Marvel is renumbering its comics again this summer, marking basically the sixth time the publisher has done that in six years. Many comic fans on Twitter have no answer for this, well, aside from flipping out, getting mad, fighting, swearing things have never been this bad, and accusing Marvel, or DC, or both Marvel and DC, of ruining the business (side note, this is actually how comic book Twitter responds to everything).
That’s why today we’ve put together a guide for how to handle Marvel’s Fresh Start, which is the name for its latest re-numbering. You're going to have to learn to cope, friends. Marvel’s leadership literally said three years ago it was going to a seasonal model, which, like TV, would see their books building on past seasons each year while going in fresh theoretically new audience-friendly directions.
So, let’s face it, Marvel is going to re-number its comics annually every year for the foreseeable future.
Here’s what you should do in response:
Tell everyone else on comic book Twitter you don’t like this. Tell them often, and tell them angrily.
Tell Marvel that you don’t like this, see above for frequency and tenor with which you should do this.
Assume that because 6 - 8 other people agree with you, that the entire industry is crumbling.
Assume that the only reason Marvel is doing this is because they hate you.
Don’t stop for a second to wonder if a multi-million dollar corporation knows more about business than you do.
Forget all of this ever happen for the next 6 - 12 months.
React the same way in 6 - 12 months when Marvel announces the start of its next publishing season.
Continue to buy (or at least talk about angrily) Marvel comics.
Okay, so that’s all a joke (obviously), but what you should actually do is pretty simple.
Just ask yourself, do you read and enjoy any of Marvel’s comics now? If you said yes, go ahead and continue reading those Marvel comics. At the moment, it looks as if many of Marvel’s top books will continue with little changed, or at least with the same writers (see Black Panther and Thor). Also, if you like the sound of some of Marvel’s new creative teams--as I do with Avengers, Venom, and the rumors about Captain America--go ahead and hop on those books, too.
If you said no, and you are not currently reading any Marvel comics, or if you don’t like the sound of the new creative teams, either carry on or go ahead and stop reading those comics and instead read something else. There are some great Image and indie books around these days, or so we've heard.
This is all not to say that there aren’t legit questions about this seasonal method Marvel is forcing upon the industry. Change is scary like that, and there is a sizable number of fans, as well as retailers, who are quite vocal about how they don’t like this (over and over). But, again, that’s how change works. So, buy the stories you like and don’t buy stories that you don’t like, which is just what comic fans have done for decades; the market will naturally sort out whether Marvel's model is viable.
What you shouldn’t do, however, is continue to read Marvel comics, forget that this seasonal model is here to say, and then react with frustration and outrage, as if doing so could change anything. Or, if you're not reading Marvel comics, continue to throw a ton of negativity into the ether to be heard by the fans who do enjoy them, like some kind of super dick-ish molotov cocktail of dickery. Anyway if you did that, you’d be behaving the exact same way and expecting different results, which is, my friends, the definition of insanity.