Can someone explain why several DC titles were revived in the mid 70s with a continuation of the original numbering? Off the top of my head, I can think of a few - Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Teen Titans, and Metal Men; I'm sure there were others (Aquaman maybe?). I'm just puzzled that DC didn't flood the market with a bunch of new issue #1's. Also, did any of them besides GL/GA survive the DC Implosion?

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I think that back in the 1970's, the prevailing attitude was that it was better to have high numbers on each issue of a comic rather than restarting at number one. I remember hearing something about a comic with a high number of issues suggesting staying power, as opposed to new launches.
I have read that Julie Schwartz believed that it was better to continue an ongoing comic's number - showing continuity in a title - than to start at number 1 again, because some retailers might not take a chance on a new ongoing series. I seem to recall that Marvel did the same - Thus, "My Greatest Adventure" becomes "The Doom Patrol", Captain America's series starts at #100, and such like that.
Randy and Fogey are both right; back then, a New Number One Issue! as a sales gimmick didn't have the marketing pull that it does today. In the '90s, it seemed that if every issue of any comic on the stands could be labeled a First Issue, the companies would.

As for the casualties of the DC Implosion, look over here -- "DC Implosion" -- and here -- "Canceled Comic Cavalcade". Also, check this one out on "Dial B for Blog": "Secret Origins of the DC Implosion!":
And, of course, X-Men wasn't restarted; instead they had issue #94.

So what was the number-one issue that changed things? New Teen Titans #1?
Rob Staeger said:
And, of course, X-Men wasn't restarted; instead they had issue #94.

So what was the number-one issue that changed things? New Teen Titans #1?

That's a good guess. The title had already failed twice -- I've read that DC canceled the book the second time not so much because of low sales but, rather, out of sheer embarrassment at how lousy it was -- so it needed a title change (NEW Teen Titans) and a new number one issue to make people take notice.
And boy, was it bad. Joker's Daughter? Hornblower? Titans HQ in a discoteque? I loved Bob "The Answer Man" Rozakis, especially his 'Mazing Man, but I think he may have been smoking something when he wrote this stuff...

ClarkKent_DC said:
Rob Staeger said:


So what was the number-one issue that changed things? New Teen Titans #1?

That's a good guess. The title had already failed twice -- I've read that DC canceled the book the second time not so much because of low sales but, rather, out of sheer embarrassment at how lousy it was -- so it needed a title change (NEW Teen Titans) and a new number one issue to make people take notice.
Eric L. Sofer said:
I have read that Julie Schwartz believed that it was better to continue an ongoing comic's number - showing continuity in a title - than to start at number 1 again, because some retailers might not take a chance on a new ongoing series. I seem to recall that Marvel did the same - Thus, "My Greatest Adventure" becomes "The Doom Patrol", Captain America's series starts at #100, and such like that.

It occurs to me that, in the wake of the DC Implosion, and the collapse of the Atlas line, a New Number One issue might make retailers think the book (heck, the entire company!) wasn't going to last.
So what was the number-one issue that changed things?

I don't think the trend can be traced to a particular restart, or even a restart at all. By the time "new number ones" became the prevalent trend for restarted titles, sales fiqures for #1 issues selling better had long been established by new series. Marvel and DC finally noticed. Even as late as the mid '80s when creator-owned series (such as Dreadstar) moved from company to company (Epic to First in this case), the titles original numbering was maintained. I think the best we'll be able to do is nail down a general time frame, say late '80s or early '90s. What was the first major restart to begin with a new number one in that time frame? Not McFarlane's Spider-Man or Claremont/Lee's X-Men; those weren't restarts. Mid '90s?

The first time I rememeber this issue being hotly debated before the fact was "Marvel's Heroes Return" titles.
What changed things was the birth of the direct market.

Once comic publishers no longer had to rely on the newsstand distributors, who were indeed loathe to try new things due to the associated costs, it gave the publishers free reign to experiment not just with content and format, but numbering as well. By the time the DM was a decade old (around 1990), the publishers had 10 years of data showing that #1 issues sold pretty well to comic shops. Web of Spider-Man #1 far outsold the title it replaced, Marvel Team-Up, for example. There was an established pattern of subsequent issue sales drops as well. A #2 almost always sold 2/3* of #1. #3 almost always sold 3/4 of #2, etc. After the larger publishers had time to digest that data, they realized that #1 was the way to go almost all the time.

*ratios estimated for the sake of discussion.
.
Mid '90s?

That's way too late, Jeff. The post-Crisis books all started with new number ones: Flash, Justice League, Wonder Woman, even Superman started with a new number one while giving the old numbering to Adventures of Superman. Even before that, DC had given new number ones to a bunch of titles as they shifted them to higher-quality Baxter paper for the direct market: Batman and the Outsiders, Legion of Super-Heroes, New Teen Titans. Picking up on Dagwan's post, I'd say it only took 5 years for the publishers to look at the data and realize that relaunching titles as new number ones was a good idea. The waves of 1985 and 1987 only confirmed that approach.
Chris Fluit said:
That's way too late, Jeff.

You're right, of course. I had the feeling yesterday I was overlooking something obvious.
Maybe those indy titles decided that, as lesser-known brans, continuity and longevity were more important to convey than the freshness of a new #1.

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