CGC Trading Cards Now Grading Marvel Cards!

Posted on 8/23/2022

“Avengers, assemble!” CGC Trading Cards is ready to grade your Marvel card collection.

Collectors have been eagerly anticipating the day when CGC Trading Cards™ would start accepting Marvel cards, and that day is here. CGC Trading Cards is thrilled to announce that Marvel cards are now eligible for grading! The lucky first Marvel card to be graded is the legendary and elusive Spider-Man Redemption autograph card from the 1998 Marvel Creator’s Collection set. This card is signed by Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-Man, and features the artwork and signature of the world-renowned penciller and writer, Mike Wieringo. The card received a grade of CGC Mint 9, with sub-grades of 9 for Centering, 9.5 for Surface, 9.5 for Corners and 9 for Edges.

The first Marvel card graded by CGC Trading Cards.
Click images to enlarge.

CGC Trading Cards is set to grade all Marvel cards from 1966 to present, with thicknesses under 5.5mm. Please be aware that Marvel trading cards have varying widths and lengths due to inconsistent factory cutting, so some cards cannot be encapsulated. CGC Signature Series services are not currently available for any cards certified by CGC Trading Cards. Additionally, at this time, CGC Trading Cards will not be grading card games that feature Marvel (such as OverPower or Vs. System) except for Weiss Schwartz Marvel cards.

A worldwide sensation

The seeds of the Marvel Universe were planted in the 1930s when Timely Comics debuted iconic characters like Captain America, the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. Later, Timely Comics became Atlas Magazines and then Marvel Comics, one of the two top companies in the industry. The rise in popularity would give Marvel the chance to release a great deal of merchandise and memorabilia to fans in the form of comics, movies and, of course, trading cards.

Impel, later known as SkyBox, debuted a Marvel Universe set in 1990. Unlike prior sets that featured fan-favorite characters experiencing comical situations or with images repurposed from the comics, SkyBox’s cards expanded on the comics by featuring a wide variety of characters, stats, biographies and artwork drawn specifically for the trading cards by Marvel’s own artists. Fans were able to relate this information back to the comics, creating a renewed interest in the Marvel Universe by trading card collectors and comic fans alike.

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Marvel capitalized on this increased interest by buying Fleer, another trading card company, and later SkyBox. The companies were rebranded as Fleer/SkyBox International and continued to release trading cards using its own license.

Subsequently, the Marvel trading card license changed hands several times before ultimately being picked up by Upper Deck in 2012. The company continues to release Marvel sets to this day, with the most recent set being 2022’s Spider-Man Metal Universe.

Click images to enlarge.

Marvel cards through the ages

Marvel trading cards began with featured images of popular characters offering jokes and/or witty remarks on the front, with sets like 1966 Donruss and the Topps 1976 sticker set. Around this time, the artwork on cards was usually stenciled or colored from original comic book art.

Beginning in 1986, Comic Images would release many sets that were designed around the artwork of top comic book artists, including Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Mike Zeck and Arthur Adams. The cards were created by taking copies of the original art and having them hand-colored for the trading cards by Mark McNabb.

It wasn’t until 1990 that Impel took over production, creating its very own set of trading cards called Marvel Universe Series I. Its creative director, Bob Budiansky, handed out trading card assignments to comic book artists such as Jim Lee, Tom Morgan and Ron Frenz, who had worked or were working on the comic books.

Eventually, Joe Jusko would change Marvel cards forever with one of the most beloved sets in Marvel cards — 1992 Marvel Masterpieces. This set featured 109 entirely painted artworks, which was unheard of at the time, but soon this would become a staple in the Marvel card hobby. Marvel Masterpieces went on to feature the work of artists like Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo, Tim and Greg Hildebrandt, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave DeVries, Dimitri Patelis and others.

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Marvel cards evolved with their own designs and inserts that captured the imagination of collectors everywhere. Holograms, lenticulars, prisms and other card types made the sets more interesting, and some of these elements were adopted by the sports card world. In 1997, sketch cards arrived to Marvel cards. These inserts each featured an original hand-drawn artwork right on the card from a range of artists, including titans like Stan Lee, John Buscema, John Romita Sr. and the Kubert brothers.

Soon after, sets from Rittenhouse Archives would begin to standardize colored sketch cards and rare inserts, like diamond parallels, that were numbered out of 10, and comic cuts, which were cards that featured selected comic book panels that were cut down and framed into trading cards.

At this point, sets like Marvel Premier, Fleer Retro and Vibranium began to be serialized and printed in more limited runs. In 2016, Joe Jusko would return to once again paint a full set of trading cards for the Marvel Masterpieces series, and with this, the hobby entered a new era of trading cards. Sets like Fleer Ultra and Metal Universe would start to be revisited and expanded upon, moving from a typical 100-card set to sets that exceeded well over 400 cards. This shift encouraged collectors to think of new ways to collect.

Today, Marvel cards continue to astonish fans, new and old, with brilliant artwork and stunning inserts. CGC Trading Cards is excited to see the cards submitted by collectors now that these works of art are eligible for grading.

Submit your Marvel cards today!

Submit your Marvel card collection to CGC Trading Cards today! The CGC Trading Cards experts, including Fausto Barrionuevo, Marvel Card Expert and Senior Consultant, are looking forward to serving Marvel fans and collectors with a dependable certification process, including assurances that all cards are genuine, accurately graded and well-preserved.

Is it your first time submitting to CGC Trading Cards? Don’t worry; it’s easy! Learn how to submit cards by clicking here.

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