After last night’s recording of the Major Spoilers Podcast, Major Spoilers Intern/Cub Reporter Young Zach and I were trying to come up with a decent QOTD for today.  Sadly, the lad isn’t quite ready for the pressure of this particular feature and totally choked.  We’ll give him another shot later.  Maybe…  Stephen, thankfully, stepped in and saved us all (Sometimes it’s good to have a friend who always has an axe to grind with the foolishness of the comic industry) and based on September’s big ratings stunts, raises a very important and timely question.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) can’t find a decent copy of Amazing Spider-Man #Σ, asking:  Do you see the point in unusual numbering schemes (like the .1, #1/2 or zero issue phenomena) or do you think it’s just another attempt to mess up the order of my back issue bins?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

10 Comments

  1. I think all of the numbering schemes- Particularly restarts with new #1’s when the title continues exactly as before (ala Captain America, New Avengers, etc.) is completely ridiculous.

    I don’t mind the DC wide restart, because it really was a new beginning. The zero issues… I don’t know. Some seemed interesting. Most seemed forced.

    The .1 stuff at marvel is beyond inane. They are rarely actually good jumping on points, and just force another issue into the yearly schedule that indeed makes continuity and storage and later retrieval an unneeded hassle.

  2. Robert Hulshof-Schmidt on

    Hokum and hype, almost without exception. A new #1 during a major reboot or after a long hiatus makes sense. Other than that, just move forward one issue at a time, please.

    Origin stories and jumping-on points can be highlighted without the artificial introduction of weird numbering (like they were for decades…) Zero Month was mostly a rude interruption with mediocre results rather than the helpful introductions that were promised.

    On the other hand, a crossover-wide numbering scheme for AvX that alllowed for sequential reading of all the bloody issues after the fact would have been really handy, wouldn’t it?

  3. Those in the industry often complain the difficulty of attracting new or lapsed readers. Multiple crossovers with adjacent miniseries and one-shots are bad enough, throw in a confusing, impenetrable numbering system and it’s no wonder why those theoretical new readers stay away in droves.

    If I can’t walk into a shop, find the Avengers bin, pick up issues 25-40 and find a reasonably continuous story or series of stories without doing extensive research on miscellaneous offshoots, then buying comics becomes a chore and not a fun hobby. It was exactly this type of garbage that helped me break my monthly comic habit.

  4. Ryan 'Halite' King on

    I don’t like it.

    The point 1 stuff sounds good on paper, but more often than not it is an unwanted interruption to the reader who is on board and isn’t a good jumping on point to new readers.

    Re-numbering is frustrating to everybody. On-going readers may have to ask their retailer to keep pulling, or suddenly drop because they want to follow green Hulk as a character and their book is now suddenly different. New readers may have a hard time, I’ve asked for Avengers and Iron Man starting at #1 and found current runs in my pull box multiple times. I don’t blame my retailer for this mistake, they are probably just as confused.

    Crossovers or special months that interrupt a story really bother me. I think for DC, Batman/Swamp Thing/Animal Man have managed to pull of cross overs and interpreted stories well, but some titles (Birds of Prey) seem to be lost.

  5. Nah, it really is just an elaborate conspiracy to drive guys who work in comic stores insane there by allowing them to be replaced with mindless drones who will only recommend books from the big two.

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  6. Most number gimmicks are just silly attempts to grab attention. They don’t necessarily bother me (so long as they’re used in moderation), but I’ve never bought into the hype they’re supposed to be producing.

    The only ones that makes much sense to me are the ‘x.1’ or ‘x.5’ issues; Since their stories are supposed to chronologically take place in between two existing issues.

  7. I don’t mind the odd numberings if the story has a point. If it is a good story that fills in a spot between normal number issues (such as the current #0 issues) or tells one story (the old Gen13 issues #13a, 13b, etc) or something like a promo issue that tells a story taking place between two issues (with a numbering like 3 1/2 or 3.5 set between issues 3 and 4) I’m usually on board. But if there isn’t anything substantial to set the issue apart other than the number, it drives me crazy.

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