Astonishing Spider-Man, which was only six months behind the US Superior Spider-Man comic, relaunched last year with a new No.1. In April, Incredible Hulks relaunched, and this month sees the NOW! factor affect Avengers Assemble which relaunches on June 19th with Avengers Universe No.1.
One comic that's had more relaunches than most is The Mighty World of Marvel. Originating in 1972 as Marvel UK's first weekly, it changed its title to Marvel Comic in 1979, then became the monthly Marvel Superheroes later that same year. It folded in 1983 with No.397 but was swiftly revived as a monthly Mighty World of Marvel with a new No.1, lasting for 17 issues, ending in 1984. Skip to 2003 and The Mighty World of Marvel was back from the dead again, with Vol.3 No.1, published every four weeks by Panini. In 2009, after 86 issues it folded again, but was immediately revived with Vol.4 No.1 the following month.
Which brings us to the present. The current issue of The Mighty World of Marvel (Vol.4 No.62) is the last, but July 3rd will see the beginning of volume 5 with a new No.1 for its Marvel NOW! revamp. It will feature a bold new logo, and the arrival of The Guardians of the Galaxy, just in time for the movie, joining another new series Avengers Arena and rounding each issue off by continuing the Daredevil stories.
As you can see from the covers shown here, the new first issues kick off with a whopping 100 pages, after which they'll settle down to the usual 76 page format. On July 31st Essential X-Men will also restart with a new No.1, with Marvel Legends, and presumably Panini's Wolverine and Deadpool title, set to follow.
Is it really necessary for comics to do this? Well, first issues do hopefully attract increased orders from retailers and, although it's a cliché, they are a good "jumping on point" for new readers. This time around there are some drastic shake-ups in the stories so it does make sense to re-number. Although if it's used too often retailers and readers tend to become jaded.
For now though, there's a fresh new look coming to the UK Marvel reprints and if you haven't read Marvel Comics for a few years these new premiere issues would be an ideal entry point.