Jump On with Marvel: Point One

Marvel released details about their new program for giving folks a good jumping on point, called Marvel: Point One.

Beginning in February, you'll see the following titles, each containing a full length, self contained story.

MARCH 2011
HULK #30.1
THOR #620.1
APRIL 2011

Each of these will be followed the same month with a subsequent issue, presumably to get them into the regular series of these ongoing titles.

The issues will all be priced at $2.99, which leads me to wonder if this was the reality of Marvel's announcement of $2.99 titles last month.  If so, it's clearly not the same kind of committment to the lower price point that DC is re-instating.

It's a fine sounding program, but it seems only to address getting current comic book readers into existing series.  Basically, they're hoping to make your pull list bigger, and if you're a regular comic issue reader who didn't jump into Captain America because of the high number on the cover, you might now.  It's a one time thing though, I can't see it bringing too many new readers into shops, which is what the industry needs.  We're looking at a way of renumbering without renumbering, which is great, because renumbering is like unto the Devil himself.

Until they release the creative teams on these books, we won't reall know if there's much to get excited about, but at least you won't be paying $4 for the privilege.


  1. I don’t fully understand this program. Does this just mean these are one-shots, but they’re one-shots tied more fully into ongoing continuity? But you could just buy these comics and get a complete story, yes? Do they somehow get you up to speed on what’s been happening lately in the regular titles?

  2. Weird it feels really niche.  I feel like if most people want to read a series bad enough, they’ll just read it.  I guess there’s folks that like to wait for jumping on points, but it just seems kind silly to do this.  Why don’t they just create an issue with a great jumping on point and let people know? 

    Maybe there’s a bit more to what this initiative is about, but for now, it seems a little silly.

  3. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t understand what makes people think that a high issue number will deter the reader.  Okay, it means that there’s a lot going on beforet his issue, but if they’re serious about reading comics then wouldn’t they want to go back and read past issues?

    Even if they’re not interested in goin back and read past issues, a high issue number shouldn’t deter a new reader.  What deters a new reader, in my opinion, is picking up an issue that’s currently in the middle of a story.  A lot of Marvel books have such long, ongoing, stories these days that its difficult for new readers.  Espcially with the constant massive stories that runs through various titles.  Marvel needs to forget the big event stories and go back to smaller, more self contained, stories of yester-year.

    Alex Albrecht, co-host of The Totally Rad Show and Diggnation on Revision3.com, has said (and I’m paraphrasing , of course) that he was confused when reading Amazing Spider-Man and then picking up Ultimate Spider-Man.  He couldn’t understand why the stories were so drastically different.

    I think that’s the ultimate problem.  Marvel is publishing too many books.  Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational and Ultimate could all be within the same universe.  How is a new reader to know where the stories continuity is?

    Marvel should have different logos for the different companies.  Red rectangle with white letters for the 616.  Blue circle with orange letters for the Ultimate universe.  Original Marvel logo for the Kids books.  ETC.  (These are just examples of course).  Having different looking logos would allow a newcomer to instantly recognize what universe each book is in and lessen the confusion.  Well, that’s my opinion anyway.  Feel free to disagree.

  4. I was surprised to see that Linda Hamilton and Evil Linda Hamilton are part of the Iron Man cast.

  5. yeah this is just wacky.  at the very least, 7 of my favorite series will be double shipping in their respective months!

  6. When I read about the program yesterday I thought it might be that each time a "jumping on point" for the series comes up (like the start of  a new storyline for example) they would add a .1 to the number.  This sounds a lot dumber.  Sure, I might start reading Captain America in March because of this but for Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, and Avengers it means that I am going to be buying an extra issue for a dumbed down story that doesn’t really further along the plot that I’ve been following for the last couple of years.

  7. Yeah, Marvel,  those issue #5’s of Uncanny X-Force and Wolverine are really, really intimidating…


    "Thay are just to far into the series for me to get whats going on..AAAHHHH!!"

