Last time I brought you the glory of Marvel’s first trading card series—Marvel Universe by Impel—so this time let’s check out what the competition was doing back then. Specifically, let’s see what crawled out of their Batcave… the beautifully crafted Batman: Saga of the Dark Knight set from DC Comics and Skybox.
Quality-wise, Saga of the Dark Knight is on the very high end, especially far as trading cards go. The cards are printed on thick paper with both sides receiving high gloss protective finish. Cards like this is what Skybox became known for, even on the sports card side of things. In short, they produce quality stuff.
Much like the Marvel set, this 100 card series breaks down into a specific set of categories, delineated by card type, a mixed grouping of popular story arcs and character sets. The groupings are, in order: Year One, Robin, Dynamic Duo, A Death in the Family, Nemeses, A Lonely Place if Dying, Sword of Azrael, Vengence of Bane, Knightfall and Knightquest. The last card in the series acts as your checklist.
Design-wise these cards aren’t dated in the slightest, which tends to be an issue with most older sets. Not these gems, though, they’re 20 years old and could go out in stores again and still meet today’s standards. Some of the art was original for the set but a lot of it, mainly story-arc specific cards, were ripped from the pages of their respective comic book titles.
I also really appreciate the minimalist approach on the cards, big full card artwork with small white font on the cards works super well. Boarders would have cheapened their appeal, I think, so it’s good that Skybox decided against going that direction. Meanwhile the backs, like most cards pertaining to this genre, provide a small paragraph on the story arc or character they portray. These are just super nice cards and I really appreciate them.
For card collectors and Batman fans alike, this set isn’t hard to find or obtain. The complete 100 card base set is only going to run you between 10 to 17 dollars—that’s it. I’ve seen the individuals go for about a buck a pop on the current market. That’s all for this edition of Trade or Die, have fun collecting till next time guys!