Marvel's Point One comics were billed as perennial comics, issues that comic book stores could keep on hand, ideal for when anyone expressed an interest in trying a comic, they'd get something suitable for new readers that would give them a flavour of the book, bring them up to speed and give the main books a little extra backstory.
Some did that exactly. Others ignored it completely, giving readers something very much not reflective of the main book. Initially sales were above those of standard issues. Then they were about the same. Then they were below, as some regular readers were happy to skip the point ones.
And that will never do. No solicitations for Point One comics from Marvel in June of July, or for the rest of May. So Fantastic Four #605.1 and The Incredible Hulk #7.1 are probably it. (UPDATE: Until Captain America & Namor #631.1 and Web Of Spider-Man #129.1, Peter Parker, Spider-Man #156.1 and Sensational Spider-Man #33.1 in August, as the move onto Point Two, apparently)
With the Fantastic Four, we get the story of the alternative Reed Richards in an America where Hitler won the war. Sue and Johnny the soldiers, willing to die for the cause. Ben Grimm, imprisoned in a concentration camp in the USA. And Reed Richards the most monstrous scientist that ever lived, with a glimpse at an Avengers Plus X-Men Versus Reed Richards event. The multiple Reeds was an stunningly well executed concept in the main book, now we get to see where it began.
Hulk #7.1 is a very different beast, very much part of current continuity, fitting between issues #7 and #8 and rather essential it seems, to the Hulk narrative, giving us one very new iteration of the Hulk/Banner axis that I don't believe we've seen before. And one scene that takes a joke from today's Uncanny X-Men and plays it out completely straight. As it were. And giving us a superb montage of Hulk Across The World which is pretty much impossible not to enjoy.
And that's… it. The end of Point One (UPDATE: Until August. Sigh). It had highs, it had lows, these feel like good ways to go out, even if they both clearly exist outside any of the things Point One was meant to be. Good comics though, isn't that enough?
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics of London. Why not catch up with them at Kapow this weekend?