Every so often, one of the big two does a reboot. Presently we're coming up on Marvel Now. Before that, it was New 52. And so on. While many people debate the merits and vices of these changes, and the goal of the publishing company is of course to increase sales, what is a reader to do if they cannot/will not increase their purchases in the face of the changes. My son, for example, who uses his lawn-mowing money to subscribe to two titles per year, at the age of eight cannot simply choose to buy more. He posed this question to me, and it got me to thinking. In the light of these changes, which title does one follow?
I will use a title that I have been reading for years as one of the best examples: Thunderbolts. With Marvel Now, the entire team roster is getting changed so that not a single previous member will be retained. Further, the very premise of the comic, a story about a team of villains fighting as heroes for various reasons, is being scrapped in favor of a team that has no villains at all and is simply a gathering of the Anti-Hero regular characters. So what's a fan to do?
Plan A: Follow the title. In the light of the change, stick with the comic title you are familiar with. The same comic will likely target a similar audience, so the aspects of the story that you appreciated before will probably exist in one form or another. Trust the old reliable title not to let you down in the face of relaunch.
Plan B: Follow the characters. If you're a fan of Tim Drake, when the Red Robin solo title was cancelled, you jump on board with Teen Titans to stick with ol' Tim in the New 52. If you're a fan of Colossus, you drop the core X-Men title when he leaves the team and you grab up Cable & The X-Force so you can stick with Pieter to see what happens next. In this way, you stick with the characters that you enjoy to follow their adventures, counting on the development of the character to carry the book, whether solo or team, and hold your interest in the face of the shake-up.
Plan C: Follow the creators. If you particularly enjoy one writer or artist's work on a title, when the relaunch occurs and everyone's books get shuffled around, stick with the creator that you enjoy regardless of what title they move to. Give a shot to a book that you otherwise wouldn't have considered, following characters you don't know/care about. Trust that the artist who held you enraptured before will continue to do so no matter what they're drawing, or that the writer who hits home runs with their stories will be able to make any book or characters compelling within their excellant storytelling.
So, I'm curious to hear from other readers, if you were not able to change the number of titles you were purchasing, in the face of the Marvel Now change, how would you choose which titles you would take and which titles you would drop?