price, to eliminate all those unsightly ads. The creators were paid a bonus 50% rate, too. I was sometimes 'accused' of just using up inventory material — as if that was necessarily a bad thing. I did use some inventory stuff — if I thought it was of high enough quality. As with any grand vision, the results sometimes fell short of the goal. . . . What finally killed it was the advent of incentive payments to freelancers — top creators could make far more than the rate-and-a-half Fanfare paid if they worked on many of the better-selling regular titles. That and my workload and family obligations made it tough to keep the book going. And sales had begun to drop as well.
Inventory stories which saw publication in Marvel Fanfare include a comics adaptation of The Jungle Book in issues #8–11, the Black Widow serial in #10–13, the Hulk story in #29, and the Silver Surfer story by Steve Englehart and John Buscema in #51.
Like the first volume, the title featured different creative teams in each issue and starred different characters from around the Marvel universe. However, the talent were mostly newcomers, the paper was cheap and it cost half the price of most other comics (99 cents when most comics cost $1.95).
- X-Men: In the Savage Land collects Marvel Fanfare #1–4, 96 pages, June 1988, ISBN 978-0871353382
- Marvel Fanfare: Strange Tales collects Marvel Fanfare #1–7, 244 pages, April 2008, ISBN 978-0785127024
- The Jungle Book includes material from Marvel Fanfare #8–11, 64 pages, April 2007
- Black Widow: Web of Intrigue collects Marvel Fanfare #10–13, 176 pages, April 2010, ISBN 978-0-7851-4475-5
- Thor: The Warriors Three collects Warriors Three stories from Marvel Fanfare #13 and #34–37, 136 pages, September 2010, ISBN 978-0785144809
- Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph & Torment includes Namor the Sub-Mariner stories from Marvel Fanfare #16 and #43, 160 pages, 2013, ISBN 978-0-7851-8454-6
- Cloak & Dagger: Crime and Punishment includes Marvel Fanfare #19, 264 pages, June 2012, ISBN 978-0785161295
- Weirdworld includes Marvel Fanfare #24–26, 312 pages, April 2015, ISBN 978-0785162889
- The Incredible Hulk Visionaries — John Byrne includes the Hulk story from Marvel Fanfare #29, 208 pages, June 2008, ISBN 978-0785127055
- Essential Moon Knight vol. 3 includes Moon Knight stories from Marvel Fanfare #30 and 38–39, 528 pages, November 2009, ISBN 978-0-7851-3070-3
- Essential Silver Surfer vol. 2 includes Marvel Fanfare #51, 600 pages, June 2007, ISBN 978-0-7851-2700-0
- Women of Marvel: Celebrating Seven Decades includes Hellcat story from Marvel Fanfare #59, 1,160 pages, January 2011, ISBN 978-0785143260
- Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Volume 2 includes the Savage Land story from Marvel Fanfare #1–4, 912 pages, April 2014, ISBN 0-7851-8572-0
- DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1980s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 206. ISBN 978-0756641238.
It was an anthology that featured work by talented newcomers as well as work by the company's most popular creators.
- DeFalco, Tom. "Bullpen Bulletins Special," Marvel Comics cover dated March 1984.
- Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1980s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 126. ISBN 978-0756692360.
The debut issue featured the inspired pairing of writer Chris Claremont and artist Michael Golden as they teamed up two other fan-favorites, the X-Men's Angel and Spider-Man.
- Kirk, John (June 2017). "The Chris Claremont Marvel Fanfare Interview". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 12–15.
- Manning "1980s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 132: "Behind an impressive cover by artist P. Craig Russell was a single-issue tale by writer Mike W. Barr and co-plotter and penciler Sandy Plunkett. Encountering a vacant-eyed Scarlet Witch on a Manhattan rooftop, Spider-Man was shocked when she attacked him."
- Manning "1980s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 179: "Revered artist Michael Golden let Spider-Man shine when he teamed up with writer Bill Mantlo to pit Spider-Man against the Incredible Hulk once again."
- Martin, Brian (June 2017). "The Doctor Is/Was In!". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 16–21.
- Greenberger, Robert (June 2017). "Weirdworld". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 56–61.
- Ash, Roger (June 2017). "The Adventures of the Warriors Three". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 52–55.
- Friedt, Stephan (June 2017). "When Knights Were Bold: Steven Grant's Black Knight Arc". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 71–73.
- Buxton, Marc (June 2017). "Shanna the She-Devil in Marvel Fanfare". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 74–77.
- Kelly, Douglas R. (June 2017). "Kid in a Candy Store: Roger McKenzie Had a Ball With Marvel Fanfare". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 26–29.
- DeAngelo, Daniel (June 2017). "Ken Steacy: No Assembly Required". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 38–42.
- Eury, Michael (June 2017). "Norm Breyfogle's Batman/Captain America Makeover". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 51.
- Marvel Fanfare at the Grand Comics Database
- Smith, Andy (June 2017). "The Jungle Book". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 30–31.
- Mangels, Andy (June 2017). "Black Leather Required: The Black Widow Stings". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 22–25.
A Black Widow story arc originally planned for Marvel Premiere.
- Martini, Franck (June 2017). "Marvel Fanfare #29: A Story That Made Quite a Splash!". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 49–50.
This story was not meant to be published in Marvel Fanfare. It was meant to be The Incredible Hulk #320.
- Englehart, Steve (n.d.). "Silver Surfer 1-31". SteveEnglehart.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
That first issue [of the Silver Surfer] was shelved and I started over with a new #1. That "earthbound" first issue later appeared as an "imaginary story" in Marvel Fanfare.
- Tandarich, Dan (June 2017). "Marvel Fanfare #51: The Startling Saga of the (Alternate Reality) Silver Surfer". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (96): 69–70.
- Marvel Fanfare vol. 2 at the Grand Comics Database