If you were a comics-loving nerd between the ages of eight and 18 or so in 1992, chances are you had a stack of Jim Lee’s X-Men trading cards secreted somewhere in your room. For those who missed them, or missed the trading card craze of the ‘80s and ‘90s in general, it’s honestly hard to overstate how popular these things were—but they were obviously popular enough to be collected in a brand-new hardcover book, titled The Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards: The Complete Series.
The cards ruled, not just because of Lee’s art—he was also illustrating the main X-Men comic, and was arguably the most popular artist of the time—but because they served as a sort of X-encyclopedia, detailing teams and characters in an expansive yet accessible form that the comics didn’t. Plus, the card backs contained bios of individual characters, teams, and important moments in X-history, along with histories, stats, and assorted trivia. There was also a nine-card mosaic that could form a scene of the X-Men battling in the Danger Room, as well as rare hologram cards. I wasn’t even an X-Men fan at the time, and I bought a million of these things.
The book will include both the fronts and backs of all 105 cards, along with “select scans of Lee’s original and digitally remastered art.” The cards will also be annotated and include “interviews, conducted by writer and set editor Bob Budiansky, with the Marvel staff who helped assemble, design, and create these iconic trading cards,” all according to the book’s official description.
The Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards: The Complete Series is due on July 5, and you can pre-order it here. If it does well—and I highly suspect it will—there are so many more Marvel trading cards from the ‘90s that could get the same treatment...
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