Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.
This time around, the question comes courtesy of Adam L., who asks:
My question involves another Marvel numbering snafu. This time on Ultimate Spider-man. The first series ended with issue #133 following the Ultimatum storyline. The series was relaunched with a new #1 and then resumed original numbering on issue #16/#150. The problem is 133 + 15 = 148 which would make issue #16 the 149th issue. There was an Ultimate Spider-man Requiem but as that was a 2 issue story, including it would still throw the numbering off.
Let’s do some crazy comic book math!
The likely “real” answer is that Marvel probably just wanted to have #150 come out in a specific month, so that’s what they decided to do.
But if you want to come up with a reasonable explanation for the missing issue, there are two good choices, one better than the other.
First off, there’s Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special #1…
Not an Annual, so you can explain why you would count it and not BOTH Annuals (which would be too much). However, this was really a Marvel Team-Up book called Ultimate Spider-Man, so I think the better choice would be…
Ultimate Spider-Man #1/2
Yes, it was a Wizard book, but it was by Bendis, Bagley and Thibert, and I think that makes the math work best.
As an aside, just to get it out there, this would come up again with Ultimate Spider-Man #200.
Ultimate Spider-Man lasted until #160. There were 28 issues of the following Miles Morales series preceding Ultimate Spider-Man #200. So how did we get from 188 issues to 199? Go to the next page if you want that bonus math…
Here, I think it is a simple addition of the six issues of Ultimate Fallout (which includes the first appearance of Miles Morales, so it makes sense to count them)
and then the five issues of Spider-Men…
and ta da, 199 issues!
Thanks for the question, Adam! If anyone else has a question they’d like to see answered, just drop me a line at email@example.com