Off My Mind: When A Comic Book Changes Its Title
More and more we're seeing comic books get their titles changed. Last month I mentioned that the current Punisher book will be changing its name to Franken-Castle with issue #17. I don't have a problem with the book taking this direction. It just bothers me when the title changes.
I'll admit, a small part of it is with the minor problems it causes on our Comic Vine pages. We need to make sure a new volume is created and there should be mention and a link to the previous existing issues. More so, I think it can be confusing to newer readers. What if someone reads Franken-Castle #17 or 18 and wants to read the earlier issues? They would assume there's been a Franken-Castle #1.
Green Arrow has also done the name change. Green Arrow/Black Canary "ended" with issue #29 and became just Green Arrow with issue #30. There's also the current Outsiders comic. The current volume started out as Batman and the Outsiders. That lasted only 14 issues. There was Batman and the Outsiders Special which then lead into The Outsiders #15.
I'm actually surprised that we're seeing this more often. The publishers usually jump at the opportunity to relaunch a series with a new #1. This way they can try to lure new readers into a book that may not have a lot of history. At the same time, we're seeing older characters get all their random titles bunched together so they can get a new numbering system which puts the book issue number into the hundreds.
I am on board with the new direction of Franken-Castle but when issue #18 comes out, he's only been around for eight issues, not eighteen. I'm all for Daken having his own book and I can appreciate him "stealing" his dad's book at issue #75. I just don't think it makes sense to have a Dark Wolverine volume that appears to be missing the first 74 issues.
I think there needs to be consistency. Publishers seem to want new number ones and also have series with high numbers. I know this isn't a new thing. Back in 1968, Captain America #100 continued from Tales of Suspense #99. The same happened with Thor.
As much as I don't like the new reboots in a series, I'd rather see a title start over to reflect what has actually happened. Instead of changing the Punisher title at issue #17, why not just have a Franken-Castle #1? We're all skeptical as to how long Franke-Castle will last. I am enjoying the stories but smart money says that someday somehow we will see Franken-Castle revert back to Frank Castle. What happens to the series then? Will it just change back to Punisher? Will the series just look like it's missing a bunch of issues in its volume while Frank was running around as Franken-Castle?
I know this may seem like a petty thing. I just don't seen the need to change a title rather than just reboot it. I think publishers should either decide if they want new number ones or a series with higher numbers.
What are your thoughts? Does it matter to you when a series changes its name? Would you rather see the series end and a new volume begin?
I would rather see just the name change. Using the punisher as an example... we know sooner or later he'll be un-monstered. And if they started new series Franken-Caastle once the arc was done we'd see yet another Punisher number 1. It drives me nuts. I can not really tell you why but it does.
Honestly the name changing doesn't bother me especially since I keep myself informed so I know what to get.Other than issues involved in purchasing I don't mind a book changing names.I may have a problem with the development that sparked the change to begin with but the actual name of the book is insignificant except for identifying purposes.That being said there are a few titles that I hope never get changed or renumbered.
I hate this so much, especially all the X-titles that are out there. First there was The X-Men, then it added the 'Uncanny', then they got another series and called it X-Men, then that changed its name to New X-Men but kept the numbering, then it went back to just X-Men (why?), but then there's still a series called New X-Men (this is where I get even more confused), but then that turned into Young X-Men? And then X-Men turns into X-Men: Legacy. Why? Why do they do this to us? It's complicated enough when you're reading it as it happens but to a newcomer it's nearly impossible to figure out.
It would be nice to start reading a series without the need for a degree in Advanced Rhetoric.
Ya I ran into this problem looking for old trades of Incredible Hercules. I didn't realize Incredible Hercules came out of Incredible Hulk, until I did a little more digging. Although I was surprised that Herc was almost near 200 issues and I hadn't noticed it :) I don't know what happened with just having a story arc title, like for Franken-Castle, why not just title the story that and not the whole series, unless Marvel really plans to keep him this way for the long run. Yet if that is the case, they should just start at #1.
Well, for any new reader who might begin with Franken-Castle #17 and hope to read any previous issue of Franken-Castle will have to do their little research on the net to learn where this character's been before. Just go online and look for it and you will find out that it was Punisher #01 to 16 and then it becomes Franken-Castle #17.
