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Jumping-On Point

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Basically, a point in an ongoing series or a series in a Shared Universe that exists primarily to provide a place for new readers to begin with without needing to know the entire history. This is especially common in Comic Books and other media where Continuity Snarls are common.

If a point in a series, it will often restart the numbering — instead of Amazing Spider-Man #442, it'll be Amazing Spider-Man volume 2 #1. It may be just after the resolution of a massive storyline, and it'll almost always show something similar to the general status quo of the series.

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If a series in a Shared Universe, it may be set in an Alternate Universe or be about a new set of characters in the same universe, somewhat removed from the rest. It will often end up having its own Spin-Off, so that the new fanbase can diversify their reading without ever having to get fully immersed in the Universe.

When a whole new continuity is created, it's an Ultimate Universe. Compare Clip Show, which shows incidents from past episodes, whether meant to be instructive to new viewers or not, and the plot-variant of New First Comics, where at least part of the snarl is rendered non-canon, and Soft Reboot, which similarly tries to cast off the baggage of older entries (though not in a way that overrides or replaces them) in order to appeal to new fans.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • 2000 AD does one every so often in which every strip in the prog starts a new story. They are generally identified by the presence of Tharg on the cover.
  • The company CrossGen did that in one month for each and every single book.
    • It was meant to be an ongoing thing, but the publisher folded before they could do more. Between recap pages (with head shots of the cast) and generally avoiding Writing Forthe Trade, though, it was easier to jump into a CG story than those from other publishers.
  • DC Comics:
    • The "One Year Later" relaunch event in 2006 was intended as a Jumping-On Point for just about every title set in The DCU, in which all of them did a Time Skip to a full year after the events of Infinite Crisis and most also changed creative teams.
    • The weekly comic Countdown had one halfway through its run, when it was renamed Countdown to Final Crisis. The first issue under the new name consisted almost entirely of the Monitors discussing what had gone on in the previous 26 issues.
    • Following the event comic Final Crisis and the three-part miniseries Batman: Battle For the Cowl in which Dick Grayson became the new Batman, all Batman-related titles had a new jumping-on point branded as "Batman Reborn". Changes included the launch of new title Batman and Robin continuing Grant Morrison's run, Paul Dini shifting from Comic Book/Detective Comics to new title Batman: Streets of Gotham as the former was repurposed to star Batwoman, and Robin being cancelled and replaced by Red Robin as main character Tim Drake took on the new mantle.
    • The New 52 reboot did this on a massive scale, as an (almost) complete Continuity Reboot that relaunched every title from #1 in September 2011 with the intention of drawing in new readers through having a single clear starting point for all of their books. The name "New 52" referred to having 52 ongoing series running at any one time.
    • DC made another attempt at providing line-wide jumping-on points in 2015 following the two-month event Convergence under the branding of DCYOU, at the time when they finally dropped the "New 52" branding from their books on the grounds that it was no longer so new.
    • Another more successful line-wide relaunch point for DC was with DC Rebirth in 2016, which was a Soft Reboot that re-introduced back into continuity many features of the DCU that the New 52 had retconned away.
    • A similar line-wide jumping-on point is due to happen in March 2021 following the two-month event Future State.
  • This was Marvel's intention with the "point one" issues, various issues of series that would fall as something like 13.1, to indicate that it was a good spot for new readers, generally recapping the plot up to that point. They've also released comics simply titled Marvel Point One, which are more like previews for new series that are coming out.
    • Marvel subsequently became notorious throughout the 2010s for doing similar relaunches almost every year, often resetting titles back to #1 with very little justification. A common criticism was that the resulting status-quo changes happened so frequently that everything was too fleeting for anything to matter. "Marvel NOW!" relaunched almost every title in late 2012, and was followed by "All New Marvel NOW" in 2014, followed by "Avengers NOW", then "All-New, All-Different Marvel" in 2015, then "Marvel NOW 2.0" in 2016, then "Marvel Legacy" in 2017 (which, as a change of pace, reset titles to original numbering instead of to #1)... finally "Marvel: A Fresh Start" came in early 2018 and this thankfully seems to have stuck.
    • The X-Men have had a number of internal relaunches intended as jumping-on points for all X-related titles. In 1995 in the aftermath of Age of Apocalypse every X-Men title had a new jumping-on point kicked off by the one-shot X-Men: Prime. In 2000 the relaunch event "Revolution" (and the concurrent "Counter-X") had every X-title do a Time Skip of six months; another wave of creative-team changes happened in 2001, including the launch of New X-Men. Another relaunch happened in 2004 with "X-Men ReLoaded". In 2017 the event comic Inhumans vs. X-Men was followed by the relaunch "ResurrXion". Most recently, the era of Jonathan Hickman taking over creative control of the X-Men in 2019 began with the relaunch "Dawn of X".
    • Runaways and its spin-off, Loners, have done this to an extent. Wolverine doesn't even get his standard cameo until the 10th issue of the second volume. Furthermore, interaction with most of the Marvel Universe is somewhat justified. Basically, it's explained that The Pride had muscled all the other villains off the West Coast, and kept crime orderly so the superheroes didn't step in.
      • With their defeat in volume 1, the West Coast now seems a likely setting for more Runaways spin-offs, built around new characters and formerly B-string superheroes whose origins can be covered quickly to the uninitiated, who attempt to help the Runaways fight the villains attempting to take over the West Coast with the power vacuum after the Pride's defeat. (On the other hand, the California-based Initiative spin-off "The Order mentions none of this.)
  • Welcome to Tranquility has a group of retired superheroes and villains and their families living in a community isolated from the rest of the WildStorm Universe. They even have their own special name for supers, "Maxis". The isolation is explained more as the series progresses.
  • Issue 11 of Zot!, according to the author. Very few plot points are all that confusing, and those that are will usually be explained away in later issues.

