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Marvel Universe Series IV Revisited, Part 20

This page of cards is a bit more interesting looking back, as being a bit more relevant to comics I was reading at the time, or within a couple years of this set.

Ghost Rider vs. Blaze, Hulk vs. Hulk, Spider-Man and Cardiac, Punisher and Ghost Rider, Wolverine and Omega Red, Cable and Deadpool all grab my attention just by concept. Hulk vs. X-Factor grabs my attention now due to knowing both were being written by Peter David at the time…though that was something I had not yet come to notice in 1993. At the time, other than perhaps the Superman books’ writers and Alex Ross on Marvels, I really didn’t have much concept of specific writers and artists.

In 2013 with the internet and such, it seems rather silly to have a checklist card, when one could likely very easily look up a “checklist” online for what cards exist. Back in ’93, though, this was an extremely valuable resource for knowing how many cards there were and what they were, in the holes in my collection. The checklist card was–outside of seeing cards for sale at the comic shop–the only real means of seeing the set as a whole.

Nowadays I would certainly feel a certain bit of disconcertment over having a “wasted slot” in a card pack taken up by a checklist.

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Marvel Universe Series IV Revisited, Part 19

While informative, I don’t have all that much to say about this page of cards, except that I probably referred to the Warlock vs. Man Beast card when I got into the Warlock character a couple years later; and though I’m aware of some of these conflicts, they don’t particularly interest me on the whole.

Still, I definitely like that these cards had a bit of informative substance on the backs rather than simply listing an issue # of battle and leaving it at that.

Some of these are a bit of “history” that’s held to this day, I think…while others have mostly faded to just being objects of their time.

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Marvel Universe Series IV Revisited, Part 18

I’m pretty sure that for the longest time, the X-Cutioner’s Song card was the primary information that I had on the story; same for the Infinity War. I have yet to actually read the Spirits of Venom story, nor the Hulk vs. Leader (though I’ve snagged a couple copies of the issue referenced from bargain bins, for the shiny cover!)

These ‘Famous Battles’ cards continue to be some of the more substantive cards of the set, as well as being interesting reference points looking back…to me, most notably the Wolverine vs. Cyber card, and realizing how relatively “young” that conflict was at the time and even leading up to what happened with Cyber in the run-up to Wolverine #100 shortly after the Age of Apocalypse stuff.

Not a whole lot of worthwhile thoughts to say about these beyond that…

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Marvel Universe Series IV Revisited, Part 17

There’s not really a whole lot to say about these cards, except that they were among some of the most informative cards of the set, for me, detailing the various conflicts, which included background on some of the characters and their relations to one another.

I think of these nine, my favorite cards are the Spider-Man vs. Carnage, Cable vs. Stryve, Wolverine vs. Sabretooth, and Spider-Man vs. Venom.

Additionally, the War Machine card reminds me that I have yet to read the issue and “experience” Iron Man of this period rather than being aware of Iron Man of this period.

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Marvel Universe Series IV Revisited, Part 16

I’ve commented mostly on the visual/art side of the cards in this set so far…I don’t care at all really about the “stats” given to the characters, and kind of had a blind eye to the lack of truly informative value of backgrounds for the characters…at least they had the first appearance listed, team affiliation, and a random factoid for context.

But with these 9 cards we actually get some real “meat” in the way of text with some detail about the “mysteries.”

These all were mysteries in 1993 when these cards were published. In the 20 years since then, I’m pretty well aware of the revealed origin of Wolverine (Origin); the background of Cable (Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, and much of Cable’s own series); that more was touched on with Ghost Rider in his series and the Midnight Sons stuff; we’ve had Onslaught as I believe the “official” revelation of the X-Traitor (Xavier himself), though the issue was brought up again in Messiah Complex with Bishop turned into a villain. I’m not sure if we’ve seen Doom’s face as yet.

I believe that the sixth member of the Infinity Watch was actually revealed in 1992 as Thanos, unless the Reality gem was passed to someone else after the Magus rather than given back to Thanos.

I remember being disappointed at the revelation of Spider-Man’s parents and the involvement of Norman Osborn. And while I believe I own the arc, I have yet to read the actual issues with Nightcrawler’s “true” origin, though I’m aware of it, as penned by Chuck Austen.

Other than the discrepancy on the Infinity Watch, these are–to me–some of the better cards in the set, simply for there being more TO them than the single-character cards.

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Marvel Universe Series IV Revisited, Part 15

I’m not too fond of this page…though the backgrounds fit together, and there’s some carry-over of the various energy-blasts from one card through others, for the most part these don’t really seem to fit together as a clear singular image/scene…the characters seem staged more simply to be their own cards, and not much else.

Other than Death’s Head II and Die-Cut, who I believe I’ve seen on some “fancy” covers of Marvel UK comics in bargain bins, I’m really not familiar with these characters. Motormouth sounds vaguely familiar…though even as I type that, I think that might be due to Dark Horse‘s Comics’ Greatest World title Motorhead.

While I believe Death’s Head had some sort of interaction with the Transformers, I can’t think of any real interaction between these characters and what I consider the “mainstream” Marvel Universe…outside of a half-recalled image of Wolverine involved with Death’s Head, perhaps.

These characters all reek of the ’90s to me, and really not in a good way. Mostly my memories of the ’90s carry a certain fondness, if not outright recognition of a certain hokiness and such, but these just don’t even hold much interest for me, with the character names themselves seeming extremely “dated.”

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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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