DC Entertainment's Mad Magazine has undergone immense changes in its move from New York City, and that looks to be showing up on the page as the back-page graphic for this week's Mad #550 promotes a new #1 coming in April.
Even DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio - a veteran of renumbering books - is talking about this ad, writing on Facebook "I knew moving to the west coast wouldn't change Mad too much."
But before you get excited or roll your eyes - depending on how you view renumberings, keep this in mind: Mad often does parody ads. And Mad #1 is bring promoted to come out in April...
... the same month as... you know, April Fool's Day.
Another thing to consider is that DC themselves has already solicited the next issue, and advertised it as Mad Magazine #551 - coming out in April. In the solicitation, they advertise #551 as "our first issue since #550, we serve up a fresh helping of funny for spring! Don’t miss it!"
Could DC cancel this Mad #551 listing and replace it with a Mad #1? Yes, they could. Doing so would normally incurr some extra fees to Diamond and open themselves up to the magazine being returnable by retailers, but DC has done it before - rarely.
Another thing to keep in mind - Mad has parodied reboots, revamps, and renumberings like this in other comic books and media properties in the past.
But that's not to say that Mad isn't changing - Back at New York Comic Con 2017, incoming editor Bill Morrison said a "new band of idiots" would premiere on April 1, 2018, coinciding with the birthday of their mascot, Alfred E. Neuman.
“A lot of the stuff and people you love about Mad are not going away," Morrison said in October 2017. "It’s going to change, you’ll see a lot of new things, but you’ll also see Spy vs Spy, Sergio Argones, the Al Jaffee fold-ins, many of the things we love about Mad."
So it will be a relaunch, there will be a "new Mad" but not necessarily a new Mad #1.