Following the announcement that Avengers and Venom would be re-numbered to #1 as part of Marvel Comics' May 2018 "Fresh Start" initiative, the publisher has issued a press release clarifying some confusion.
The high-numbered Marvel titles carrying over from "Marvel Legacy" will have dual numbering beginning in May - so Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness's Avengers #1 in May 2018 will also be Avengers #691, carrying over the numbering from the "No Surrender" weekly arc.
“Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be rolling out new beginnings for a few of our key franchises - new creative teams, new starting points, new storylines - all the big stuff that we’ve been building towards since LEGACY began,” said Tom Brevoort, Marvel's Senior VP of Publishing and Executive Editor. “This isn’t a clearing of the slate - while these new starts will kick off with new #1s, we’ll be maintaining the classic 'Legacy' issue counts as dual numbering on these titles as well. Oh, and don’t read anything into not seeing a character on the Jim Cheung piece… we can only squeeze so many characters onto there without killing poor Jim!”
While it might seem novel for an issue to carry two issue numbers, it wouldn't be the first. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Marvel used a similiar numbering tactic for Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Thor, and other longrunning titles. DC also did this for Action Comics in the 1990s, and more recently Stan Sakai's long-running Usagi Yojimbo shifted to miniseries that in the indicia will continue the larger, legacy numbering.
Although early on, Marvel's marketing for "Fresh Start" utilizes the new #1s over the older legacy numberings.