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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

I'll Tell You What I Want, What I Really Really Want...


As most of you are probably already aware Marvel Comics are heading towards a soft reboot via The Secret Wars event later this year that is said to smash together the main Marvel Universe with the Ultimate Universe and throw in a few alternate realities for good measure.

I think it goes without saying that on the other side of Secret Wars, most (if not all) of the Marvel titles will start again at issue one (please, no issue zero... it's meaningless!) - in a "we're not copying DC's New 52 initiative in any shape or form" kind of way. Because that's proved so popular!

Rather than fretting about the shape of this new Marvel Universe or what individual heroes (and villains) will be like, my only request is that once they've started numbering the titles to just let the numbers run and run and run. Don't keep stopping and starting with new number ones. It's annoying and rather ridiculous.

I'm of the old school that liked my comics to get their issue runs up into the hundreds, two hundreds, three hundreds etc. It adds a sense of history to the stories and, to a degree, respect that the company has faith in its titles.

If they're worried about new readers being put off from jumping onboard later in the run (as I believe is their justification for this stupid practice) just take a look at this month's Archie Comics' Sonic The Hedgehog (of all things) above: it's issue 268 (just think about that for a moment) but it's also - as shown in the top right corner - part one of a four-part storyline called Champions.

This isn't rocket science, people, it's telling your readers that this is a long-running comic and this particular issue is the start of a new storyline that will run for four issues.

I imagine the Sonic demographic is generally younger than an average Marvel comics reader and they seem to grasp this okay. So why does Marvel think its readers have such a problem with this concept?

Admittedly, Marvel has tried this in a slightly half-arsed way with its"point one" titles, but that just seems to be adding an unnecessary degree of complication to what should be the simple process of telling a potential customer that issue six comes after issue five. Is issue 5.1 really issue six, was there an issue five, will the next issue be six or seven?

Five years from now, I want my Marvel comics to have numbers in the 50s and 60s, in another five years I want to see them numbered in the low hundreds and so on.

Of all the things to muck around with on a comic, surely the numbering is the most straight forward. Start at issue one on day one and go up one number for every new issue!

Just look at the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #378 (part three of the 14-part Maximum Carnage story) from 1993. Marvel were doing it right then. So why is it so difficult now?

4 comments:

  1. Whatever happens in the Marvel reboot, I'm praying for a resurrection of Sleepwalker. He had a major appearance recently in Spider-Man, and he's playing a pivotal role in the end of the FF's run. There's even a Sleepy cameo in the recent Big hero 6 film. As a huge fan of Sleepy, I'd love to see his series brought back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never realised Sleepwalker was that big a deal ;-)

      I have yet to see Big Hero 6, it opens here this Friday, but I except I'll wait for the home video release.

      Delete
    2. He is to me. I just really liked the character during his short run back in the 90s. I even have a page of original art from the comic up on my man cave wall. He's a B-lister character, but I really like him. He was instrumental during the Infinity War crossover as well.

      Delete
    3. Maybe his time will come in the post-Secret Wars environment...

      Delete

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