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Impel: Marvel Universe Series II (1991)

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About This Series
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About This Card Series:   As the name would imply, this is the second series of trading cards based on the Marvel Comics superheroes.  This is a very well-done set.  The artwork on these cards, as a whole, is better than the art we'll see on the next series of Marvel cards.  I also like the colorful template of the cards.  They're much more interesting to look at than the first series or third series.  Truth be told, this is probably the best series of cards ever made for the Marvel Universe.

Featured Cards:  I won't display every card from a series because I don't think every card in a series is necessarily attractive or otherwise special.  What you'll see here are some of the cards of characters I like best.  I hope you enjoy these cards, too!

#3:  The Thing

#7:  Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic
This is a well-drawn card of the superhero, but a bit odd.  The backpack and gun are not part of his standard attire.  I think this illustration was used just to show that he is a gadget-maker.

#14:  The Punisher

#23:  Puck
I love this character, but he's certainly not one of the most celebrated of Marvel's superheroes.  He is the only dwarf superhero I'm aware of.  I'm surprised he hasn't caught on more with the "little people" community.  He's smart, funny, and powerful without being a goof.  He's just a great superhero character, period.

#35:  U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent
This is one of the first "bad boy" superheroes in comics and one of the few that I don't believe is cliche.  U.S. Agent is what you'd get if Captain America turned real, real mean.  The red, white, and black mock-up of the Captain America costume is a great concept.  This is a patriotic superhero that doesn't show his enemies mercy.

#36:  Banshee
I've never been a great fan of the X-Men superheroes, but this is a well-designed card and he has a cool costume.  Banshee is Irish, by the way.

#38:  Jubilee
Like I've said, I'm not a great fan of the X-Men, but certain characters, like Jubilee, stand out as interesting.  She's a funny, light-hearted Asian-American teen with a neat ability to create blinding light.  This is also probably the sexiest she's ever been drawn on a trading card.

#48:  Thor

Perhaps this card should have been called "Substitute Thor".  The short-lived, bearded version of Thor with the metal mask was really Eric Masterson, a replacement for the "real" Thor who was "indisposed" at the time.  When the "real" Thor came back, Eric Masterson became the superhero Thunderstrike.

#51:  Cyclops
This is Cyclops in the costume he wore while with the superhero team X-Factor.  He rejoined the X-Men team not long after this card was released.  I thought this was a cool costume for the character, but his 1990s X-Men outfit was an even better design.

#54:  Captain America
Captain America
It's not hard to make a good card of Captain America, because he has one of the neatest costumes in all of superhero comics.  Plus, almost every pose he makes looks regal and all-American.  He seems to have more stances than any other superhero!

#66:  Jigsaw
If Punisher was to have an arch-nemesis, Jigsaw would be it.  He's probably the only villain Punisher has never been able to "kill dead".  What's amusing about this is that Jigsaw is really an idiot.  He's no top criminal mastermind.  He just always seems to slip through the cracks.  Punisher, himself, thinks of the man as "stupid".  He's a popular villain in Punisher comics, but he's never really been used all that much.  He just keeps popping up from time to time.

#75:  Doctor Octopus
Dr. Octopus
This is an amusing picture of the clever supervillain, but I wish they would have given us a full body shot so we can see his tentacles and get a better idea of what he's about.

#90:  Red Skull
Red Skull
Captain America's top enemy.  This isn't the best card of Red Skull I've ever seen, but it's still a good representation of the character.

#99:  Captain America Vs. Baron Zemo
Captain America Baron Zemo
Baron Zemo is easily Captain America's second worst enemy.  Red Skull is the top baddie.  Still, it was Baron Zemo who, in the comics, is responsible for Captain America being frozen in ice for years.  It was also Baron Zemo that killed Cap's teenage sidekick, Bucky.  Like the Red Skull, Baron Zemo is another crazy German villain with Nazi ties.

#104:  Daredevil vs. Bullseye
Daredevil vs. Bullseye

#105:  Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus
Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus
THIS is a cool Doctor Octopus scene.  He's always been my top favorite Spider-Man villain.  One reason is that he's kind of funny and goofy to look at.  The other is that he is the ONLY villain that really seems to get one up on Spider-Man.  He's truly a brilliant character.  Most of the Spidey bad guys lose eventually.  Doc Ock, although his major plans get foiled, always seems to win some kind of victory.

#128:  Thor's Hammer
Thor's Hammer

#129:  Daredevil's Billy Club
This is probably one of the most ingenious superhero weapon ideas of all time.  His cane turns into a billy club which can also be used as a whip.

#131:  Spider-Man's Web Shooters
In one way, I like Spidey's web-shooters because he made them and it shows off his scientific brilliance.  The live-action movies did it better, however, when they explained that webs just naturally come from his wrists as a result of being super-powered.

#138:  Wolverine's Claws
Wolverine's Claws

#141:  Green Goblin
Green Goblin
Great card design for the popular Spider-Man villain.

#147:  Rage
Rage was a great character that just didn't take off like he should have.  A 13-year-old boy is trapped in the body of an indestructible black bruiser powerhouse!  Despite his rough appearance, Rage was actually a gentle soul and mannerly while not fighting criminals.