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Marvel Universe Series IV Revisited, Part 14

This is another page that most of the characters didn’t mean much to me at the time, though several have come to mean quite a bit in the years since I was exposed to them here.

I’m probably least-familiar with the Ovoids and the Rigellians. I know of the Brood and their history with the X-Men; the Titans and their history with Thanos; the Badoon I know of from issues of Warlock/Warlock and the Infinity Watch and their role in Gamora’s past, I believe.

The Asgardians I came to “know” more during the Heroes Return run of Dan JurgensThor, the Skrulls I now most associate with Secret Invasion (though remember their significance to some X-Men stuff in the later-’90s/early-2000s). THe Kree and Shi’ar I most associate with Operation: Galactic Storm, which is one of the earlier “major stories” I was familiar with when my grandfather and uncle collected it as it came out.

Considering this rather “busy” image, this page works pretty well for me, and reminds me how much I’ve missed some of the “classic” cosmic Marvel stuff.

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Avengers: Warriors of Plasm?

avengerskreeskrullwarcardscoverI remember back in 1993 or so, a comic publisher (Defiant) teamed up with a trading card publisher and put out a set of trading cards. When assembled in 9-pocket pages, these cards became a quasi comic book, a zero issue.

Now, 18 years later, Marvel‘s hopping on-board with Upper Deck to do an Avengers: Kree-Skrull War “issue” that same way.

(see an official article at Marvel‘s site –  Kree-Skrull War: Upper Deck-ades in the Making | Marvel.com.)

plasmzero001What I don’t get is if something like this will actually sell. Granted, I’m absolutely NOT the target audience…but it seems that straight up “trading cards” fell out of favor with the advent of Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games. I know I myself haven’t had any interest at all in buying cards that can’t even potentially be part of a playable game.

Then I spotted this gem:

The comic-card hybrid revolution is further celebrated with additional insert cards, richly presenting the set’s magnificent “cover” art by Harvey Tolibao–in full color as well as black and white–and even variant cover art by Paul Renaud.

avengerskreeskrullwarcardscover2“Love” the buzzwords here. Even in CARDS, can’t escape the “variant” cover for Marvel’s comics (DC, Dynamite, IDW, etc are guilty of the variants craze, but they’re not partaking in this card thing).

So even assembling a full set of the “basic” cards, one still has to track down the “insert” (aka “chase”) cards to have a TRUE “full set” by way of a so-called “variant” cover/art.

The cards come 9 to a pack, and I’m going to guess the packs individually will cost at LEAST $2. But let’s be generous and pretend they’d be $.99 per pack of 9 cards. And let’s assume that — just for the STORY — you get a complete set in the smallest number of packs necessary to physically acquire that set. plasmzero003190 cards, 9 to a pack…that’s a minimum of 22 packs. For just the story itself–supposedly “over 40 pages”–let’s assume 40 even. The cards’ll be double-sided, so a pack of 9 would make 2 pages (1 page on the fronts, 1 on the backs?)…so you’d need 10 packs BARE MINIMUM to assemble the story. $9.90 if there’s no tax. But probably double that as the cards would almost have to be $2/pack. Add another few dollars to account for inserts and variants.

And already this becomes at best a double-length “comic” for a minimum of $20, and probably closer to $30 or $40 on the cheap side when you account for the random assortment causing you to wind up with lots of duplicates to assemble just one actual unique set.

plasmzero002And then what? Are they going to sell a special binder for the set? Charge for the uniqueness of the card binder, maybe extra for special cover art?

And will card COLLECTORS really want to do all that JUST for “a comic?” Will “comic fans/comic collectors” really want to go to such trouble “just” for a complete set of cards to “read” the “issue”?

Me? I’d much rather take and spend that sort of money–if I had it–on a quality oversized hardcover or small omnibus, with 18-30+ ISSUES’ content or a couple/several TPBs or such.

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