Joe Jusko, bordered (and still does border) on sacrilegious. It may be almost 20 years ago now, but in '92 Joe gave the 'House of Ideas' it's finest coat of paint.
As an aspiring artist at the time, Jusko's cards were a HUGE influence on me. I would redraw them constantly, trying to nail the awesomeness involved in each - jeez, looking back I must've rendered Psylocke alone a good thirty times. Never succeeding, but I can tell you I have never drawn a sword differently since.
Even almost two decades on, the 1992 Marvel Masterpieces remain the ultimate fantasy trading card set. Now in recognition of their durability and inspiration, here are my top 10 Jusko-jaw-droppers;
Spider-Man Face it; if you're doing anything 'Marvel' and screw-up Spidey you may as well stop. Here Joe made an icon iconic, and that's from a guy who ain't a fan of the big-eyed look!
Nightcrawler Nothing beats my favourite X-Man in his classic duds. Here the 'Bamf!' is so detailed, Kurt's simple suit 'pops' even more.
Darkhawk No one draws ol' DH as good as artist Mike Manley, however, this is as close to second as you can get - and it's done in paint!
Namorita MM '92 really gave the New Warriors a decent slice of pie. I loved the way this card was left half 'empty' as Nita sizes you up.
Psylocke Yip, my thing for Psylocke officially started right here.
Black Cat No imitation Catwoman, here Joe gets Felicia bang on.
Adam Warlock I never cared for Adam until I saw this card. His cosmic anger made me go look into him more.
Storm Does the best x-leader ever take a bad picture? Calm face - wild weather - pure Storm.
Sabretooth Now we're on the home-stretch. I don't recall seeing a better Sabretooth image. Ever. As for my number one...
Captain America Predictable? Maybe, but there's no denying the simple idea of Cap running towards you while a bald eagle rears it's head against the stars and stripes, pulled off as well as Joe does here, can ever finish in any place other than #1.
Which ones from the set do you remember?