I often laugh at Marvel’s rather inane quest dealing with issue numbering. At any given time, a title might see itself ended, relaunched, and handing its issue numbers over to a lesser franchise/character for safe keeping. It’s how Black Panther, Hercules and Journey Into Mystery have managed to get so many issues (as long as you don’t go hunting for back issues). But I had my pedestal to stare down upon – I read Uncanny X-Men, whose 500+ issues can all be found and collected (even though a few years were reprints – they were still coming out and numbered correctly). For whatever reason, Uncanny seemed to be safe from Marvel’s asinine numbering gimmickry.
I should have known that wasn’t going to last.
In October, Uncanny will be having its final issue with #544, ending the series that has been going since 1963 and pulling the last uninterrupted Marvel book from the Silver Age. The event coincides with the end of the summer’s Schism event which has been flagged as the Next Biggest Thing Ever to
kill off a character for dramatic effect happen to the X-Men.
I suppose I shouldn’t be angry about this. It’s not like they’re not going to immediately relaunch Uncanny with a brand new spit-shined #1 on the cover, but it seems like such a huge waste. There’s no reason to restart the book except for a sales bump (that if history proves anything will only last one month), especially when there are three other X-Men team books (Legacy, X-Men, Astonishing) that will continue with their existing numbers.
I rue the day publishers decided that they could mess with the numbering of various titles. I understand that as long as the storylines are good and the books come out consistently, it really doesn’t matter what number is on the front of the book…but the comic fanboy in me just screams that this is some kind of injustice to the book I’ve been following since issue #278. I was just 12 issues shy of being a collector for exactly half of the book’s run.
Look for Uncanny X-Men #1 coming this winter! Buy five! It’s a super-special collector’s edition! It has a #1 on the cover!