I’ve already talked about the great impact the Marvel Universe Series 1 cards had on my geek life but a few years later Skybox produced a set of X-Men trading cards that eclipsed those Marvel cards in a huge way for me. The Series 2 X-Men cards came at a time when the X-Men were becoming quite popular, due in no small part to the excellent animated series which is featured heavily in this set of cards. Let’s jump back twenty years and open up a few packs of these great trading cards.
Like those earlier Marvel cards the X-Men cards introduced me to lots of characters I had yet to discover in the comics. There were the great well known names like Beast, Cyclops, Storm and of course Wolverine then there were the ones I was starting to really get into at the time like Cable and then there were guys like Kylun and Rictor that I had no clue about until these cards.
The card fronts featured great artwork like always and the backs featured standard info on the character but the cool part was this info was in the form of Professor Xavier’s personal files.
The Super Villains in this set introduced me to even more new characters than the heroes subset. Once again there were the basics like Sauron, Juggernaut, and Blob but there were also so many other interesting characters that the 1993-me hadn’t read about yet. Characters like Black Tom, Callisto, and Deadpool. It’s hard to imagine living in a Deadpool-less world these days but in 1993 I hadn’t read anything with him until I got his card in a pack of X-Men trading cards.
Arch-Enemies cards were small sets of two to three cards that when put together featured two or more enemies locked in battle. Archangel vs Apocalypse, X-Men/Magneto/Acolytes, and Wolverine vs Sabretooth were some of my favorites but there wasn’t a dud in the series. They all looked great when pieced together.
I mentioned the X-Men animated series earlier and any child of the 90’s should need to reminder of how great of a cartoon that was. The show had its own cards as part of this series which all showcased a screenshot of the cartoon with a little bit of episode specific information on the backside of the card.
As an added bonus there were also gold stamped cards which were the All-Time Greats at the time and some beautiful (and hard to photograph) hologram cards. These types of hologram cards may have seen release in other series before but this was the first time I had ever seen holograms that featured color and they were truly magnificent cards.