Opinion: Marvel Comics #1000 (really??)

Don’t misread me. I read Marvel. I read DC. I read Dark Horse, Image, IDW, Dynamite, Oni, Fantagraphics, Lionforge, blah, blah blah. Even with the odd publisher that I don’t read the output of, I’m supportive of the fact that they exist and keep certain sections of comic reading society happy. I have an ever increasing aversion to tribalism in all its forms. I think anyone who has decided that they are loyal to one comics publisher or universe ‘because that is their team’ is probably quite a silly person.

Marvel does, however, sometimes cause me to give out a little cynical sigh when I flick through the pages of Previews. That definitely happened this month.

Marvel Comics #1000? Really? Why?

Just because they are celebrating their 80th year, apparently. I suppose 80 is a valid milestone. I don’t see any connection to #1000, though.

DC, however, did recently hit Action Comics #1000 and Detective Comics #1000 and released them with a nice range of (non-incentive) era-based variants. The House of Ideas has produced some wonderful original creations but, it also has a long history of copying DC and it is still doing the same today even though it has the bigger market share, the successful cinematic universe and the sometimes rabidly loyal fan-base.

Of course, Marvel can’t actually have meaningful milestone issues of any of its founding titles. Marvel’s editors and execs have not been particularly secretive about their broader plans for the company line. I think one of them said a few years back that they would kill off at least one character per year (meaning kill off and bring back). They have surely been true to that one.

They also work firmly on the assumption that the bulk of their audience is teens to twenties and they have to keep appealing to a new set of young people to match the constant drop off in readership at the top end. To do so they constantly restart titles at #1 every couple of years (assuming they don’t just get cancelled). They have even added #1 to covers alongside the main issue number to indicate new story arc jumping on points. I joked a few years back that Marvel had sold some creator’s souls to some demon-god (maybe Cthulu’s younger cousin) called ‘#1’, in exchange for their success and now they had to constantly placate it by printing it’s name everywhere they could as often as possible.

Marvel Comics #1000 does have a #1 in it.

(I know what you’re thinking. Marvel did sell to a demon-god and it is called Disney. Shush!)

So, here we are at Marvel Comics #1000 with 21 (painfully incentive) variants including a crap-load of era-based ones.

I’m not saying the story won’t be good! I’d order at least one if I was still ordering. It may even turn out to be a legitimate key issue. What do you think? Hit the comments!

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