DC Comics imprint Vertigo has seemed on the verge of extinction for a while now, but that all changed Thursday night at San Diego Comic-Con.
Despite publishing almost no new titles in 2015, the once-mighty imprint casually announced 12 new series coming this fall.
As DC’s “mature readers” arm, Vertigo published landmark series like Sandman, Y: The Last Man, Constantine, and Preacher. A major forerunner of the current boom in independent comics, Vertigo’s success rapidly dwindled during the economic downturn, which resulted in DC cutting it loose to focus on creator-owned titles—essentially putting it out to pasture, or so it seemed.
Until now, not counting anthologies and various Mad Max tie-ins, Vertigo had announced only one original title this year.
The new slate of series, which Vertigo head Shelly Bond called “groundbreaking,” includes a new version of Lucifer, the popular Sandman spinoff. The series will debut in conjunction with Fox‘s new television adaptation of the same name. Popular young-adult author Holly Black will make her comics writing debut on the series, with Lee Garbett serving as artist.
In another literary surprise, critically acclaimed novelist Lauren Beukes will collaborate with writer Dale Halvorsen on Survivors Club, a subversive take on 1980s horror-movie tropes featuring a tormented group of childhood friends. The artist for the series will be Ryan Kelly.
Also on the list is Clean Room, from comics legend Gail Simone and artist Jon Davis-Hunt. Clean Room is a horror comic about a dogged journalist and the powerful self-help guru she clashes with—who may be hiding terrifying secrets.
Other titles include Jacked, previously announced under the name “Amped,” from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke and artist John Higgins. Kripke will also be developing Jacked—which follows a man who discovers that his energy pills give him superpowers—for the USA television network.
Here are the other titles in the Vertigo rollout, in the order of their release dates:
Twilight Children, writing by Gilbert Hernandez, art by Darwyn Cooke
Unfollow, writing by Rob Williams, art by Mike Dowling
Slash and Burn, by Si Spencer, Max Dunbar, and Ande Parks
Red Thorn, writing by David Baillie, art by Meghan Hetrick
Sheriff of Baghdad, writing by Tom King, art by Mitch Gerads
New Romance, writing by Peter Milligan, art by Brett Parson
Last Gang in Town, writing by Simon Oliver, art by Rufus Dayglo
The fall slate will also include the ongoing series American Vampire, Astro City and Suiciders.
“This is a groundbreaking rollout for Vertigo and all 12 new titles represent the imprint at its core: smart and irreverent stories that will take you someplace stranger,” Bond said in a press release. “I can’t be more excited about the diversity of projects and creative teams we have lined up, from Vertigo veterans to a powerhouse of new voices and rising art stars.”
The comics community seemed overwhelmingly surprised and pleased by the announcement, especially considering how many people had previously written off Vertigo as a dying company.
ohh my god i actually want to buy some of these vertigo comics— charlotte geater (@tambourine) July 10, 2015
@DojoDaniel126 idk I'm surprised to see that they're still trying. With Image taking so much market share you'd think Vertigo would be dead.— Michael Lane (@mikelaneisme) July 10, 2015
Our comics awakening happened with VERTIGO's titles, so kicked to hear them make this comeback! https://t.co/UdCgSruO9D— kokaachi (@studiokokaachi) July 10, 2015
Amid the celebration, one fan pointed out that Vertigo’s sudden renaissance is just part of an overwhelming expansion for the industry as a whole. This fall will see more new titles from more creators, read by more people, than at any previous point in the industry’s history.
Some really great looking new comics announced by Vertigo today. This really is a great time to be a comics reader. Something for everyone.— Elliot Blake (@elliotblake) July 10, 2015
Photo courtesy DC Entertainment