Marvel Going To “Seasonal Model” With Comic Series


If you’re a comic book fan or collector who enjoyed the days when you could grab issue #200 of a long-running title, you’re going to have to make peace with the idea that those days are gone, probably forever. Marvel doesn’t sound like it wants to revisit them, seeing more value in providing clear points for people to jump on or off a title in a method influenced by television.

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That was one of the more intriguing takeaways from recent interviews given by Marvel EIC Axel Alonso, which were summarized by Comic Book Resources. Along with the tidbits concerning a new Hulk, Wolverine and Spider-Man who may or may not be the characters we’ve always known comes another nugget: we can expect to see a lot more themed initiatives from the All-New, All-Different Marvel going forward, according to Alonso.

"I think that the comics industry — certainly, we are — slowly working into a season model that’s not too unlike what we see in our favorite cable TV shows: a seasonal model that offers accessible entry points for new readers and is respectful of long-term fans. We did Marvel NOW! and All-New Marvel NOW!, which were both two very successful campaigns. And this is the latest campaign."

Put another way, that means relaunches for books on a regular basis, potentially every time a creative team finishes its run. From a business standpoint, it makes sense, because there is a mountain of evidence that new #1 issues provide sales spikes to just about any series, one much bigger than simply installing and promoting a new writer and artist.

The tradeoff, of course, is a lack of the history that comes with hundreds of issues of the same series, as well as some difficulty referencing past events. To take just one prominent example, the main Avengers comic has been relaunched multiple times in just the last five years, and undoubtedly will again after Secret Wars. So if I talk to a fellow fan about something that happened in Avengers #1, he or she might know I don’t mean the one from 1963, but still could be unsure if I mean the issue #1 from 2010, 2013 or 2015.

Easing that uncertainty might require Marvel to go all the way and start labeling the volume or “season” on each relaunch. I’d consider that a happy medium between continuous numbering and #1 mania, but I’ve already made the mental adjustment that this is simply the way things are trending in comics in general.

Which way do you prefer: ongoing numbering, or books that have discrete entry and exit points for new arcs or creative teams? Hit us in the comments or on Twitter and let us know.

(via Comic Book Resources)

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