I've done so much research on Marvel titles that date back to the 60s because I want to go back to the beginning. I've spent hours upon hours digging around looking to understand relaunches and retitling, but I got through it. I'd visit website after website looking to organize myself.
So really, in the end, changing the title shouldn't cause a problem to any new reader because all they need to do is do some research and they'll get all their answers.
I don't find the problem with changing the name and continuing the title series...
I think my biggest problem is when (Ultimate Spider-Man) titles are stopped to then be re-numbered into #1 (Ultimate Comics Spider-Man)
If a Dark Wolverine takes over the book then the title should be re-named...
I know it's a pain in the rear to organize them, especially if you have a virtual catalog of your collection like Comic Vine, but I rather like that the title of a series is not changed... if the change is reasonable, of course. For example, G-Man mentions (Batman and the) Outsiders. I'm fine with the change. The "volume" focuses on the story of that group that started as Batman and the Outsiders and became just "Outsiders" later on its history. If a new volume would have been started from scratch, that continuity would have been broken. DC is reverting back to the old numbering with Wonder Woman in a couple of months to match her #600 with Bats' and Supes' #700. That's iffy, if you ask me. Better keep the same numbering than going back to one that was abandoned years ago.
This isn't exactly the same thing but what do you think about "Cable & Deadpool" becoming "Deadpool & Cable," which is what they've done. It seems dumb to me, especially since "Cable & Deadpool" seems to flow better. I'm guessing Marvel did this to make it easier for new Deadpool fans to become aware of the series but I don't like it.
When Wolverine became Dark Wolverine, I had no clue until (just about) recently that it was a continuation of Wolverine and that the other title had been cancelled.
Maybe if I had been reading Wolverine.
But still, I didn't know Wolverine had become Dark Wolverine. I just thought it was a new comic for Dark Reign, Dark Wolverine. Just like when they put out Ares.
" Personally, I'd rather see new volumes with new titles... for each new storyline. So Punisher should have been axed months ago to call it Franken-Castle. I guess they were just testing the waters to see if it was popular enough to re-brand it though. "I agree. If numbering in comics is even confusing to people like us, then how confusing would it be to a new reader?
Don't even get me started on Marvel and DC's trade departments...
Changing title name (Dark Wolverine), renumbering/relaunching (Daredevil) = no thankyou
Starting new titles for new characters (Daken), named story arcs in excisting titles (Franken-Castle) = yes please
In other words, instead of changing Wolerine to Dark Wolverine and changing the main character, with continued numbering, start a new title for Daken called Dark Wolverine and start at # 1, keep Wolvy in his own book and keep the numbering the same.
Relaunching at #1 than deciding to go back to original numbering is also very confusing and messes up the run one had going on their faorite title.
Changing the name of the comic cause the title character changed (thinking of Frank of course) is also, as stated already, confusing and totaly unnessasary as we all know he will be back to plain old Frank by the end of the year, and they will have to rename the title back to Punisher.
All a waste of print and paper.
The example of X-Men to Uncanny X-Men was okay and would still be ok if they did not bring out another X-Men title to confuse collectors (guess more confusing to those not so in the know).
Anyway, it's all good if you are a regular collector of affected issues/titles cause they ussually give you warning, but to the casual reader, they could just get lost and give up.
Here is that they should do. If they change the Name the number automatically starts at #1. There is NO real reason that Dark Wolverine should start at 75 unless it reverts back to plain ol' Wolverine after the Dark Reign event or if it is just changing the name storyline-wise (IE: Franken-Castle) Why not have it be a sur-name like The Punisher: Franken-Castle? If it is just a new volume (like the upcoming re-numbering of all the Avenger books) have it be #1 but underneath it have another number, like for New Avengers it could be New Avengers Marvel: #1 Varient Edition then under all that in small text #65 or whatever. And if ALL that doesn't work have it be in the publishing details. When Hercules took over the Incredible Hulk book and it changed it's name, for the first few issues it was still TECHNICALLY labled under Incredible Hulk in the fine print. If all else fails just stick the REAL number there.
Please dont change the punisher charcter page to franken castle. im begging you. please, please ,please dont do that.
one thing that does bother me about the punisher's books is that their now just PUNISHER, not THE PUNISHER. that really annoys me for whatever reason.
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