Marvel Fanfare #12

marvel_fanfare_vol_1_12I can’t remember exactly what I was looking for when I found this in my LCS’ bins, but I know that I grabbed it because it was 50 cents and had a George Perez cover.  It’s not in the best condition–it has cracks in the spine and the bottom corner is bent–but I’m not going to argue with 50 cents.

Anyway, the main story in this one is that Black Widow has been captured by a bunch of costumed baddies in Hong Kong (one of whom is also an ex-Soviet agent), manages to escape and heads into the sewers where she is eventually captured again, this time by a somewhat scantily clad villain named Snap Dragon.  That’s a rough summary because as good as Ralph Macchio’s script over George Perez’ plot is, the selling point for the entire story is Perez and Al Milgrom’s artwork, which is as gorgeous as you would expect.

The backup is an Ann Nocenti/Al Milgrom silly cartoon about how she is running the show this month (because it’s Assistant Editors Month) and that is followed by a portfolio of pinup sby Rick Leonardi.

I wasn’t very familiar with Marvel Fanfare prior to this and the first thing I noticed was that the cover price from 1983 was $1.50 and it was on high-quality glossy paper.  Now, this type of paper didn’t always make the artwork look great (because artists were often drawing for classic comics paper), but Perez is one of those artists who is constantly the exception to the rule and the colors pop and the blacks look very deep.  The humor comic is silly and funny in some places, but is just kind of filler.  I really enjoyed the Rick Leonardi pinups as well.

I’ve got several issues of this series to get through and while I wonder if this is one of the high points, I’m curious to see if they’re all this solid.  I may hang onto this one because it is the penultimate chapter of a four-part storyline and when all of this is done, I might track down the other parts.

Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?

Keep.

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