As one of the biggest multimedia franchises on the planet, Marvel is undoubtedly a cultural juggernaut. With countless iconic characters, weapons, and worlds, the over 80-year-old franchise is certainly lucrative. Even outside of licensed collectibles and toys, Marvel merchandise can be worth some serious money. This trend of Marvel essentially printing money remains unsurprisingly in the MTG world. While a crossover set seems less and less likely, an MTG alter provides a tantalizing glimpse into what could have been.
Half Is Dust
As one of MTG’s most prolific alternative artwork creators, Klug Alters has created no end of stunning creations. Often taking inspiration from other franchises and art styles, Klug Alters has a history of transforming iconic MTG cards. Whether they’re evoking a 60’s b-movie horror aesthetic or taking inspiration from film, Klug Alters’ work always captures the community’s hearts. Recently Klug Alters’ work has also caught the MTG community’s wallets, as their most recent alter may be the most expensive All Is Dust ever created.
Referencing a panel from Infinity Gauntlet (1991) #1, by George Perez, this All Is Dust alter is being heralded as Klug Alters’ best piece ever. Showcasing the iconic moment in which an Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Thanos snaps his fingers, this All Is Dust alter is perhaps the perfect Marvel and MTG crossover. If Wizards were ever to do a Marvel Universes Beyond Secret Lair, surely this card would have to be included. While that crossover is beginning to seem unlikely, Klug Alters has undoubtedly proved that there is money to be made.
This stunning concept was conceived initially as a commission. Miraculously, it ultimately fell through, leaving it unfinished until recently. After completing it without the ties to the original commission, Klug Alters was free to auction off the piece to the highest bidder. At first, this would leave Klug Alters butting heads with eBay’s new TCG authentication program that “doesn’t handle alters” well. Thankfully, this issue would be rectified before too long, allowing the bidding to commence. In two short days, the altered All Is Dust received bid after bid before finishing at a staggering $2,226.00. By our count, this makes Klug Alters’ All Is Dust the most expensive version of the card ever sold.
A True Marvel
While the quality of Klug Alters’ work is not to be understated, the subject matter clearly enthralled audiences. Across Facebook and Reddit, MTG players commended the flavor of the crossover, as well as the quality of the art. As one of the world’s biggest franchises, a Marvel Universes Beyond crossover has often been highly requested. Following Fortnite, Warhammer 40,000, and The Lord of the Rings crossovers, it even seemed like a possibility for a while. Unfortunately, however, Wizards of the Coast’s chances at that elusive crossover may have recently turned to dust.
This crushing disappointment for MTG and Marvel fans comes thanks to Disney’s new trading card game, Lorcana. Scheduled to release in the fall of 2023, Disney’s Lorcana is set in “The Great Illuminary” and has access to all of Disney’s stories, worlds, and characters. This means that the worlds and characters of Star Wars, Marvel, and Tron will all likely appear in the TCG. This all but guarantees, that Wizards of the Coast won’t be able to share these franchises for Universes Beyond products.
Technically, Disney can allow Wizards to create some crossover Universes Beyond products. Since Disney’s Lorcana is a direct competitor to MTG, however, we can only imagine it’s exceptionally unlikely. Especially with the striking similarities between Magic’s and Lorcana’s mana and mechanics. This means that a Marvel alter is likely as close as MTG players will ever get to a true crossover. While this may be a great disappointment to some fans, we can at least rest assured that the artwork on these alters will be utterly fantastic.
Alternative Universes Beyond
In the meantime, while Marvel and Disney properties may be off the table, MTG players still have plenty more Universes Beyond products to look forward to. For instance, the Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks are being spoiled ahead of their release next month. In 2023, MTG players can also look forward to the Tales of the Middle-Earth Draft set. While this set is far from spoiler season, Klug Alters has already shown off what it could be.
Over the past year, Klug Alters has been hard at work reimagining MTG’s ten rare fetch lands in the fantastical style of Middle Earth. Having recently completed the full set, these ten artworks are simply a joy to behold. Currently, it’s unclear if any of these cards will feature in the actual Tales of Middle-Earth set. If they do, unfortunately, they won’t feature Klug Alters’ artwork, as they’re currently not under Wizards’ employment. This hasn’t stopped many fans campaigning for Klug Alters to get their very own Secret Lair, however.