Marvel Numbering Explained: Marvel Cosmic
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- Understanding This Guide
- Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers)
- Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell)
- Fantastic Four
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Silver Surfer
There are few things in comics that more commonly generate confusion than Marvel’s comic book numbering. For a variety of reasons, what should be a simple exercise in sequential numbering has instead morphed into an incredibly byzantine system that could not be less intuitive. Fortunately, CBSI and Kornblatt’s Corner are here to help! The goal of this series of articles is to examine Marvel’s numbering and explain how it works in context. For this article, we are going to be talking about the incredible characters that make up Marvel Cosmic!!
Understanding This Guide
- In some cases, there are graphics fully explaining parts of the numbering. Those graphics were not generated by me, but rather by Marvel as a part of the Marvel Legacy initiative. Those graphics were created several years ago and thus, in some cases, are not always completely up to date. In situations like that, I have listed any missing books just below the graphics.
- Whenever something is italicized, that means I am referring to a comic book series or movie. For example, if you see Spider-Man, I am talking about the character. If you see Spider-Man, I am talking about the Marvel comic book titled Spider-Man.
- Throughout this article, you will see the name of a series followed by a year in parentheses. That is the year that that particular volume of the book was launched. If you see a series name without an accompanying year, that usually means I am referring to the overall issue count of the series spread across several different books and volumes.
- All numberings are based on official statements from Marvel and/or cover numbering. A good example of the latter would be this partial image of the Amazing Spider-Man (2018) #49. Below the 49 is “LGY #850”, which indicates that the comic has a legacy number of 850. Meanwhile, issues from the current run of Punisher, such as issue #2, have no legacy numbering on the cover, so they are not included in a numbering.
- I have tried to provide explanations wherever I felt it might be even slightly confusing why a book or series would or would not be included in a numbering. If there is something that confuses you that I did not explain, please put your question(s) in the comments and I will try my best to answer.
Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers)
#126 – 129: Captain Marvel #126 – 129
#130 – #134: The Life Of Captain Marvel
#136 – Current: Captain Marvel (2019) #1 – CurrentHow Did Marvel Come Up With This Numbering?
The idea behind this numbering is to track Carol Danvers’ solo history. As a result, it ignores the numerous volumes of Captain Marvel that were about other characters and does include the issues from ongoing Ms. Marvel books when Carol helmed the book.The Mighty Captain Marvel
Marvel was trying to give Captain Marvel a signature adjective, in the same vein as the Amazing Spider-Man or the Incredible Hulk, as well as signal the large shift in Carol’s status quo that the book would be about.The Life Of Captain Marvel
This limited series kept the writer of the ongoing Captain Marvel series that preceded it, Margaret Stohl. This is technically the second volume of The Life of Captain Marvel – that title was first used for a reprint magazine in the 1980s. This book made several major changes to Carol’s history and was certainly the primary Captain Marvel book during its publishing run, so its inclusion in the numbering is not completely random at least.
Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell)
#1 – 35: Captain Marvel (1999) #1 – 35
#36 – 60: Captain Marvel (2002) #1 – 25
#1 – 416: Fantastic Four (1961) #1 – 416
#417 – 429: Fantastic Four (1996) #1 – 13
#430 – 499: Fantastic Four (1998) #1 – 70
#500 – 588: Fantastic Four #500 – 588
#589 – 599: FF (2011) #1 – 11
#600 – 611: Fantastic Four #600 – 611
#612 – 627: Fantastic Four (2012) #1 – 16
#628 – 641: Fantastic Four (2014) #1 – 14
#642 – 645: Fantastic Four #642 – 645
#646 – 693: Fantastic Four (2018) #1 – 48
#694 – Current: Fantastic Four (2022) #1 – CurrentFF
Following the death of the Human Torch, Marvel canceled Fantastic Four with issue #588 and then relaunched it as FF in October 2011. The new name was meant to emphasize the new direction of the team under Jonathan Hickman. Marvel was always fairly upfront about the fact that the name change was little more than a branding exercise and that, for all intents and purposes, this was a Fantastic Four book.
After 11 issues of FF (putting the total issue count at 599) Marvel relaunched Fantastic Four with issue #600. At that point, Fantastic Four became the primary series and was published concurrently with FF. This means that issues #12 – 23 of FF do not count towards the Fantastic Four legacy numbering, but issues #1 – 11 do.Why Did Fantastic Four revert to legacy numbering for issues #642 – 645?
Since the movie rights to the Fantastic Four were owned by Fox at the time, Marvel’s chairman, Ike Perlmutter, was not very keen on publishing the characters (as doing so was essentially generating free ideas for another movie studio to use). As a result, Fantastic Four was canceled in the sprint of 2015. To celebrate the team’s grand history and significance, the publisher returned to the original numbering.
Guardians Of The Galaxy
#147 – 150: Guardians of the Galaxy #147 – 150
#151 – 162: Guardians of the Galaxy (2019) #1 – 12
#163 – 180: Guardians of the Galaxy (2020) #1 – 18All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy
Marvel relaunched and added “New” or “All-New” to nearly all of its titles as part of the “All-New, All-Different” branding initiative. Other than the name, it was a fairly standard Guardians of the Galaxy book.
#1 – 18: Silver Surfer (1968) #1 – 18
#19: Silver Surfer (1982) #1
#20 – 165: Silver Surfer (1987) #1 – 146
#166 – 179: Silver Surfer (2003) #1 – 14
#180 – 194: Silver Surfer (2014) #1 – 15
#195 – 208: Silver Surfer (2016) #1 – 14How Did Marvel Come Up With This Numbering
With the exception of the 1982 Silver Surfer one-shot, Marvel only included books from ongoing Silver Surfer series in this numbering. The “ongoing” provision is the reason that several mini-series titled Silver Surfer were not included. The inclusion of the one-shot is impossible to defend.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed and learnt a lot from the article!! To check out other guides explaining how Marvel’s numbering works, just click here!
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