Marvel Interactive
The Cards

Let’s have a real close look at the expansion – the logo, instruction manual and tuck box, and of course the cards themselves. In this section, you get to see the expansion itself in close detail, both from a descriptive and pictorial standpoint. For the cards, they have been scanned in with a conventional scanner, with NO modifications made to them at all, so you know that what you see is what you get! For the instruction manual and the box, photos were needed to truly represent what they look like in real life.

So without further ado, let’s take a detailed look! Given the amount of information on this page, quick links are provided below to jump to certain sections:

| Logo | Character Cards | Special Cards | DoubleShot Cards | Artifact Card | Level 5 MultiPower Power Card |
| Any-Power Power Cards | MultiPower Teamwork Cards | Any-Power Teamwork Cards | Tuck Box | Instruction Manual

LOGO

Logo design: All Overpower expansions had a logo. Sure, some of them were very basic, but it embodied the overall feel of the expansion itself. Likewise, for Power Balance, a logo was necessary. The concept was simple, to embody both the concept of “power” and “balance”. The imagery of blue fire represents the “power” aspect, while both the yin-yang symbol and the juxtaposition of the curved lines for the blue fire next to the sharp solid lines of the Overpower triangle represent “balance”. The words “Power" and "Balance” were placed on opposite sides of the yin-yang symbol and given the same overall weighting to also provide the concept of “balance”.

The yin-yang symbol is used as the background for Special, DoubleShot and Artifact cards in this expansion, much like the X-Men symbol is used for the X-Men expansion.

CHARACTER CARDS

Artwork: The style of the artwork for the first three expansions of Overpower (Original, Powersurge and Mission Control) was very different from what you typically find in comic books. The artwork was without the characteristic black lines and shading, looking almost 3-dimensional. This style of artwork appeared on every type of card; from Power Cards, Universe Cards to Character cards. From the IQ expansion onwards, the style of the artwork changed to the one more typically seen on the comic books, yet the artwork for the character cards remained the same. It was critical that the Power Balance character cards also recreated that same style of artwork, so as to look as genuine as possible. A very talented commissioned artist was used for this, and judging from the scans above, you can see he has done a fantastic job. (Scans of some characters from the IQ expansion are there for your reference.) These pictures cannot be found anywhere on the net, as they were drawn specifically for Power Balance. The icons themselves were also redrawn in high resolution by the same commissioned artist, as even high quality scans cannot recreate the look of the icons properly.

Card design: Getting the fonts right wasn’t too tricky. Several members of the Overpower community had already managed to correctly identify the fonts. However, recreating the exact feel of the cards took a little more work. The way the character names were shaded in that gold-yellow colour was very unique, and was dependent on the length of the name itself. Short names still had the same number of highlighted areas of shading as long names. The graphics designer who put the cards together was very aware of this and managed to recreate this effect almost perfectly. Also, the shadowing of the text and the white haze around the icons is very specific and characteristic as well, which was reproduced as closely to the original as possible.

The shading of the artwork at the back was also very characteristic. If you look at all the officially produced 4-stat character cards, they all start getting darker shading towards the right of the cards. I believe this was so that the icons and the “ENERGY/FIGHTING/etc.” text was more visible. This effect was also reproduced by the graphics designer. Finally, a little was added “TM” after the character name for each character card. This seems like a small detail, but without it, the card just doesn’t feel genuine.

Choice of characters: The characters chosen to be reproduced were the ones listed on location cards, but never produced officially. There were 10 such characters - Abomination, Blink, Expediter, Klaw, Lizard, Mephisto, Sauron, Shatterstar, Silver Samurai and Viper. Warlock was also reprinted for Power Balance, as everything about the promotional card just made it feel like it didn’t belong. The text was the wrong font, the artwork didn’t match the other cards, and even the back of the card didn’t have the correct artwork! A 4-stat version of Galactus was also made for Power Balance, as it did seem a little odd that all other 3-stat characters were given a 4-stat version, except this character. A basic version of Angel was also included, as there are variants of this character, but for some reason, no basic version. Altogether, there are 13 character cards in the Power Balance expansion set.

The stats and inherent abilities of the characters was either based on information from the official Marvel website, or on previous homemade incarnations.

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SPECIAL CARDS

Artwork: As described earlier, the artwork for almost all cards changed from the “3-dimensional” look to the classic comic book look. As a result, it was imperative that this same style was to be used for the character specials. With the exception of the Any Character card “Deal With The Devil”, the artwork was taken from various sources, some from commissioned artist websites and some from a simple web based search. Whereever possible, consent was obtained from the artist who drew the pictures to be used in a card game. The artwork for the Any Character card is actually a high resolution redrawn version of the accidental insert, and as a result, is absolutely crystal clear when printed out. The commissioned artist has done a fantastic job of recreating every little detail of the original image.

