Now that the first month of Marvel’s Point One Initiative is over, maybe it’s time to take a look at see how successful it’s been.  While sales numbers are still forthcoming for February, I’m looking more at the purpose of the initiative – affordable jumping on points that would allow new readers to give the titles a shot, as well as give them a sign of things to come in the coming year.

Gotta admit, I liked it when these types of books were done as 10 cent books, or 25 cent books…or hell, even a buck.  The Point One titles are $2.99, which I think might be counter-intuitive to the sales expectations that they Marvel may be expecting from them.  Still, how are these books working as far as their efforts to bring new readers in?  Check out my thoughts on the first three Point One books after the jump!

Invincible Iron Man 500.1 features Tony going to an AA meeting.

Invincible Iron Man #500.1
The first Point One book out of the gate was this book, by the regular Invincible Iron Man creative team of Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca.  While this Point One book is the most new-reader friendly of the bunch so far, it’s also…well, gotta be honest here, a bit boring.  Definitely indicative of the regular series, Iron Man doesn’t really show up in this book, nor is there any action to speak of.  Sure, we get to see Iron Man in flashbacks, but overall there’s no real action.  Instead, Tony Stark is attending an AA meeting and, essentially, telling everyone his life story.  While it’s an interesting story mechanic, it’s only going to really appeal to those who know the stories he’s referring to.  Not only that, there’s not terribly much there to get your blood pumping for Invincible Iron Man.  I had hoped issue #500.1 would get me back into the title.  Sadly, it showed that the issues I had with the title are still there, so I won’t be buying issue #501.

Deadpool sings karaoke in Wolverine #5.1.
Deadpool sings karaoke in Wolverine #5.1.

Wolverine #5.1
I actually read the first story arc of the new Wolverine title, with writing by Jason Aaron.  Though I really enjoyed the story, the art by Renato Guedes didn’t really tickle me.  It wasn’t bad, per se…just not my cup of tea.  But the writing?  Great stuff – continuing the same feel Aaron has on Ghost Rider, you get Wolverine in Hell teaming up with Puck to escape, while his body, possessed by a demon, goes on a rampage, killing people from his past.  Wolverine #5.1 has nothing to do with any of that, instead focusing on Wolverine’s birthday celebration, held by his new girlfriend.  Wolverine #5.1 is now only hilarious, it’s AWESOME.  Wolverine has to fight cannibal hillbillies on the way to his birthday party and, unbeknownst to him, it’s a surprise party with all of his Avengers and X-Men teammates (well, except one).  It’s a great issue that anyone who enjoys and of the many titles Wolverine is in will enjoy.  As a good jumping on point though?  Not so much – Wolverine #6 continues directly from the “Wolverine Goes to Hell” storyline, and not from anything in 5.1.  Not only that, 5.1 doesn’t exactly fit in the continuity of the series between issues 5 and 6.  Still, well worth the purchase and enjoyable even if you’re not reading the Wolverine monthly.

The new Venom is the focus of Amazing Spider-Man #654.1.
The new Venom is the focus of Amazing Spider-Man #654.1.

Amazing Spider-Man #654.1
Listen to this week’s Funnybooks for my feelings on this one, but just to summarize, this felt more like a Venom #0 than it did like a way to get people into Amazing Spider-Man.  A great issue, and I’ll pick up Venom, but maybe not what people are expecting from a Point One title.

I haven’t hated any of the Point One books so far, but I have to wonder why they aren’t more new-reader friendly.  Not only that, given their purpose, maybe they should really be marketing these books more outside of comic shops?  Let’s see how the next couple of months pan out…

Left to come…

MARCH 2011

  • DEADPOOL #32.1
  • HULK #30.1
  • THOR #620.1

APRIL 2011

  • AVENGERS #12.1
  • UNCANNY X-MEN #534.1