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 appearance in the title included team-ups with the Scarlet Witch in issue #6 (January 1983) and the Hulk in issue #47 (November 1989). A Silver Surfer story by Steve Englehart and John Buscema that was originally intended for the character's own series appeared in Marvel Fanfare #51.
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 1992 when most were $1).