Marvel Starts Counting From Point One in February?

Marvel has begun promotions for a new initiative first announced months ago in November:


Another new attempt to grab new readers, Marvel will be producing certain upcoming extra issues and labeling them as "a perfect starting point, kicking off Marvel's biggest and most impactful stories of 2011".

The issues listed by the marketing postcards and Marvel's press release as part of the Point One campaign are:

"Amazing Spider-Man" #654.1
"Invincible Iron Man" #500.1
"Wolverine" #5.1
in February

"Captain America #615.1
"Deadpool" #32.1
"Hulk" #30.1
"Thor" #620.1
"Uncanny X-Force" #5.1
in March

"Avengers" #12.1"
"Secret Avengers" #11.1
"Uncanny X-Men" #534.1
in April

Combined with a "huge marketing push" each full 22-page issue will be priced at $2.99 and followed by a second issue in the same series within the same month of the Point One issue release.

More importantly, each issue is designed with the goal of being both enjoyable by-itself and as the first part of a longer experience.

The issues are to be literally numbered with a .1 so the "Thor" issue will be "Thor" #620.1. I assumed most likely it would be purely a visual gimmick but reports here that there will be a regular issue (#620) and a Point One issue (#620.1) followed immediately by another regularly numbered issue (#621).

I'm not sure this campaign can actually succeed in bringing in new readers to Marvel's comics/characters/universe.  That said, more comic-book issues that tell self-contained stories but connect to larger ongoing concepts and story-elements is great, great, great and we need more of it so everybody gets a solid value and less unpleasant surprises when they purchase a comic-book expecting what Tom DeFalco once called "a complete unit of entertainment" (Marvel Podcast, "The Amazing Spider-Girl"; 4/28/2oo7). The months February, March, and April do lead us right to May, the month that has become the traditional one for Free Comic Book Day to fall in. So a line has been drawn making it easier for non-comics people to find simple great superhero comics stories. That's a great step forward. Almost as big a one as Marvel's statements that they will be utilizing their "PR firm" to reach a "mass audience". Here's hoping there's Disney money at that particular PR company.

Back in November, then Marvel Executive Editor (now Senior Vice President of Publishing) Tom Brevoort pointed out that by utilizing a decimal point the idea was far more flexible and repeatable than the Free Comic Book Day editions that arrive in our stores every May or the old #0 and #1/2 issues from the Nineties. Incidentally, the idea of numbering a comic with a decimal is an idea I'd had bouncing around in my noggin for an entirely different purpose and context. But that is a story for another day.

In the meantime, The Long and Shortbox Of It wishes Marvel well in advertising the campaign in as many media outlets as possible both in and outside of comics.


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