It has been more than fifty years since the publication of the first line of Topps’ Mars Attacks trading cards and the nationwide moral outrage over the cards’ graphic violence and implied sexuality that ensued. Kids thrilled to the gory images and monstrous Martian invaders, but parents and authority figures had a hairy fit. Topps attempted damage control by reissuing the cards with repainted art to take out the offending material, but the company ultimately suspended the line following inquiries from a Connecticut district attorney. The original cards became collector’s items.
In the years that followed, Topps turned Mars Attacks into a franchise of comic books and action figures and last year celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original line by reissuing the cards in an expanded set called Mars Attacks Heritage. Now, the company is bringing the controversial sci-fi card set back in grand style with the release of Mars Attacks: Invasion, the first story-based line since the original hit stores in 1962.
You can check out a few images from the Invasion set here below.
“Topps hasn’t done a set like this in more than twenty years,” says series editor David Waldeck. “It’s a return to the days when trading cards hooked audiences with incredible imagery and imaginative storytelling. We’ve loaded the set with everything fans know and love about MARS ATTACKS: giant insects, flying saucers, ray guns, robots, damsels and death rays!”
Invasion will feature new artwork from an impressive line-up of talent including 88-year-old comic cover art legend Earl Norem, who has been retired from painting since 2005, as well as rock and heavy metal album cover artist Ed Repka, comic and fantasy illustrator Joe Jusko, book cover illustrator Glen Orbik, and collectible card and comic artist Greg Staples (Judge Dredd). More contributors will be announced soon.
“Last year’s Heritage re-issue was a smash hit with fans,” said Topps’ Adam Levine, who has been overseeing the recent Mars Attacks resurgence, “and this brand-new series is what we’ve been building to. It will be a fresh re-imagining of the original series and will stay faithful to MARS ATTACKS’ pulpy, classic sci-fi roots. This means all-new, traditionally hand-painted cards illustrated by a group of artists carefully selected to carry forward creator Norm Saunders’ legacy.”
As an added bonus, rare trading cards from the original 1962 Mars Attacks line that have been certified authentic by Topps will be randomly inserted into the Invasion set as valuable chase cards. Other collectible bonus items to be included in this new card line will be announced in the coming months.
Mars Attacks: Invasion will arrive from the stars to assault stores sometime in October 2013.