  8. I’m just taking this as I get to get an extra issue of a few series I love this month. So, awesome.

  9. I think the the key wouldn’t be the ".1" which won’t make sense to anyone who hasn’t read the press release, but rather some kind of cover banner/announcement that tells the reader that this is a great jumping-on point.

    I like the attempt to try something different. Both Marvel and DC do struggle with making serialization accessible, while still building momentum and history for longtime readers (as well as consecutive numbering for collectors).

    There was a trend awhile back to de-emphasize the numbering. I remember people talking about how you don’t know what "issue" a magazine is on. You just know the current issue by the date on it. While serialized fiction is different, I think Marvel/Dc would do well to minimize the impact of what issue it is while focusing on title banners like "Part One of Four! A new story begins here!" — stuff like that. 



  10. @daccampo–you mean how Darkhorse handles the numbering of Hellboy and others?

  11. @wally – Yeah, pretty much. I guess I’ve heard that there is actually ongoing numbering for Hellboy and BPRD, right? But… if it’s listed somewhere, I wouldn’t even know. Or care. It’s so unimportant to the series, and yet, there’s clearly an ongoing, serialized, forward-moving story. Now, I’m not saying that Marvel/DC need to make their numbering nearly invisible, but I think aside from special issues that have some cachet ("500th issue!"), the ongoing numbering is far less relevant than maybe a cover treatment that focuses on the story arc and title — clearly letting you know that this is the first chapter of a new story, or even the THIRD chapter of a new story, so you feel like you can go back and get 1-2, rather than feeling like you’re 437 issues into an ongoing story.

  12. I guess this is partly aimed at people who pre-order, to bulk up the pre-order numbers for some of these?  Because otherwise the 3 months-in-advance announcement is a little silly.  Though maybe this is something we’ll be seeing more ads for as the date approaches.  But yeah, I definitely agree with Josh, they’re either trying to get existing customers to bulk up their pull lists or shift their priorities.  I guess it can’t hurt, though it seems like maybe using some kind of ‘new arc’ code on covers on a regular basis might accomplish the same thing on a larger scale. 

  13. I guess as long as the creative teams are the same as the main books, I’ll be picking them up. So these are just one shots with wacky numbering? I’m very confused by how this works and very curious to see how it plays out.

  14. This is……..stupid?

    You know what’s a good jumping on point? Buying those $1 reprints that originally started. Those are the things I would recommend to people if they want to get into comics. Not just another issue of an established arc, which this will totally be. Also it’ll be $2.99……so what would be better? $1 reprints or $2.99 comics with SOME new content? I’d go for the reprints… 

  15. I do like that Marvel is paying attention to the idea of making jumping on points.

    Caroline – I think you’re right about the advance ordering, but as you said, it seems to me that retailers could understand just as well if the solicits says "Jumping on point! New story!" and then, as we’ve said, the cover itself just reflects that for the consumer when it’s on the shelf. 

    Still, if this helps any retailers set aside a batch of comics and display them as "great for new readers!" I suppose that’s still a positive. I mean, really, it’s not like there’s a negative side to this… we all get more content (hopefully from the same creative teams), and the retailers MAY be able to get some new readers. No one’s hurt but the trees. 😉 

  16. @daccampo  It’s potentially a negative if I’m pulling the book and I end up spending an extra $3 on something that’s a 101-level rehash of what I’ve already read?  But the answer to that is "make them good" and nobody should have a complaint.

  17. My other thought is that none of these are exactly obscure titles.  As a regular Marvel reader, I’m either reading all of these books or have consciously decided not to.  It might be an opportunity to promote some of the less-covered titles, but this seems like a rich-get-richer situation. 

  18. They aren’t catch up stories or rehash of older stories. Apparently they set up the character/team/books status quo AND give a look at what’s in store for the title for the next 12 months.

    From the Press Release,

    "Beginning in February 2011, select Marvel comic series marked with a “.1” after the issue number feature full-length, self-contained stories by Marvel’s top creators, laying the groundwork for the next year of storylines. From Invincible Iron Man to Avengers to Amazing Spider-Man, each Marvel: Point One issue of the associated series not only begin major new storylines, but also seamlessly introduces new readers into the dynamic Marvel Universe and its popular super heroes. "

  19. Yeah, I read the description but I’m just a little wary of whether it’s essentially going to be a booklength ‘preview of coming attractions’ or an actual worthwhile issue.  I’ve been burned by Marvel on stuff like this before!