    Literature 
  • Jim Butcher says that he explicitly wrote (and recommends) Dead Beat (Book 7) as an introduction to The Dresden Files for new readers. It's full of awesome moments, really kicks a lot of the series-long plots into high gear, and is generally regarded by both author and fans as a significant turning point in the series and improvement over the first few books. Nearly all of the extended cast is involved (except, notably, for the Carpenter family) and Harry is really coming into his competence as a wizard after several books of struggling to survive.
  • Guards! Guards! is generally considered this for the Discworld series, introducing the City Watch and several other iconic characters, fleshing out the city of Ankh-Morpork and generally having a lot less Early Installment Weirdness than the books that preceded it.
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    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
  • The revival of Doctor Who has done this every so often.
    • The 2005 season with Christopher Eccleston, which marked the show's return to regular broadcasting after a 16-year hiatus (1996 telemovie aside), keeps the continuity of the old seasons (or at least as much continuity as there can be in a show about time travel), but does not require having seen the old seasons to make sense, so it is considered a jumping on point for the series. Aiding this is the fact that the show's season and episode counters both reset to 1 with the premiere of the Eccleston season; "Rose" is officially designated as the first episode of Series 1 as opposed to Season 27.
    • Another point was in 2010 when Matt Smith took over the role from David Tennant — they wrapped up old plotlines and discarded most of the supporting and recurring cast. There was even some confusion over whether it was a new "series one" (the idea was eventually dropped).
    • And again when Peter Capaldi took over as the Doctor. That time they kept Clara as companion from Matt Smith's last season, but started her on a new plot arc as well.
    • The beginning of Capaldi's last season, which introduced new companion Bill, was also conceived as a jumping-on point, with very little of the season requiring a detailed memory of prior continuity.
    • And again with the start of the Thirteenth Doctor's era at the beginning of Series 11, which again introduced an entirely new regular cast and a new showrunner. The new showrunner, Chris Chibnall, even stressed in his interviews for the show that there would be no returning characters, cultures, or plot points in the entire season. Although the 2019 New Year's Day special, broadcast less than a month after the final episode of the season proper, did feature a recurring villain.
    • Generally speaking, any time a new actor takes the role of the Doctor can be seen as this, as the show tends to take on a slightly different style to suit each actor. Occasionally, the arrival of a new companion is also treated as this as, in the Modern Era, the companions are explicitly intended to be analogues for the audience. However, the 1963-1989 show generally did not have much in the way of long-term plot arcs, so didn't need jumping-on points so much.
  • ER had a jumping-on point at the beginning of Season 5 with the introduction of Lucy Knight, starting a new student-mentor arc with Carter moving up to the mentor role. Although Carter had been a mentor to students before, Knight's introductory episode was more openly a soft relaunch for the series, with a lot of effort put in to explain things for new viewers. For instance, every major or recurring character gets an introduction using their full name, there are multiple As You Know moments to bring viewers up to speed, and several scenes of Lucy and other students walking around the ER, to show off the set.
  • Stargate SG-1, the beginning of Season 9 was a Jumping On point. With the eight-season long story of the Goa'uld and the Replicators pretty much wrapped up, a brand new Big Bad and a significantly changed Team was practically a new series. Was supposed to be, but Sci Fi wanted The Longest Running Science Fiction Show on American TV. Then they promptly cancelled it once they reached that benchmark.

