Overpower Starter Deck #4/5/6 Play Guide (Invincible Team-Ups)

 Lookback: Industry Books
 Posted: Apr 2020
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


Marvel Overpower was a card game originally released in August 1995. The cards were released in half-a-dozen different sets over a period of four years. You can find the cards themselves (not all of them, but the ones featuring Spider-Man and family) over in our Collectible Card Games section.

The earlier sets featured different "starter decks" which offered a fixed set of cards which made up a basic playable "deck". Of course all the super-special cards were sold separately in random booster packs. But these starter decks enabled you to get up and playing quickly with a friend.

There were six different starter decks from the original 1995 Marvel Overpower series, each with 55 cards.

  1. Clobberin' Time (Thing)
  2. Sworn To Protect (Jubilee)
  3. Deadly Foes (Sabretooth)
  4. Mutants Unite (Rogue)
  5. Lethal Allies (Carnage)
  6. Heroes Assemble (Beast)

Those deck of cards also contained a small (card-sized) booklet with the game rules, but they didn't contain any clarifications, examples, nor any strategy. That's where these 32-page "Play Guide" comics enter the scene. There were four of them, one of which starred Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage.

Story Details

  Overpower Starter Deck #4/5/6 Play Guide (Invincible Team-Ups)
Summary: Spider-Man, Venom, Carnage appear
Publisher: Fleer Corporation
  Overpower Starter Deck #1 Play Guide (Clobberin' Time)
Date TBD
Publisher: Fleer Corporation
  Overpower Starter Deck #2 Play Guide (Sworn To Protect)
Sep 1995
Publisher: Fleer Corporation
  Overpower Starter Deck #3 Play Guide (Deadly Foes)
Oct 1995
Publisher: Fleer Corporation

There were four different "Overpower Play Guide" comic books released in 1995, at the same time as the original game release. The front of these guides name them as "Starter Deck 1", "Starter Deck 2", "Starter Deck 3", and "Starter Deck 4/5/6". But inside, it's not so clear-cut.

Play Guides 1, 2, and 3 are all basically identical to each other in structure. They all feature nearly-identical content with extended versions of the rules, with diagrams, examples, and a more detailed explanation of what each card is intended to do, along with hints for making your own custom play decks.

But this "Starter Deck 4/5/6" moves one step on from the first three. It doesn't recap the rules of the game, but moves ahead to instead focus specifically on deck-building strategy.

It details three different play decks with explicit card suggestions, and describes the intent of each deck. From there it proceeds into both general and deck-specific game-winning strategies.

General Comments

I have a pretty solid collection of Overpower cards. And I'm also a pretty keen player of board games and card games.

But I came too late to Overpower to actually play it, not to mention being in the "wrong" country. It never really took off in New Zealand, and the organized competition leagues in the U.S. were pretty short-lived. The general consensus is that it's a pretty decent game, but it lacks the addictive replay-ability of Magic: The Gathering or Netrunner (my personal favorite).

There is, I believe, still a small group of Overpower collectors and unofficial tournament players active in the U.S. -- lead by a man they call "The Orange King" (no connection to King William, nor to the 45th President).

So despite the fact that the game is two decades out-of-print, you can still buy Overpower cards on eBay. But for a complete set of the nearly thousand different cards, you're looking at a several thousand dollars, which is prohibitive for any new players looking to join the game.

Overall Rating

These comics do a great job of extending the basic rules and strategies. They're attractively designed, and well tied into the game.

Somebody put in a fair bit of effort, and that deserves a Four Web rating.


The later 1997 Marvel Overpower Monumental set featured as single 65-card starter deck which contained a random mix of cards.

 Lookback: Industry Books
 Posted: Apr 2020
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)