Marvel celebrates Jim Lee's legendary X-Men trading cards in new book

The Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards: The Complete Series
Jim Lee's iconic X-Men #1 covers (Image credit: Marvel Entertainment)

Remember Jim Lee's Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards? 

So does Marvel. 

Lee might be one of the longest-tenured executives at DC, but before he was a DC publisher and chief creative officer and before he was an Image Comics co-founder, he was one of the most popular, iconic, and best Marvel-X-Men creators of all time.

In 1992, following the historic success of the previous year's X-Men #1, still the modern-day record holder for best selling single-issue of a comic book, Marvel Marvel Entertainment commissioned Lee to create a set of 105 X-Men trading cards.

Because cha-ching. 

The Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards: The Complete Series cover (Image credit: Marvel Entertainment)

The trading card set would become one of the most popular non-sports sets of all time. And now for its 30th anniversary (there's a lot of that going around), Marvel is publishing The Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards: The Complete Series an annotated, digest-size collection of the complete 1992 set, including bonus cards.

The 272-page volume will go on sale July 5.

For the first time, The Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards: The Complete Series collects the front and back of each collectible card in the set along with select scans of Lee's original and digitally remastered art.

Writer and set editor Bob Budiansky also interviews the Marvel staff at the time who assembled, designed, and created the original trading cards.

According to Marvel, Lee was the first artist to create all of the original artwork for a Marvel trading card set, which also included bios, stats, and trivia for the X-Men heroes and villains written by marvel writers and editors.

The publisher says Lee's "dynamic character portraits, battle scenes, team shots, and innovative nine-card Danger Room puzzle cards" were fuel to the fire for the '1990s comic-book trading cards boom and the mainstream "mania" for all things X-Men.

Jim Lee was one of the best X-Men creators of all time. Now check out the best X-Men stories of all time.

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.