Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Manic Pixie Dream Squirrel

Throughout the merchandising history of Marvel Comics, there's been more than a few weird-ass trading cards released featuring the Happy Hippie House of Idea's homemade heroes:

But probably no overall concept in trading cards has been as oddball as the 1997 Marvel Premium QFX set from Fleer/SkyBox! The "Q" is for Quesada ("Cup of" Joe), who drew all the artwork, and the FX is for...well, I think it's for weird photographic effects, because every drawing is set against a real photographic background.

That's so photorealistic that they even forgot to pick up the garbage from the sidewalk before they took the picture. Well...that's New York City for ya! Still, there's some nice effects at work here, like this shot of the Black Panther perching precipitously on Patience, one of the giant stone lions outside the New York Public Library:

I'm a little bit puzzled by Fleer/SkyBox's use of photographs that clearly show other companies' logos in them, like that banner spotlighting The New York Times on the Panther card. Or featuring both Kodak and Canon's Times Square billboards on the Howard the Duck card:

And some of the background choices are a little bit...well, let's just call it, as mentioned above, weird-ass, and let it go at that. Cyclops: in front of an eyeglass place! Haw! It's funny, because should he remove his ruby quartz eyeglasses at any time, he could destroy humanity with just a single glance! Also, his spectacles take way more than an hour to make.

Thanos! Not merely content to conquer the known galaxy, he also intends to hang around Rockefeller Plaza and kidnap Liz Lemon when she comes downstairs. Well, can't blame him there.

And to properly display the might and grandeur of Thor, here's a card showing him a mere twenty feet off the ground cavorting with pigeons, the flying rats of Manhattan. Don't touch 'em, Thor! Don't put your lips on them!

At least Storm of the X-Men gets top fly high above the city, which is a pretty good trick with her "look at my rear" posture and her enormous feet.

On the other hand, here's Jubilee hangin' out in...I dunno, Queens? Staten Island? Amityville? Is she selling real estate now? Enquiring minds want to know what the Sam Scratch the thought behind this card was!

But then there is, photographed in Central Park, quite possibly the weirdest, most disturbing, off-modelist version of Squirrel Girl that is known to the entire length and breadth of history.





Dave said...

Is Sue not wearing pants in that shot? It would certainly explain her expression.

Mela said...

Squirrel Girl's Juggalo phase was awkward for everyone.

Jason Glor said...

Part of the street light is in front of Thor, which means he must be above it, and therefore gigantic. I don't think that's Thor. I think it's the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Thor Balloon.

Ron Hogan said...