There’s a “Vertigo Anniversary” sale going on for all kinds of digital comics… some of which didn’t used to be considered Vertigo. There’s a LOT of things on sale, so here’s a quick guide to some of the choicer material.
Prior to Sandman, Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing was the flagship book… even if it pre-dated Vertigo. Amazon is throwing the later Morrison/Millar run into the same listing for some strange reason. I’ve read and enjoyed that, but the Moore material is the real anniversary part and is the legendary run, here.
For the superhero itch, you have a bit more Grant Morrison. Doom Patrol and Animal Man. I prefer the surrealist take of Doom Patrol, where the Brotherhood of Dada was the enemy, but some folks prefer Animal Man. Both are worth your time and both are deconstructions from the early days of Vertigo.
Hellblazer was possibly never really the flagship title, but it had the longest run. Everyone has their favorite period, but I still prefer the early Delano material ever so slightly. The originally run was fairly consistently good.
The next wave of overlapping titles, since this is an anniversary sale, was Preacher, Transmetropolitan and 100 Bullets. Preacher is currently on cable TV and is the story of a disillusioned preacher who’s acquired a divine gift and is on a quest to have a rather pointed chat with God, who’s gone missing. Definitely not for the easily offended. Transmetropolitan is where Warren Ellis really took off and the oversimplified elevator pitch is a science fiction dark satire about a gonzo journalist confronting corruption, particularly political corruption. If you wanted to call it as science fiction take on Hunter S. Thompson vs. Richard Nixon… again, perhaps oversimplified, but not wholly inappropriate. 100 Bullets is a crime comic that starts out with people being given 100 untraceable bullets to kill someone who’s done them wrong, but slowly turns into the tale of a vast conspiracy. All these titles were iconic in their day.
The next big wave of overlapping titles was Fables, Y: The Last Man and DMZ. Let’s be real – Fables was _almost_ its own imprint for awhile. The story of the fairy tale character fleeing their worlds in the wake of an evil conqueror had numerous spin-offs and some of them long-lived. Y: The Last Man was the real star-making turn for now-superstar and one of the kings of independent comics, Brian K. Vaughan. It’s about the only man left alive after a mysterious plague. Some want to study him, some want him dead, some want to *ahem* put him to work. He’s just looking for his girlfriend. DMZ is the story of a reporter who ends up right in the middle of political conspiracies in the demilitarized zone that the island of Manhattan has become following the second Civil War.
Those are a few of the more prominent Vertigo titles you might want to have a look at, but what about the non-Vertigo titles in this sale?
The old Wildstorm ABC titles from Alan Moore like Promethea, Top 10 and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Brian K. Vaughan (that guy again) and Tony Harris on the originally Wildstorm Ex Machina, another superhero deconstruction.
There’s a lot here, so feel free to browse on your own.