Introduction to "Comic Book Numbering"

Comic book numbering used to be a very simple issue - each issue was incremented one number from the preceding issue in a simple natural number sequence starting at issue #1 until infinity.

Occasionally there would be some complications when a series was re-named (often when a key character in an ongoing anthology becomes popular enough for their own title), such as "The Incredible Hulk (1968)" taking over the numbering from "Tales to Astonish (1959)" or "Captain America (1968)" taking over the numbering of "Tales of Suspense (1959)".

However, DC Comics started an inadvertent trend when John Byrne re-structured the Man of Steel in the mid-1980's. All Superman comics (Action Comics and Superman) were taken offline for a few months, and a re-launch re-started Superman (1987) with a new #1, and continued the pre-existing Superman (1939) numbering with "Adventures of Superman (1987)". Superman (2006) re-merged Superman (1987) and Adventures of Superman (1987) to a single title.

Both DC and Marvel comics insisted on the occassional oddly numbered comic (0, -1 for Marvel, 1,000,000 for DC) which made continuity of numbering strange.

Marvel had a mathematical psychotic break and sold off key characters (e.g. Hulk, Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America and the Fantastic Four) to a group of artist/writers in the ill-fated "Heroes Reborn" period of about a year in the mid-1990's, each series being re-started as a new #1. This experiment lasted about a year from 1996 to 1997, where the characters were re-introduced into the "real" (616) universe of Marvel in "Heroes Return".

Marvel's marketing department, realizing that "#1" issues had extra purchase value, began randomly re-starting series to generate new #1's. Later, someone woke up and realized that they were missing the chance to capitalize on significant milestone issues (500, 600 etc.) and began to re-number the ongoing series, with mixed success. Some re-numbering was simply the inclusion of series X and series Y of the same character, with the new numbering being the sum. However, with other series, the effect was somewhat confusing (see Hulk).

This site is an attempt to make sense of the numbering issues.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ultimate Comics Spiderman 200 Numbering

OK - Let's see:

Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) - Peter Parker - #1 to #160 = 160 issues
Ultimate Spider-Man (2011) - Miles Morales = #1 to #28 = 28 issues

Total = 160+28=188, even adding in the "odd" issues:
Ultimate Spider-Man 100 Project (2007)
Ultimate Spider-Man (2011) issue 16.1 (Marvel numbering dysfunction issue) only yields 190 issues.

There is also Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) issue 1/2 (Wizard comics issue), but an unlikely choice given it is a magazine version.

Then, why not add in the 3 Cataclysm - Ultimate Spider-Man issues =  190+ 3 = 193

Maybe 3 annuals (USM (2000) in 2005, 2006 and 2008) = 193 + 3 =196
+ 1 Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special (2002) = 197

Then, throw in "Ultimate Spider-Man Requiem" for 2 more issues, and we're at 199.

Where does Ultimate Spider-Man 200 come from?  This is as good a guess as I've seen.

Title Issues Notes
Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) 160 Peter Parker 
Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) - Annuals 3 Peter Parker 
Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special (2002) 1 Peter Parker 
Ultimate Spider-Man 100 Project (2007) 1 Peter Parker 
Ultimatum - Ultimate Spider-Man Requiem (2009) 2 Peter Parker 
Total Peter Parker 167
Ultimate Spider-Man (2011) 28 Miles Morales
Ultimate Spider-Man (2011) - issue 16.1 1 Miles Morales
Cataclysm - Ultimate Spider-Man (2014) 3 Miles Morales
Total Miles Morales 32
Total Ultimate Spider-Man 199
Next ish: Ultimate Spider-Man (2014) #200

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