…Well, maybe not all time, but pretty close. Frankly, you’d have a hard time beating this.
Sorry to dip into the trading card well twice in a row, but I’d totally forgotten there was even a Return of Superman card set (released in 1993), despite the fact I, of course, have a full set of it here in the Vast Mikester Comic Archives. These images are just reproduced from the comic, so there’s no particular reason why I have to present them from the cards, except that cards are sitting here in front of me and the comics aren’t.
Anyway, get a load of this. Yes, that’s Supes. Surely you recognize him by his flowing steel-blue hair:
Yup, when I think of Superman, I think of “Fury Unleashed!” Okay, I’m not being fair, this all (mostly) worked in context, and the Death/Funeral/Return storyline is, I think, still one of the high points, if not the high point, of the post-revamp Superman comics. But honestly:
…that’s not a look you probably ever expected for Superman.
But one thing I keep thinking…why’d I even buy these cards? I had all the comics. There’s nothing new in the set, expect maybe the shiny foil/chromium/prism/uranium chase cards. Seventeen years on, I can’t even imagine wanting to buy packs upon packs while attempting to put together a full set. Was it just something in the air at the time? Were cards just so closely tied to the comics market that you almost felt obligated to buy the trading cards for your favorite characters, too? Or was it just exploiting that collector’s mentality to accumulate and assemble things, resistance to which was at its lowest ebb during the boom and bust of the ’90s?
I hardly see that kind of card collecting today, except for folks trying to track down the original sketch cards that seem to be the current trend. At least those I can understand…the handdrawn sketch chase cards are usually pretty neat, and each one is genuinely unique. But otherwise trading cards (of the non-collectible card game type, that is) have since been reduced to being a niche market within a niche market. The days of leaving a pile of boxes for the Jim Lee X-Men trading card series by the register as an impulse item for the customers are probably gone forever.
I mean, I even had a set of the Jim Lee X-Men cards. I didn’t even like Jim Lee’s X-Men comics.