In September 2017, Marvel Comics began their Marvel Legacy initiative which included placing larger legacy numbers (numbering as if the books had been running since the start not counting relaunches) on many of their ongoing series.
This summer the publisher is changing course with their new Fresh Start initiative, wiping most of that Legacy embracing away in order to restart their superhero line (though only a handful of restarted books have been announced so far) with new creative teams and/or storylines and big giant #1’s on the cover. The legacy numbering though won’t fully be forgotten though.
Ace Comic Con shared an exclusive Will Sliney variant cover for Jason Aaron and Ed McGuiness Avengers #1 which shows off a brand new trade dress for Marvel’s Fresh Start titles. This new look features a smaller UPC box as well as dual numbering, with a larger restarted numbering above and a smaller legacy numbering below for those that enjoy the connection to the past series.
Reportedly, the new trade dress will also come with larger creative team credits which are not included on this particular variant cover, according to The Beat.
This is not the first time Marvel has employed the use of dual numbering on their covers, the last time they did so was back in the early 2000s on numerous books including Avengers before it reverted to full Legacy numbering only during Brian Michael Bendis’ series-ending Avengers Disassembled storyline.