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Dave Palumbo has been secretly working away in his studio for almost two years, working on a staggering 135 original paintings. The paintings cover a comprehensive list of Marvel characters, from the most famous heroes and villains like Captain America, Deadpool, Wolverine, Daredevil, Thanos and Venom, to characters like the Red Queen, Silk, She-Hulk, The Sentinels and many more.
While the original paintings are undoubtedly worthy of their own gallery showcase, they are destined for something much different. The original paintings are going to be shrunk down to a pocket size set of miniature masterpieces that fit in the palm of your hand (okay, maybe you’ll need two hands for this set, and a pair of gloves…). Wait..what? Let me clarify here. Palumbo’s collection of shrunken miniature masterpieces will be housed in the highly anticipated return of Marvel Masterpieces, the iconic trading card set that has been making waves with collectors since the set was introduced back in the 1990’s.
This isn’t just any Marvel trading card set. Marvel Masterpieces is a super-premium set that includes a serial numbered base set with parallels that extend to 4 tiers of rarity. Wow! Inserts include highly coveted Mirage lenticular cards, Holofoil cards and textured Canvas cards that give the true feeling of miniature paintings. Battle Spectra metallic foil inserts are inspired by earlier releases of Marvel Masterpieces. “What if…” variants transform character base cards into traditional comic cover cards, like this incredible piece of Wolverine art:
The set also has some Preliminary Art Variants and hard-signed autograph cards (signed directly onto the cards surface), as well as never-before-seen Metallurgy metal cards.
What happens to those original paintings, you might ask? Well, I am happy to tell you that a number of them are also in the product! How do you cram the original paintings into a box of trading cards? Well, you’ve got me there. We would never….BUT, the clever folks have put them on reserve for those lucky fans that find redemption cards in boxes of Marvel Masterpieces that are redeemable through a simple process (easy to follow instructions are on the redemption cards). Redemption cards for original preliminary art from the collection are also randomly inserted into product boxes, and keep an eye out for all-original 1-of-1 comic book sketch covers illustrated by Palumbo. You heard it here first. Sketch cards return as well, and fall 1 per box on average.
Fun Fact: Palumbo’s mother, Julie Bell and stepfather, Boris Vallejo, are famed fantasy artists that created artwork for 1996 Marvel Masterpieces set. Unlike his parents, Palumbo is known for a dark, atmospheric style, which has earned him numerous honors including three Spectrum medals and a Chelsey award.
“As a life-long Marvel fan, I was stunned when Upper Deck asked me to work on Masterpieces, yet I also had this feeling like I had been training my whole actual life for this. It lit up my childhood memories and brought me back to that very early, very pure excitement,” said David Palumbo. “This has easily been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever been a part of, and I hope that my joy for these characters comes through in the final result.”
Sign up for product news and alerts at UpperDeckStore.com or be sure the subscribe to Upper Deck’s Blog to be first to hear about the release of Marvel Masterpieces this September before it’s gone from store shelves. The product will also release on www.UpperDeckEpack.com later this year, so be sure to sign up for your free account and start getting news and alerts from e-Pack. If you aren’t familiar with the Upper Deck e-Pack®, it is an amazing platform that allows you to easily buy, open, collect and trade Marvel cards safely and securely with other fans and collectors around the world. You can also get a free pack every day just for logging on. And who doesn’t love free?