Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Point One Update

Well, we have reached the end of the original release of Point One issues. I just want to take a second and look back on this experience. 

Let's take a look at the numbers. So far, I read 11 Point One issues. The direct impact of series I started reading is 1 Point One series (Uncanny X-Men). However, I began reading 2 other series loosely related to a Point One issue (Venom and Moon Knight) and 1 that was not related to a Point One (FF).   In addition, I read a few one-shots that have come out over the past few months.  I think that Marvel would call that a win. 

Lovingly borrowed from Marvel.com
In the end, I'm glad I reviewed all of them. I have a much clearer vision of the Marvel Universe, which helps a lot. I am also more invested in these characters, which makes the movies all the more interesting.

Additionally, reading these encouraged me to take a chance on trying other comics I might have avoided. This includes trying ongoing series from DC that interested me but seemed overwhelming like Marvel had. If you are looking for more jumping on points in comics, The Weekly Crisis has a great feature where they highlight the jumping on points for the week. If you are looking to expand your reading, you should check them out.

Despite my woohoos for the initiative, I have a few constructive criticisms. In regards to these criticisms, I do understand that certain things work for some characters and not for others.

1- Have a more consistent vision for what a Point One should include.
My original understanding was that the Point One issue was supposed to provide some background of the character(s) and a entry to the next arc. Not every issue had both or in some cases, it had none of this. For someone reading all of them, I never knew what quality product I was going to get.

2- Be more aware of how you follow up a Point One Issue.
In some cases, the Point One issue came in the middle of a story arc rather than at the beginning of a new one. It makes it hard as a new reader to really enjoy an issue only to have the next one make no sense.

3- Name the characters, especially if they are on the cover/splash page.
I know that it can be hard to give a tremendous amount of background in 22 pages but for a project designed to welcome new readers, failing to name characters is counter-productive. This is especially true in an issue where characters are on the cover, please name them in the book.

4- Have the Point One issue be about the title character(s).
As a new reader, picking up a introductory issue expecting one thing and getting another felt like a Bait and Switch. There were three Point One issues that failed to truly introduce the title character(s). The Amazing Spider-Man featured Venom rather than Spider-Man, who only made a short appearance. The Avengers failed to include Hawkeye, who was only pictured in two panels with no dialogue despite being on the cover and splash page. Finally, Hulk only featured the Red Hulk despite the title indicating Bruce Banner/Hulk's presence and mentioning Bruce Banner on the splash page. I did have a commentator say that this is a Red Hulk series but Mark Paniccia, Senior Editor of Hulk, said that this series does cover both Hulks' stories and that he understands my frustration.

No matter what, I did get a lot out of the Initiative and I plan to keep reading them. Marvel has announced a few more upcoming Point One titles: Venom, Alpha Flight and Daken. At the Marvel: Meet the Publishers, I even learned that more titles were on the way. No word yet on which series, but I'm leaning towards FF and New Avengers.

What do you think about the Point One Initiative so far?

My Point One Journey so far: 
* Review: Secret Avengers
* Review: The Avengers
* Review: Uncanny X-Men
* Review: Thor
* Review: Captain America
* Review: Uncanny X-Force
* Review: Hulk
* Review: Deadpool

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