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Make the "series code" public!

So there's this from Brian Hibbs regarding Dark Avengers:

Marvel kept the NUMBERING of THUNDERBOLTS here, but did a really really weird thing after that -- it had Diamond assign the book a new SERIES code. A series code is an invisible-to-consumers code that allows retailers to sign up customers, well, to a series. Like (say) 123456 is the code for CAPTAIN FANCYPANTS, and it allows the computer to know that CAPTAIN FANCYPANTS #1 and CP #2 are *the same thing*. It also allows me to, say, take the various BPRD series, and assign it to a custom series code (like CUST123), so that every BPRD series gets pulled (even though Dark Horse treats them as *entirely separate* things, go figure) In the past, when Marvel changed, say, INCREDIBLE HULK to INCREDIBLE HERCULES they kept the series code the SAME, which meant that all of the preorders AUTOMATICALLY transferred, here they consciously did NOT do that, in other words: eliminating 98% of the marketing-driven reason to carry over the numbering. What's even weirder, is that it really IS TBOLTS #175, and it's a bit hard to follow if you haven't read those previous issues (well, or the last year or so at least), while at the same time kicking off all of the people who WERE buying it. I don't get it

It's weird that they tried to trick the Hulk audience into collecting Hercules but didn't do the same for the Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers even though they kept the numbering the same and DA is much more in the spirit of the original series than Hulk>Herc, but i'm much more interested to learn that this "series code" exists at all. It would be very helpful to nerds everywhere, who would no longer have to refer to FF vol. 3 which was then renumbered in vol. 4 and then later reverted back to the original numbering, etc., if they could use this code instead. Call the book whatever you want on the cover in order to get sales, but give those of us who obsessively track our collection (whether it's a word doc that we print out when we go to conventions, or, say, a Marvel Timeline Project) a way to maintain consistency.

By fnord12 | June 18, 2012, 3:34 PM | Comics