  20. ooh, good point. See, I like "self-contained," but it’s that "laying the groundwork" phrase that makes me wonder… 

    I’m not a fan of the "extended trailer" storytelling that we’ve started to see crop up. So, yes, it could be a negative if it’s a re-hash or it’s a trailer. But I’m hoping that the emphasis on "self-contained" means that it’s a solid, Paul Dini-esque type of one-shot that gets to the core of the character while subtly setting up a direction for the year. If that’s the case, then it really doesn’t matter if you’re a regular reader or a new one. Here’s hoping.

  21. I’ve got high hopes for the Iron Man one, because Fraction has traditionally been very good at one-shots.  Ditto Hulk if it’s by Parker.

  22. This is a terrible idea. The $2.99 price tag and the numbering are awful. These books are too expensive and the numbering is too confusing to bring in any new readers. 

  23. @thehumaneclipse  I think you hit the nail on the head.  How many different titles of Spidey, Cap, Avengers, etc are being put out by Marvel that aren’t all taking place in the 616?  I can’t tell, and I read alot of comics, mostly DC but I keep up on the Marvel stuff.  Your suggestion is a good one I think.

  24. I’ve jumped on and jumped off in the middle of arc’s. High numbers don’t deter me from picking something up.A good creative team and a solid storyline and I’m there.

  25. I don’t see it as the high numbers keeping new readers away. Even jumping onto a new story arc doesn’t always work. I see it as the giant complicated continuities and the "if you haven’t read Creator X’s run on this book from 8 years ago then you can’t possibly understand why they are eating lunch at 1pm instead of noon" kinda thing.

    Also there is supreme brand confusion on the shelves. How many Avengers or X books come out in a given month? Different universes, events or tie ins or out of continuity? If the store isn’t neurotically organized, a new reader has absolutely no idea where to start or what to get. Someone thinking "oh maybe i’ll check out an Avengers book" has no idea how complicated that might actually be. And its happened to me, where if i ask an LCS guy for help, as well meaning as they are, i’m not going to buy 12 books when i was only looking for one to try out. 

    @daccampo–Hellboy is numbered on the inside section under the credits in the fine print area. It’ll say something like "#135 in a series". I kinda like how they do that. 

  26. Is there any data for how well high numbered series sell on the comixology app?

    We all know that print singles arnt going to be the way to bring in new readers but maybe this is a tactic that could encourage new comers to try out some of these series. Especially if they’re free on the app (not unlikely if you look at the number of free comics released by Marvel and DC each week on the app)

  27. Way to make an already "confusing" situation even more so.

    The Dark horse method is better, slapping a log that says "begins here" or Part 1 of 5, or one shot, is better.

     Marvel doesn’t always do a good job of letting you know where you are in a run, sometimes I’ve had to flip through multiple pages to just see if this is issue 4 or 5 in an arc, at the very least that info should be on the first page.

  28. @xcrst I fail to see how this is confusing

  29. I like the idea of it. I’m mostly on trades now but still head in to the store every 2 weeks or so to see what’s on the shelf. Most of the single issues I buy ( and it’s always a few ) are one shots and what look like self contained stories, it’s good to read some floppies with out getting dragged back in. When these come out I think I’ll pick up all of them, they should be a good read without continuity and if I dig any I’ll add em to my trade list.

  30. I dont like the .1 thing because mathmatically doesnt that mean that .1 is larger or is newer than the number the preceeded it. I mean techincally Uncanny X-Men 534.1 would be newer than Uncanny X-Men 534. Maybe they should change the .1 to a letter…. I dont know marvel has just made a mathmatical connundrum. Theoretically shouldnt the .1 mean that 10% of the next issue is there. I think maybe doing a 1- would be better like in old video games you had world 1-whatever. Ah, I love when reading becomes a math problem.