How I Got My Superpowers…

If anyone read my first ever post about how I got into comics, then I’m afraid I have an apology to make. It was a load of bollocks. I’ve only just remembered exactly when it was I became a comic fan.

And it wasnt even from reading a comic. The first time I got excited about comics was from this little picture here.

SUPER POWERS 95!

‘Waddingtons Super Top Trumps Marvel Super Heroes’ made me the man I am today. Please have a look-see at this website here http://www.ultimate-top-trumps.co.uk/waddingtons.htm for more information on all the sets released by those crazy cats at Waddingtons.

You will notice this range of Marvel Top Trumps was released between 1988 and 1992. So chances are I was between 2 and 6 when I first set my beady eyes ‘pon these chaps with their flashy pants and their enticing names. Enticing names which I got wrong. Nick Fury, Marvel’s super-spy (strength: 20,  Weapons: 6) had what looked like big fuzzy sideburns in his picture, so he became my favourite card, and was rechristened Nick Furry.

In the villains pack we also used to have there was a character called ‘The Mad Thinker’. (I’ve only in the last 3 months actually read a comic with him actually in, so I can now confirm he does actually exist after 18 years of thrilling mystery.) But anyway, since the Mad Thinker used to look like he had some muddy stains on his otherwise green overalls he became known in my mind as The Mad Stinker, and he was so mad he used to be covered in his own popsy-bangsies. The Mad Stinker is a crap card as well, with a hight of only 5’11” and Super Powers of Zero, the big shitty dick-head. The worst card of the super heroes was, and still remains, Elektra. She had a shit picture, shit strength (20) and no super powers. It was the unwritten rule of any game we played as a family (my older brother and my older sister, I think it was my older brother Hugh who was instrumental in actually purchasing the cards to begin with) that anyone who had Elektra in their hand while playing was guaranteed to lose. In fact, this unwritten rule then carried on to Secondary School when I used to play with my chums at break time, and without my ever mentioning the fact Elektra was shit she was declared a bad luck card by all other players and she was habitually left in my bag when we started a game since she spoilt the otherwise carnival atmosphere.

Interestingly, the big hero of today Iron Man is a fairly mediocre card, with strength of 25 and zero super powers. He does make up for it though with weapons of 20. Weapons was always a good area to play if it was in the double figures, since many marvel heroes shun weapons in favour of snapping necks with their bare hands. 

I’ve just done a quick check, and of the cards I still have, (Thor is missing sadly) The Thing, The Hulk and The Silver Surfer are the best cards to have. All are nice and tall, over the 6′ mark, all are heavy (particularly the silver surfer with weight ‘UNKNOWN!’ which was a mystical and fabled magic word in our games meaning it could beat any weight, the only concession to this great power being that it could only be played in defence and never as an attacking stat) and all have enormous strength and super powers. I’d say Silver Surfer was the best card though.

The only character that I do not recognise nor have ever read about is ‘The Gardener’.

Back in the '80s a gardener could have his own top trump. Nowadays you have to be a Jet, or a Tank.

Gardener is a bit of a sly old bugger. Just look, super powers 70! And he is over 7 foot tall!  And two weapons, which I think must be his stick and his orange purse.

Curiously I have absolutely no idea who the artist of these cards is. But what I think I’ll do is take them along to my comic shop (http://orbitalcomics.com ) and see if any of the nice chaps and chapesses there know who it was. I shall let you know.

You will also be pleased to know that new Marvel top trumps are still being produced, and I’m sure at some point I’ll tell you all about them too.