Why is Marvel terrified, no dare I say PETRIFIED, of having a book reach more than 15 issues before getting reset to issue number 1? Wont the speculators eventually catch on and realize that the renumbering is just a silly gimmick that means nothing at all, Daredevil case in point?
We’re not terrified, nay PETRIFIED, of any such thing. But neither are we living in the past.
We’ve gone over this in great detail recently, but just to sum up: the numbering really isn’t important in and of itself. Its only import is what you place on it. No other serial publications carry a number on them that is of any weight to their readership. 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?
Also, there are a lot—a LOT—of readers who hear about one of our books being good, but who feel like they don’t know where to jump on board to try it out. They’re hesitant. The new #1 gives them a nice easy access point—which is part of why it always works.
In the case of DAREDEVIL, it’s a highly-acclaimed award-winning series. But that doesn’t mean that everybody who might love it has already sampled it. So when there’s a story reason that legitimizes a new first issue, why wouldn’t we take advantage of it? We know the material is strong, and we want to get it out in front of as many readers as possible. This simply allows us to do that more effectively.
The world has changed in so many ways, the world of entertainment more than most. The way television series are conceived and released, and the formats they’re available in are completely different now than they were even a few years ago. Asking a Network to do business the way they did in 2000 would be pretty self-defeating, right? So too the same is true of us.
The bridge of renumbering and relaunching was crossed a long time ago. It was crossed by DC after CRISIS in 1986, and it was crossed by Marvel ten years later for Heroes Reborn. And it’s been fifteen years since that. There is no going back, any more than there’s any going back to there being three central broadcast networks on television. This is the world as it exists today, now, in 2013.
We are in the business of selling stories. Our operating philosophy is that good, accessible stories will always sell better. But we live in the here and now, and we deal with the conditions of the marketplace in which we sell our products. And when it comes to something as irrelevant to the storytelling as the number that happens to be on the cover, we’re going to do whatever the marketplace tells us gives us the best chance to get that material into as many hands as possible.