I often discuss the “renumbering conundrum,” when comics companies change the numbers of the issues of certain series’ in order to boost sales.
Well, we have a lot of “big event” numbered books coming our way soon! Personally, I’m looking forward to them!
FIRST, WHY RENUMBER?
There are a lot of reasons, of course, why companies change the numbering of their comics, but we need to face the facts – the big reason is sales.
In fact, here’s a recent quote from Marvel Senior VP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort that points this out very clearly:
The number is there to serve a function, but it has no intrinsic value in and of itself. It’s comfort food and nostalgia at best. On this, we follow what you and your fellow readers do more than what you say. We hear complaints about renumbering every time we do it, but every time we do it, it results in higher sales, which is the whole ballgame—so if it were your time and your effort, what would you do?
Yes, it drives collectors crazy when they have to catalogue what issue goes where in their collections, but they still buy them! Yes, it drives comics shops nuts when people come in asking for a recent comic that is numbered 45 and the next one is 671.
But it sells! All right, say it along with me: It’s show BUSINESS!
Of course number one’s sell, as I often point out. It’s often a rarity when a comic lasts past issue #5. So it’s a big deal when a book reaches #500, not to mention #1,000.
When the New 52 started, DC renumbered two important comics back to #1. However, with Rebirth, they’ve set both Action and Detective back on track.
ISSUES TO LOOK FORWARD TO
I can’t possibly name all the big issues coming out soon, but let me direct your attention to some I think are worthy of your attention!
Action Comics #1,000 – Action Comics continues to be the longest-running superhero comic book series in publication. The book started in 1938 when Joe Shushter and Jerry Siegel created the character who would go on to become Superman. Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1, an issue that has is one of the most sought-after comics in history.
It will be an oversized issue written by Pete Tomasi and Dan Jurgens that will draw on all kinds of talent from the comics industry, including a Superman story written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner. Issue #1,000 is currently scheduled to ship in March, 2018, so it will arrive just before the character’s 80th anniversary in May, 2018.
Detective Comics #1,000 – Not very far behind Action will be the landmark 1,000th issue of Detective Comics, known as the place Batman debuted in #27.
When will it drop? Well, as of this writing, the most recent issue is #969. Given that this comic publishes twice a month, that lands it roughly in early 2019, if my math is correct.
There’s a big debate over who should write and draw in #1,000, but I hope some classic talent is brought back as well as recent creators, and all that could include Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo!
Captain America #700 – Personally, I’m glad Mark Waid and company are on the title now. I think they’re going to bring the good Captain back to the high place he deserves, frankly.
Issue 695 has come out, so if things continue as they have been, we should see #700 in five months, or about May 2018.
Of course, The Mightly Thor recently hit #700, and Daredevil is at #595, so #600 will also come in May or so of 2018. May will be a big month for the House of Ideas!
I’m sure that’s not all, either!
I’m just curious how fans will react to having comics numbered 1,001 and forward. Will DC restart Action and Detective at new #1’s? I’m not sure. A lot of it will depend on sales, I imagine.
Personally, I hope they continue on the numbering they have returned to. Each issue will be a testament to how those books have played an important role in the marketplace.
With Marvel, I’m not as certain. They do like to reboot comics a lot as well, so we might see new number one’s coming soon!
Dare I please point out that renumbering, while it might bring a temporary spike in sales, will not sustain a comic each month. Good word of mouth, often the result of excellent storytelling, will!
What do you think? Does renumbering catch your attention? Or is it something you don’t pay much attention to? your opinion, please share your thoughts in the space below!