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1987 Great Heroes Backing Board Trading Cards

Today’s item is a really neat nostalgic piece. I’d never even heard of these until a few months ago when our buddy Aaron Bias presented these cards to me.

Back in 1987 (and again in 1989), DC Comics printed a very unique set of trading cards. These cards were printed on comic backing boards sold with three-packs of DC comics at large retailers. The 1987 series had six different sheets of 8 cards, making for a set of 48 different cards. The cards were printed directly on the backing boards with dotted lines for kids to cut out. Cards featured “Great Heroes”, “Great Villains”, and “Great Moments in Comics.” Firestorm was included on card #6, appearing on a board along with Cyborg, Flash, Tyr, Man of Steel #1, Detective Comics #38, Captain Atom #1, and The Key. Below is the front and back of Firestorm’s card. The art is typical stock art from that era. We’ve never definitely identified the artists, but our long-held belief is this was most likely pencilled by Denys Cowan and inked by Dick Giordano.

Firestorm 1987 Great Heroes trading card

Firestorm 1987 Great Heroes trading card

Below is an example of an uncut sheet of cards.

Great Heroes trading cards from 1987

There was a second series of backing board trading cards produced in 1989.  This set consisted of 72 different cards, including one of my favorites, Blue Devil! Just for fun, I’m including the Blue Devil card with art by Paris Cullins!

Blue Devil 1989 Great Heroes trading cards

Blue Devil 1989 Great Heroes trading cards

For more information and a complete list of these cards, check out these sites:

Given all the Firestorm memorabilia I’ve seen over the years, it’s very exciting to find something entirely new to me! Thanks, Aaron!

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  1. Hmmm…some of those definitely look more like Garcia Lopez art to me.
    I had never heard of these either…sadly, getting for a complete setlooks to be pricey!

    1. Shag says:

      Matthew – Thanks for the comment. Sorry for any confusion. When I said Denys Cowan and Dick Giordano, I was speaking specifically about the Firestorm art. That Firestorm stock art has been reproduced tons of times, yet we’ve never definitely identified the artists. Yes, many of those other cards are Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (Praised Be His Name). Thanks again!

  2. I remember those! I don’t remember when or where I got them, but I did have a few of these. Thanks for jogging the old memory Shag!


  3. Kyle Benning says:

    I have never seen these, but they’re absolutely awesome, I now must track these down!

  4. Ryan Emmett says:

    You said the second set only consists of 72 cards but the blue devil card shown is #81. I’ve also saw a black Canary card that was #91 I think. Do you know if there was a third series? I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how many there were but I’m not having any luck. Any additional information you have would be helpful. Thanks! Ryan

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