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For the eighth birthday of Mars Will Send No More on WordPress, and my forty-fifth on this planet, let’s have a look at some of the craziest Mars-based paintings of the twentieth century: the Mars Attacks trading cards!

mars attacks cards - cover

From the 1984 reissue set

Because Topps is still producing new sets and republishing the originals now and then, I won’t post my complete collection of scans of the original cards. But we can enjoy a few of the classics together.

mars attacks cards 40 high voltage execution

from the 1984 reissue set

As much fun as these cards are, doesn’t it sound better to have them all reproduced in a high-quality book with essays about the cards’ history? If you think so, too, avoid spending a fortune collecting original vintage sets, or even the 2012 reissue set, and pick up the book Mars Attacks: 50th Anniversary Collection on Amazon.

mars attacks cards 11 destroy the city

from the 1984 reissue set

If the originals aren’t enough to satiate your Martian appetite for carnage and chaos, the gory story continued with sequels: the Mars Attacks Revenge set, the Mars Attacks Invasion set, and the Mars Attacks Occupation set.

mars attacks cards - 41 horror in paris

from the 1984 reissue set

Not all reproductions of the original set include the same cards, and this has been a point of contention in many online reviews. I tried to find a guide to exactly which set you’d need to buy to get not only the original 55 cards but also the ones omitted from the set due to excessive nastiness. The result? A bloody headache!

mars attacks cards 50 smashing the enemy

Ouch my brain!

So, I ask you to post in the comments section with any information you have about which set is the definitive, complete, all-inclusive version.

mars attacks cards 65 naked and the dead

Maybe marketing these to children wasn’t such a great idea!

You might already know artist Norman Saunders painted many of the original 1960s cards, but reader Ed Dietrich tells me Norman also painted a 1966 series of Batman trading cards. Here’s a sample from Ed’s collection, with an appropriately horrifying giant spider! Big thanks to Ed for helping with this post!

norman saunders batman card 1966

Last but not least, a Dinosaurs Attack set was released on a terrified populace in 1988, and while rampaging dinos might seem well-suited to the fury and frivolity here at Mars Will Send No More, an awesome collection is already available for your viewing pleasure at http://dinosaurs-attack.blogspot.com/

dinosaurs attack 26 coasting to calamity

Fun for the whole family!

Despite its relentless, gruesome carnage and widespread destruction, Dinosaurs Attacks was clearly produced by cat lovers.

32 cat lady's revenge

I like most stories where cats win.