Card design: The overall card design is based on the X-Men expansion. The background is the same colour, and the X-Men symbol is replaced with a yin-yang symbol. The yin-yang symbol was made to be a lighter colour, as it was originally detracting from the readability of the black text. The fonts are almost EXACTLY the same as the X-Men expansion as well, even with the way the letters are spaced and stretched.

Choice of specials: The Any Character card was chosen to be reprinted as it was one of the ultra-rare Classic accidental inserts. Now, you don’t have to be a lucky collector to have a copy of the Marvel version of "Deal With The Devil"!

Choice of which cards to have made was based on which characters that did not already have at least 1 Special or was not able to play another character’s cards (i.e. a clone), and was listed on a Location card. There were 10 such characters - Abomination, Blink, Expediter, Klaw, Lizard, Mephisto, Sauron, Shatterstar, Silver Samurai and Warlock.

As for the function of the specials themselves, they were actually based on a number of different factors; 1) the character’s known abilities in the Marvel Universe, 2) available high quality artwork that could represent the function of the card, 3) abilities that would help to make the character AND Location card as useful as possible.

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DOUBLESHOT CARDS

Artwork: Similar to the Special cards, all the artwork needed to have the classic comic book look. Additional requirements for the artwork included having two main characters in the overall picture, and the characters must represent the power types listed on the Double Shot cards. Most of the selected artwork was from covers of Marvel comics.

Card design: The card design is basically an X-Men style version of the existing Double Shot cards, similar to what happened to the Special cards. The icons and text are all in the same place, but the background and the “DoubleShot” text is now changed to resemble that of the X-Men expansion.

Choice of DoubleShots: Since the DoubleShot cards can now be combined with any power type, this reduces the number of total DoubleShot cards by a large number, from 36 to only 12. Two more DoubleShot cards were made for characters that can play MultiPower Power cards. See The Rules section for the new MultiPower playing requirements and the reason behind the new DoubleShot card concept, which is a new measure put in place to balance the overall gameplay. The two MultiPower DoubleShot cards bring the total up to 14.

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ARTIFACT CARD

Artwork: This card is another reprint of one of the accidental inserts. The artwork itself is not just a scan of the original card, but fully redrawn. The quality of the redraw is of exceptionally high quality, with every single line recreated with amazing accuracy. Because it is completely redrawn, it is absolutely crystal clear when printed out.

Card design: Has the same look as the existing X-Men Artifact cards. See picture for reference. It was intentionally not an exact copy of the original card to make sure that collectors could very easily distinguish real from fake.

Choice of Artifact: This one was chosen just because it was an accidental insert that never got a remake, unlike the Image Inducer Artifact card. Now, you don’t have to be a lucky collector to have a copy of the Avenger’s ID card!

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LEVEL 5 MULTIPOWER POWER CARD

Artwork: Apocalypse was chosen to represent the level 5 MultiPower Power card, as he is the most iconic of the 6 characters in the game able to play it without enhancement from Artifact cards (see The Rules for the updated requirements for MultiPower card use). If you check out all the level 8 Power cards, they all have characters on them who can actually play the card. This pattern of character choice does not apply to any of the other power cards, only the level 8. Since the level 5 MultiPower Power card is also the highest MultiPower card playable given the Power Grids of the existing characters, it was given treatment like a level 8 Power card.

All online sources were scoured to locate a picture of Apocalypse in the same drawing style and of high enough resolution to be used on the card. However, there was no image that actually fulfilled these requirements, so the best quality picture was used as a reference point, and was then fully redrawn in high resolution, just to be used on the card. As a result, when the card is printed out, it looks nothing short of fantastic.

Design: All the icons needed to be redrawn to be used on all the cards, as scans and other people’s attempts are recreating the icons were just not quite up to the required standard. This also makes creating the white hazing effect around the icons easier, as the edges of the icons are much better defined. The little trademark text was also added to recreate the genuine feel of the card.

Choice of MultiPower card: Only a level 5 was chosen to be created for 2 reasons: 1) there was already a level 5 MultiPower card in the Image expansion and 2) with the new requirements for use of MultiPower cards put into place, no other character is actually able to play anything higher than a level 5 MultiPower card anyway. (Yes, Galactus is technically capable of playing all the way up to a level 8 MultiPower card, but it is not worthwhile creating 3 more MultiPower Power Cards just for one character to use!!)

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ANY-POWER POWER CARDS

Artwork: Black Cat was chosen to represent the level 5 Any-Power card, only because she already is used on the original promo version. Thanos was chosen for level 6 just because of the power he wields in the Marvel Universe, which is similar to that of what Dormammu is capable of, who is on the official level 7 Any-Power card. Finally, Galactus was chosen for the level 8 Any-Power card, as the most powerful entity in the entire Marvel Universe.

Likewise with level 5 MultiPower Power card, there was no artwork available that was high enough resolution to be used in this card game. As a result, existing images needed to be redrawn in high resolution, specifically for use with this card game.

