Much Ado About Renumbering

So I give Marvel a lot of grief about their tendancy to rebooting/renumbering their long standing series only to go back to the original numbering or status quo within a year or two, but that doesn't mean that its always a bad thing!  There have actually been a few cases where the rebooting/renumbering/etc is for the betterment of the series. 

For example, X-Factor was a strong series from the late 80's and early 90's.  Unfortunately however with the huge slump Marvel went through as we rolled into the late 90's and many (if not most) of Marvel's monthly books were cancelled, including this mainstay X-title being cancelled at #149.  After the House of M though (and the Madrox limited series), Marvel decided to restart X-Factor again with a brand new #1 and many former members from the original series (er...the later original series)!  This new grouping of X-Factor was different from the original series as it wasn't directly connected to the other X-books like the original one was and the team functioned more as a detective agency then a mutant super team, even going so far as to move their main headquarters to Detroit.  After a series of personal problems plaguing the team, Madrox decided to move the team back to New York and invited (but did not demand) that everyone follow him.  Of course they all did and the team was relocated in issue #50 followed up by a renumbering to #200 for the next issue.  This numbering included the original 149 issue run plus the 50 issues from the current volume (excluding the X-Factor limited series from 2002) and brought with it closer connections to not just the X-men (starting with the Nation X) but the rest of the Marvel Universe also (like the first arc after renumbering involving the Fantastic Four).  This is an example of when renumbering works great for a series!

Now after much griping and complaining about all the series being re-whatevered, I would like to offer up a suggestion for a series that SHOULD be renumbered!  I would like to present a suggestion for New Mutants #37/150.  This numbering would take into account the original 100 issues of New Mutants plus the 13 issues of the New Mutants series from 2003 and the first 37 issues of the current volume (I'm excluding New Mutants: Truth or Dare #1-3 since its kind of just like the X-Factor limited).  I think that Sam, Dani and the crew (assuming they are still on the new lineup after ReGenesis) deserve the renumbering every bit as much as Jaime, Guido and Rahne do.  It was fine to have a new numbering while the team was Wind Dancer, Surge and the rest but if Marvel is going to have the original team (even with a few new additions), and they already renumber everything else every few years, then they should go back to the original numbering also.  And as it turns out we are approaching an issue number that would be the perfect re-jumping off point with issue 37/150!

So there it is.  I complain and complain about this trend in comics, but I am not above jumping on at the right time.  While I don't think that every series that's been renumbered should have been (Avengers, Captain America, Fantastic Four, Spider-man, etc just to name a few), that doesn't mean that this gimmick doesn't have its uses.  If a book is cancelled and brought back years later with a new team and a new direction then sure, but if its just a marketing ploy and get used every year or so for the same book (coughfantasticfourcough) then its get overplayed and frustrating to fans who like long consecutive runs of issues.  Now if a book gets brough back with the same cast, same mantra, and same everything else (and is therefore just a continuation of the previous book) then there is no reason that it needs a brand new #1 (grrrr Uncanny X-men)!

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