Classic Marvel Comics Meet the Chopping Block for Innovative New Insert Set


One of the directives Upper Deck staff has been given when it comes to its new Marvel trading card releases is to challenge the status quo on these sets and really push to develop innovative new trading cards. Collectors who have been opening 2011 Upper Deck Marvel Beginnings may have found an innovative new trading card that is sure to get people talking. They are called the “Ultimate Panel Focus” insert cards and what makes them so unique is that we have actually cut out key panels from classic vintage comics in very poor condition and embedded them into a trading card.

This marks the first time any trading card manufacturer has produced a trading card like this to appear in packs and Upper Deck expects fans to have mixed feelings about it.

“I would liken the way a comic fan feels about protecting rare comics the same as a environmentalist feels about protecting endangered species,” said Bubby Johanson, Upper Deck’s Marvel product manager. “I totally understand how fans feel as a comic fan myself. I felt some real concern when we first came up with this idea. But what I found as we looked at the marketplace for what was available was that there are a fair amount of these vintage comics in less than pristine condition so it is not like we were taking the shears to a 9.5 graded Amazing Spiderman #2.”

Additionally comics like these are not widely read given how important it is to keep them in good condition. To be able to share key panels from these classic releases with fans was an exciting premise for UD’s entertainment team.

“Most fans just don’t get the opportunity to flip through issues like The Amazing Spiderman #6 so we know that fans will get a kick out of having the chance to own these unique collectibles that showcase these great stories,” said Johanson. “I think when people actually see them in their hand, they will realize we haven’t destroyed a comic, we are simply presenting the comic to fans in a new way. In looking at the completed cards you will see that many of the panels actually look like they were almost made to fit in trading cards like this.”

Upper Deck used actual panels from the following comics in their 2011 Marvel Beginnings Ultimate Focus Panel cards:

Card Number Comic Title Issue # Numbering
UM-1 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 66
UM-2 The Amazing Spider-Man 4 53
UM-3 The Amazing Spider-Man 6 61
UM-4 The Amazing Spider-Man 9 68
UM-5 The Amazing Spider-Man 14 66
UM-6 The Amazing Spider-Man 18 51
UM-7 The Amazing Spider-Man 25 45
UM-8 The Amazing Spider-Man 50 39
UM-12 The Avengers 57 50
UM-13 Daredevil 181 55

2011 Marvel Beginnings is available in stores now. Check out card gallery of just some of these amazing new cards:

The Amazing Spiderman

The Avengers


Categories : Entertainment, Products



While I love the look of these cards, they’re not the first time comic panels have been put onto cards. Rittenhouse Archives did it with a set (I’m pretty sure it was Complete Avengers) a couple of years ago.


Being a collector of all things comics I don’t see why anyone would throw a fit about re-purposing what otherwise would have been “worthless” comics.

Any chance someone can provide us with a checklist of the series? So far I have identified:

Base Set: 180
Break Through: 45
Break Through Auto: 45
Die Cut X-Men: 45
Micromotion: 60
Holograms: 42
Sketch Cards: 70
Ultimate Focus Panel: 13 (assuming that there is a UM-9 – UM-11)
Ultimate Marvel Preview Cards: ? (same as above?)
Printing Plates: ? (225 x 4 colors = 900?)

I thought I read somewhere that it was 542 total cards or something like that. Just the “known” above is 500 or so. Any help?


That’s pretty cool. Finally there’s a way to breath some life into all those old ratty, rolled up comics with no covers and rusty staples that are practically worthless as collectibles, but we just can’t quite bring ourselves to throw away.


You are right Ryan. We apologize for the misunderstanding. There are some some big differences between what they produced and these cards; the biggest being they were not inserted into packs for collectors to find nor were they standard sized cards. When we said, “first cards like this,” that is what we were referring to. To our knowledge, no other cards like this have been produced in packs for collectors to find.

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