Spider-Man is one of the most iconic super heroes in comics history. For trading card collectors, there are several options as well. Not only does he appear regularly in mass Marvel sets, but there are several that focus entirely on Spider-Man, his friends and his enemies.
Spider-Man trading card sets cover a variety of styles. Not surprisingly, several use a comic approach. Others give it a high-art spin with detailed paintings. In recent years, the majority of Spider-Man sets have shifted focus to the films.
With so many releases, here's a look at five of the top Spider-Man trading card sets.
Top 5 Spider-Man Trading Card Sets
This is one of the first modern sets dedicated solely to the famous web-slinger. There's really not a lot to it. You've got a 90-card base set and six Prism inserts. However, the artwork features one of the most iconic modern masters to take on the character, Todd McFarlane.
The set is not hard to find and is very reasonably priced. With 48 packs per box, going that route will leave you with lots of extras.
If you're looking for sheer beauty, 1995 Fleer Ultra Spider-Man is it. The 150-card base set isn't just big, but it is all painted artwork commissioned for the set. There are also several premium-style inserts, most of which are based around different chromium styles. As far as Spider-Man comic sets, this is one of the most popular and iconic.
Taking a similar approach as the 1995 Fleer Ultra set, 1996 Fleer/SkyBox Spider-Man Premium has more painted artwork. As the set's name suggests, it focuses more on Spidey's foes than anything else. The base set has 100 cards. Six Canvas inserts land 1:6 packs. Holomotion cards are 1:36 packs.
Notice a trend here with Fleer and their premium sets? This is another release that emphasizes new art. However, more important is the inclusion of sketch cards, one of the earlier sets to do so.
The base set has 81 cards that are broken down into several subsets based on different Spidey comic titles. Blue Foil parallels are somewhat plentiful, landing two per pack.
Sketch card, or Sketchagraphs as they're called in this set, artists include many who worked with the character over the years. Gene Colan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mike Wieringo and Sal Buscema are among those who contributed sketches. Inserted 1:288 packs, Sketchagraphs are extremely rare today. Given the importance of the set, most have made their way into personal collections.
Both of the first two Spider-Man movies have trading cards, but neither is very exciting. Topps and Upper Deck did okay with them, but Rittenhouse took things up a lot for the third movie.
The autograph checklist is one of the best ever produced for a single release. Leading the way is Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man. Among the other signers are James Franco, Elizabeth Banks, Willem Dafoe, Stan Lee, Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless.
A pair of high-end expansion sets were sold separately. These added costume and prop cards as well as a second Maguire autograph (as Peter Parker).