Dear Marvel Comics,
Today, we're going to learn about numbers! Numbers serve a very important purpose to your comic company, and to your reading audience. After all, Marvel publishes a new issue of every comic every single month! Without numbers, new readers wouldn't know what order to read the old issues in. They'd get very confused and irritated, and might even stop reading as quickly as they'd started.
You already know some of this, of course. Why, you put a number on the front of every single comic you publish! But you seem to be a little confused as to how to figure out what number goes with what comic. We know it's a little confusing, so we're here to help you out.
You see, each number represents a quantity of comics. So if you took all the individual issues of a series and stacked them together, the number of comics in the stack should be the same as the issue number of the top comic in the stack. For example, a comic that's run for fifty issues should be issue #50. Every time you add a comic to the stack, you add one to the issue number! And if someone wants to start from the beginning, they can just find issue #1, and work their way forward. Like a counting game!
And for that game to work, you see, you have to use every single number. Even though #1 is a very popular number, you can't just call every single issue "#1", or nobody will be able to play the counting game right. And even though "#600" is a big, exciting number, you can't just change the rules and decide to jump to #600 because you've decided that #1-55 were secretly #545-599 but you didn't tell anyone at the time because those numbers don't sell comics. I mean for God's sake, you decided to renumber Avengers at issue #500 and then canceled it three issues later to relaunch it for another new number one! How dumb do you think your fans are? Do you really think our enthusiasm for "collectible" issues is so deeply ingrained that we salivate like Pavlov's dog at the mere sight of a new "#1 collector's edition"? Don't you realize that you're strip-mining the enthusiasm of your fan-base for a quick couple of bucks, while rendering the hobby practically incomprehensible for anyone trying to enter it cold? Try mail-ordering an issue of Captain America mail-order, or the Avengers, or Iron Man, or any re-re-re-relaunched series! It's like Russian Roulette, trying to get the right volume number! Seriously, what the hell are you people thinking!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!??!!!?!?!!?
...that is to say, by learning this simple lesson, we can all have more fun! Isn't that right, boys and girls? Of course it is. Now, have fun learning how to put the right issue numbers on your comics, and practice at home!
And when you've learned, teach the guys at DC. "Green Lantern #41" my sorry butt...