    Opera 

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE attempted this a handful of times. When the first story arc ("Chronicles") was done in 2003, after a two year Flashback ("Adventures"), the story took a new turn, and in accordance with this, they restarted the comic numbering and created a new "Legends" umbrella title for the books. However the story was still set in the same universe and continued the same general plot, which eventually went messy. The folks at LEGO decided that a more radical push of the restart button was needed, so the quickly set up a whole new world with new rules, new characters and a new backstory. In half a year's worth of plot, this idea went out the window, the two storylines got tied together firmly, and a year later, LEGO ended the line.

    Video Games 
  • Resident Evil 4 jumps forward six years, starting what is essentially a brand-new storyline. Leon recounts the history of the previous games in his Opening Narration. There are a few elements from the previous games, but they're not really necessary to follow the story.
    • Newer main entries of the RE series often bring back a character or two from previous games. As secluded as the incident in RE4 was, the fact that Leon and Ada returned from RE2 gave players familiarity. That being said, the Dulvey Incident of RE7 comes off as even more of a departure from the other games. It introduces brand new characters and makes no mention of the incidents from previous games. Other than a few minor references, RE7 is very self-contained and could easily come across as an entry for a brand new IP at first glance. This makes long time series veteran Chris Redfield's cameo at the end of the game a bit surprising, but even his appearance is more of a Continuity Nod for RE7's connection to the rest of the series. The only real tie behind the scenes is that the Connections crime syndicate (first mentioned in RE7) partnered with former Big Bad Albert Wesker's H.C.F. group, which ultimately created Eveline and the Molded. It's unknown if Wesker himself had anything to do with their creation directly.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel does this for the overarching Trails Series, to a point. Set as it is smack dab in the middle of a military school in Erebonia, the new cast of characters is largely isolated from the plots and information from prior games. As the first entry in the series to make the jump to entirely 3d graphics, by necessity several characters from older entries had to wait a few games before they got in appearances, largely leaving the plot of the first two games separate. Problems arise however, as many background materials in-game casually spoil minor plot details from past games, crossover elements from The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure increasingly come up, and by the third and fourth titles, they're written with the assumption that players will recognize returning characters and plot points, with the over all plot acting just as much as a sequel to the events of Cold Steel as much as Zero and The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. this leaves several players who hadn't gone back to play the previous five games confused as to who these new characters are, and why several seemingly cryptic names and conversations are supposed to be important.

    Web Original 

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