Thursday, October 26, 2017

Black Panther Myth: Black Panther #166 is Numbered Correctly

The Myth

Marvel Legacy introduced legacy numbering for all of their comics, where they added up all their previous books and continued the numbering from there. Black Panther, vol 6, #19 became Black Panther #166. This signifies that Marvel believes Black Panther has had 165 issues. 

Marvel Legacy is Marvel comics next big "rebranding" gimmick. Instead of angering comic fanboy nerds by constantly relaunching to #1... Marvel just went ahead and added everything up like it has been one large volume and relaunched that way instead. With Black Panther, they renumbered to #166.

But in doing that, instead of angering a legion of number fanboys... they irritated one comic nerd with a Black Panther blog and the ability to count.

The Fact

Adding up all Black Panther labeled solo titles, we have actually had 169 issues. Adding up all of Black Panther's solo books, we have had 193. If we go ahead and count Panther's Quest (I wouldn't), you would actually have 218.

The first argument for 165 being the number could be, "they only counted ongoing titles." However, Gillis' run may be seen as a mini series now but is consistently labeled "volume 2" everywhere. I have never seen it not labeled that. And anyway... everyone calls Priest volume 3, Hudlin vol 4, ect. So there had to be a volume in between Kirby (volume 1) and the others... and that would be Gillis.

So, that is bullshit. At the absolute very least, the number should have 169, making the newest issue 170. Which is also a much cooler, round number than 166.

But also... other Marvel Legacy renumberings did in fact count some  mini-series.

If they can count Deadpool: The Circle Chase #1-4 and Deadpool #1-4... they should have counted Black Panther (1988) #1-4.

That puts us at 169.

But also take a look at "Agent X (2002) #1-15. That is a book that doesn't have Deadpool in the title... meaning the "It has to have the characters name on the title!" thing is out the window. So if mini's count and "alternate named" books count, that means Panther Prey #1-4 counts.

That puts us at 173.

Now we have to decide what to do about the Jungle Action issues. So let's take a look at the Hulk renumbering...

They counted EVERY SINGLE issue of Tales to Astonish, despite not even showing up until #60.

And let's look at Captain America...

They counted EVERY SINGLE issue of Tales of Supsense for Captain America, despite not even showing until #59. (yet didn't count any of the issues for Iron Man).

Next up is Thor...

where they counted EVERY SINGLE issue of Journey into Mystery for Thor, despite not staring in the book  until #83.

Jungle Action freaking counts. 193.

Counting those series means you would hit the big 200 in spring. Double ship just a touch and you hit #200 right when the movie comes out. Which would be perfect for marketing and hopefully getting some sort of crossover from MCU fans.

With what they did for Hulk, Thor, and Captain America, you could likely make an argument for Panther's Quest (Marvel Presents #13-37) counting. Hell, a lot of Tales of Suspense were split issues... just like Quest. But, Quest was so chopped up, I just don't think it should count. It shouldn't have counted for anyone. But if you did, you can add 25 more issues, bringing the total to a hypothetical 218.

Does any of this matter? Absolutely not. But, if you are going to do something like this, you might as well do it right (or at least be consistent).