It’s impossible to overstate how popular the X-Men were in the 1990s. Between the Saturday morning cartoon and the endless stream of X-Men comics hitting the shelves, Marvel’s mutant superhero team was everywhere. The ’90s was also the era of trading cards, so when Marvel released a whole series of X-Men cards in 1992 — featuring art by industry legend Jim Lee — every young comic book fan wanted them (myself included).
Now, to celebrate the trading card set’s 30th anniversary, there’s a full-color hardcover book detailing all 105 cards. It’s called The Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards: The Complete Series, and it just went on sale at Amazon for 45% offdropping the price to $13.79.
The Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards: The Complete Series Hardcover Book
The Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards: The Complete Series
Artist Jim Lee is as responsible as anyone for the X-Men’s meteoric popularity in the ’90s. He penciled and co-wrote the spinoff series X-Men #1, which remains the best-selling comic of all time. His artistic take on the characters is also the basis for their portrayal in X-Men The Animated Series. (Lee’s success has only continued in the years since; he’s currently the publisher and chief creative officer of DC Comics).
So Jim Lee penciling all 105 cards in this set means you’re looking at one of the most iconic takes on these characters in comic history. The set features all of the popular X-Men superheroes and supervillains, like Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Cyclops, Magneto, and more. It also includes a lot of lesser-known characters, like Multiple Man, Polaris, and Widget. Gotta have Widget. Also cool are the puzzle cards that go together to form a larger image, including an awesome 9-piece Danger Room block of cards.
In addition to showing full-color images of the front and back of every card in the series, the book also features tons of additional information from the artists who worked on it. It goes deep into the creation of the set, including behind-the-scene details about individual cards. Beyond that, it includes everything from sketches of some of the cards to promotional items sent to comic shops when the cards were released.
The book itself is incredibly gorgeous. It’s 272 pages long. The colors pop right off the page. It’s a “digest-sized” hardcover, so it’s smaller than you might expect, but that suits the subject matter just fine, seeing as the original cards aren’t very big and each one gets a double-sided page. It really is a thing of beauty. You can see just about every page in this video on Cartoonist Kayfabe’s YouTube channel.
Getting all that for $14 is a killer deal no matter how you look at it. I bought a copy myself. There’s no telling when the price will go back up, so grab it soon if you want it.
Chris Reed is a deals expert and commerce editor for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed or on Mastodon @chrislreed.