Design: The design of the Any-Power cards in Power Balance mimicked that of the existing level 7 Any-Power card. There is no trademark text, so likewise no trademark text is placed on the Power Balance cards. However, it just didn’t seem right to have the number on the lower right side in the same orientation as the one on the top left, since this phenomenon just doesn’t occur with any other Power Card. As a result, all the Power Balance cards have the number upside down, just like all other official Power Cards. The Any-Power power type icon was very easy for the graphics designer to recreate with vector drawings, so the icon did not need to be redrawn.

Choice of Any-Power cards: Only levels 5, 6 and 8 were made, for 3 reasons: 1) a post-IQ version of the level 5 Any-Power Power cards was never made, 2) levels 6 and 8 only ever saw a DC and Image release, but were missing from the Marvel Overpower card set, and 3) strategically, there is very little use for Any-Power cards of values less than 5.

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MULTIPOWER TEAMWORK CARDS

Artwork: Artwork use for the MultiPower Teamwork cards were from previous comic book covers. Every single one of them did not have enough room at the top to allow placement of all the icons and text. As a result, the commissioned artist was required to actually add in artwork at the top to allow enough room to include placement of these icons. As you can see, it is not possible to tell where the official image ends and his artwork begins – the transition is seamless. Whereever possible, artwork was selected that depicted FOUR characters, not three, since there were FOUR power types listed on the MultiPower icon.

Design: The design is the same as all other teamwork cards. The graphics designer did a good job of overlapping the icons, particularly at the second and third lines which describe which power types can be used as follow-up attacks.

Choice of MultiPower Teamwork cards: Technically, there should have been two more, as the final combination of ENERGY/INTELLECT and FIGHTING/STRENGTH has been unaccounted for. However, it seemed a little superfluous, as the two existing cards already do permit any combination of two power types. Also, having an additional two extra Teamwork cards in a game where there is already an overabundance of different teamwork cards just seemed a little too much.

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ANY-POWER TEAMWORK CARD

Artwork: Again, this is not just a print out of the scanned accidental insert card, but fully redrawn by the commissioned artist. Every little stroke has been recreated, so the image is of absolutely crystal clear quality and accurate to the very last detail. You can see just from the picture above what a fantastic job the commissioned artist was able to do.

Design: The design is exactly the same as that of the original accidental insert, with the addition of the trademark text in the bottom right corner. This is to make the card feel genuine, but at the same time allow it to be easily discernible from the real accidental insert.

Choice of Any-Power Teamwork: Now, you don’t have to be a lucky collector to have a copy of the Level 6 Any-Power Teamwork! No other Any-Power teamwork cards were made because 1) there were no other official Any-Power Teamwork cards ever made, 2) given the new rules of Any-Power use, addition of more Any-Power Teamwork cards would give these teams a few too many offensive options.

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TUCK BOX

   

Artwork: The only artwork specifically created for the tuck box was the little Overpower diamond on the back, and the golden border around the text. Everything else was already previously drawn for use on the cards (i.e. the outer space background and the Galactus character).

Design: Galactus was chosen to be placed on the front because he is also a graphical representation of the “power” concept. The whole box was given a purple theme because Galactus’ costume is purple. The design of the box mimics the starter decks from the Original Overpower on the front, with the picture of a character from the game as the main image, the Overpower logo located bottom and center, with the words “## collectable cards” below. Even the top, bottom and sides are designed in a similar fashion. The back of the box however, is modelled after the DC starter decks, with the little Overpower diamond in the middle under the thumb cut of the box, which is the centrepiece to the golden border which encapsulates the text.

The box itself is also modelled after the original starter decks, with the shape of the opening flap and thumb cut in the same shape. Even the fold on the front to allow the top to fold back for easy retrieval of the cards from the box is positioned in a similar fashion to the starter decks.

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INSTRUCTION MANUAL

   

Artwork: Again, no specific artwork was created for the instruction manual.

Design: Originally, the manual was planned to be a little booklet, but the need for the Point Value Quick Reference Guide to be on one large sheet meant that the manual also had to be in this format. As a result, the manual has now been designed to fold up neatly into a rectangle the same size of all the previous instruction manuals.

The presentation of the content was modelled on the existing instruction manuals. Large headings would have a background image with the text in white and shadow in black. Sub-headings were in a block type font, and all other text was in Times New Roman. Pictures of cards were always on a slight angle with a faded black shadow as well. All these little details were imitated.

The back of the instruction manual has a table of all the updated Point Values for each character. Unfortunately, only all the 4-stat Marvel characters could fit on this sheet. Point Values for all DC, Image and 3-stat Marvel characters can be downloaded from The Rules section at the very top under "Quick Downloads". The font is the same as the instructional text on Special cards, and the little Overpower diamond makes an appearance here as well.

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