Something surprising from Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso’s latest CBR appearance is his explanation for the latest round of Point One issues:
A Point One book is meant to provide an easy entry-point to a monthly series for new readers that is relevant to long-term readers. It counts. Simple as that. If you haven’t read a single issue of Iron Man, here’s a clean, told-on-one sampler. There was a time when the Annuals might have served this purpose, but in recent years retailers and fans lost confidence that they were essential reads. The first wave of Point One books did so well we had to do more. And we’ll continue to do more for any title we think will benefit from it.
The surprising part? That the first wave of Point One books did so well that Marvel “had” to do more… because the direct market estimates tell an entirely different story. Of the twenty Point One books that have already come out that weren’t #0.1 issues, only three were ordered in quantities higher than the previous issue, with sales on the following issues either seeing a small bump that didn’t offset the drop from the .1 issue, or continuing to drop in all but six cases (and in two of those cases, the following issues were Fear Itself tie-ins). Quite how that translates into such a success that the company felt compelled to do more seems a mystery to journey into, some might say; perhaps the collected editions did particularly well, or the digital sales…?