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Marvel Fanfare Monday: Ken Steacy

Stormantic focuses on Ken Steacy

The first time I met Stormantic I was standing in line waiting to interview Geoff Johns. Before I knew it he and I were bonding over strong female characters like Storm, Lady Shiva and Wonder Woman and discussing what the both of us would do differently given the opportunity to write these iconic characters. I think that was when I knew we would become great friends. Every Sunday he updates his blog which focuses primarily on his favorite comic book character, Storm. He is such a fantastic writer and has such vast knowledge of comic book characters that I decided to ask him to contribute occasionally as a writer on Comic Vine; he agreed. Stormantic is currently working on his very own comic book series, Princess Witch Boy which he hopes to get published within the next year. He also helps James out every Wednesday at Isotope Comics in San Francisco, California. If you like what you read, check out his blog. -B
Greetings, Comic Book Aficionados!  Every Monday in September I have been celebrating Marvel Fanfare, a series that ran from 1982-1992 (it only lasted 60 issues).  The comic was a showcase of sorts for characters who didn't have their own books.  Artists who were still fresh talent in the business had their stories featured often accompanied with pinups from their portfolios. The following is the fifth post featuring some of those pinups!  Enjoy!


Cloak and Dagger strike a pose reminiscent of Dirty Dancing in this illustration by designer Ken Steacy. Perhaps Dagger took ballet before she ran away with Cloak? I don’t remember their origin clearly.  I do like Cloak’s stoic stance in contrast to Dagger’s pirouette.  You get a sense right away that these two are partners even if you aren’t familiar with their relationship.

Power Pack wrecks a diner!  Steacy does a great job communicating each character’s personality through body language and props.  The dragon detail in the background is amazing! I wonder if that man looking over the booth is Steacy or a friend he drew in the picture.  Steacy’s attention to detail can even be found in his signature which is stylized to fit the Asian restaurant theme.


Guardian from Alpha Flight flies high!  Salute!  I’m going to take a wild guess and place this image before the time that good ‘ole James Hudson blows up (the first time).  Oops! Spoilers from the 1980s!  I like this image.  It’s clean, slick and powerful.  I like the juxtaposition of the planes with Guardian, but I wonder if instead of flying with them, he’s really just in their way.


The Fantastic Four are a family that just happens to be the world’s most amazing superheroes too!  Here we get a small slice of home life as Reed and Sue return from a night out and find their son Franklin perched on the Thing’s knee.  Franklin is, of course, reading about his family’s adventures in a comic book!  How meta, yes?  Check out Sue’s hair!  That is a serious 80s flashback!


Doctor Strange enters a strange dimension where everything has turned into a slick advertising campaign!  Okay, that might not actually be true, but that’s what it looks like to me.  From the hyper-stylized face of the woman in the background to the pattern on the green suit of the man in the foreground, this world looks like a Nagel painting got smashed up with Lisa Frank stickers and an Atari video game.  The good Doctor’s expression is one of bewilderment as if even he cannot fathom this strange ad world. I enjoy Steacy’s take on Doctor Strange.  He really nails the cloak details and the image on his shirt.  The hair is a bit too slick for my tastes, but that’s my only quibble.  

You’ve seen Ken Steacy’s take on mohawk Storm, right?
You can feel free to check out more of Stormantic's musings here!
Posted by FoxxFireArt

These are kind of interesting images. Sort of a 1950s take on Marvel characters.

Posted by Red L.A.M.P.

Power Pack at the Chinese restaurant is awesome, maybe being a Dad makes me appreciate it all the more.

Posted by crazed_h3ro

these images remind me of the good old days (if i lived in the "good old days") 
well i loved the pics and love the 50's-60's style   ^_^
Posted by Media_Master

these pics are pretty neat

Posted by xerox_kitty

I love the old 80's designs like this.  Dagger did used to be a dancer before she ran away from home, so in stories she was often shown dancing around a page to try and capture her movement, speed & grace; something hard to do in a still medium. 
I always love Power Pack, and that image captures their characters perfectly.  I like to think the man looking over his shoulder is probably Steacy :)

Posted by Bruce Vain

I miss the 80's
Posted by Blue_Shield

I am a huge fan of the Marvel anthology comics like Marvel Fanfare and Marvel Comics Presents.  Great stuff, though you left out the Deathlok pin-up (not very intimidating, but amusing).  And for those that don't know (even though you should) these are from Marvel Fanfare Vol. 1 #23.    
Posted by goldenkey

I don't like it