Trade or Die: Marvel Universe Series 2 (1991)

Trade or Die

After the success of the Impel’s previous run of Marvel Universe cards, the mighty Marvel Comics made sure to follow it up with another great set for fanboys to battle over. You can learn more about the history of these sets over on the Multiversity Comics, but in the meantime let’s take a gander at how this series turned out, shall we?

ToD-Marvel-Universe-se2-01For Marvel Universe Series 2, Marvel and Impel kept the card count at a very nice size of 162 cards for your base set, with 5 hologram cards as a chase incentive. The sets initially break down almost identical to the first series… “Heroes and Villains” being the main focal point, some more “Rookies and Teams,” but then things change up a bit (presumably for pizzazz, I assume). For starters, instead of a “Famous Battles” set, we are presented with an “Arch Nemesis” set. The fronts of these offer up some nice artwork while an explanation on the back explain who the hero/villain combo first became foes.

After that, there’s the “Weapons” set. I particularly really enjoyed these as they were almost an extension of the The Punisher Armory mini-series Marvel ran during the mid-90s. Each card featured a weapon on the front, but the back of the cards were almost like some kind of mock blueprint with details on its size, weight, what made it work and a general history.

The last new set, “Legends,” was only made up of six cards and consisted of Captain Marvel, Bucky, Green Goblin, Original Ghost Rider, Kraven and Dark Phoenix. I’ve never been to sure why those six were chosen to be displayed as a “Legends” seeing how there were a lot more characters that seem more fitting but, hey, I don’t make these things. I just collect them.


The build of the cards themselves aren’t much different than Series 1. Printed on durable stock, with just enough gloss on the front and back to protect the card, they look rather nice in appearance and don’t come across too terribly dated. Even though the borders are colorful, its a clean design that foregoes exploding with 90’s neon. The artwork, however, is very linked to the style we saw and knew from that time. The backs are also still tons of fun. Retaining the dossier style design from the previous series, the backs offer up character info, power ratings, affiliations, height, weight and—still my favorite part on any of these guys—the “Did You Know?” box that offers a fun factoid about the character.

Really, its a set any avid comic fan should have. Card hunters will be glad to know this set isn’t rare, it was mass produced due to the success of Series 1. It does, however, go for a little higher than what I honestly feel its current worth should be. The base set fluctuates between $16-25 (on average) and an extra $15-18 for the hologram set. Personally, I recommend seeking them out on the low end if possible… I have seen it go as low as $10 here and there. Happy Hunting!


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Written by Christopher Bacon

Mister Bacon tries really hard to define the line between collector and hoarder. Between comics , cards , video games , metal and horror movies the only thing he likes more than obtaining them is talking about them. Beer is good too.

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