I don’t know how most people catalog their comics. I try to put mine in alphabetical order. A few months ago, I realized that such a system would be hard to keep. I’ll provide some examples of titles that could hinder that system:

The X-Men originally starred in a title called The X-Men. Somewhere along the way and for a time, the title was just shortened to X-Men, which if fine “the” is ignored anyway. At issue #114, the title was extended to “The Uncanny X-Men” simply for the cover. The publication information inside continued to name it X-Men, meaning that that remained the official title. The “Uncanny” was dropped for issues #137 and #138. Finally, in the middle of a story arc, the title was officially named The Uncanny X-Men with issue #142. So, how would it be listed? Does it all go under X or U? Should it be split according to the official designation? I don’t know.

Let’s look at The Legion of Super-Heroes. After many issues of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, the title became The Legion of Super-Heroes with #260. At one point, the title was officially named Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes for a year before shifting back. More recently, the current Legion title changed from The Legion of Super-Heroes to Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes. So how does one sort the Legion? Clearly, an alphabetical system wouldn’t work, as the owner would be jumping across their collection to following the continuing story. Just go by numbering? That kind of messes up the alphabetical system, now doesn’t it.

I once encountered the problem of cataloging The Sensational Spider-Man after it had been Marvel Knights Spider-Man. I currently run under the basis of The Spectacular Spider-Man being a separate title that continues the numbering.

See? An alphabetical system just doesn’t work as well as I’d like. But what’s the alternative? I can’t think of a good one. Perhaps someone could suggest something…

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