Vertigo, one of the great, industry changing imprints, is getting a relaunch and a rebrand after a few years of going dark as mostly a vehicle for licensed comics.

Executive editor Mark Doyle (who got his DC start at Vertigo) will oversee the line which will comprise seven new titles, encompassing “modern, socially relevant, high-concept, inventive stories appealing to readers of all genres.”

Four of the monthly books will kick off in fall/winter 2018, with the rest launching in 2019.

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DC_VERTIGO_LOGO_HORIZONTAL“It’s time to rebuild DC Vertigo,” Doyle said in a statement. “We’re returning to our roots by spotlighting the most exciting new voices in comics, as well as bringing new voices to comics. From the corners of television, games, music, activism, podcasting, comics and more, all of our creators are passionate and have something to say. These sophisticated stories have amazing new characters and vast worlds to explore. That’s what it has always been about for me—new stories, new voices, new possibilities. We’re creating a new generation of DC Vertigo classics for readers of all genres.”

The creative teams for these books are indeed thinking outside the box and with a super modern outlook. Among this crew, Bryan Edward Hill and Mark Russell qualify as  industry vets. The presence of game designers, podcasters and other new voices does give this brand a refresh that sets it up for a very contemporary feel.

And the titles are:

  • BORDER TOWN from writer Eric M. Esquivel (Adventure Time, Starburns Presents) with art and covers by Ramon Villalobos (Nighthawk, America) will debut in September
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 Esquival (l) and Villalobos

When a crack in the border between worlds releases an army of monsters from Mexican folklore into the small town of Devil’s Fork, Arizona, the residents blame the ensuing weirdness—the shared nightmares, the otherworldly radio transmissions, the mysterious goat mutilations—on “God-dang illegals.” With racial tensions supernaturally charged, it’s up to new kid in town Frank Dominguez and a motley crew of high school misfits to discover what’s REALLY going on.

 

 

  • HEX WIVES from writer Ben Blacker (co-creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour) with art by Mirka Andolfo (WONDER WOMAN, SHADE, THE CHANGING GIRL) will debut in October
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Blacker (l) and Andolfo

“The women are too powerful. They must be tamed.” A malevolent conspiracy of men brainwashes a coven of witches to be subservient, suburban housewives. But it’s only a matter of time before the women remember their power…

 

  • AMERICAN CARNAGE from writer Bryan Hill (TITANS show set to launch on the DC-branded digital service, MICHAEL CRAY) with art by Leandro Fernandez (THE NAMES, The Punisher Max) will debut in November
Hill (l) and Fernandez

In this thrilling crime saga, disgraced FBI agent Richard Wright, who is biracial but can pass for white, goes undercover in a white supremacist group believed to be responsible for the death of a fellow agent.

 

  • GODDESS MODE from writer Zoë Quinn (Crash Override, featured in People’s 25 Women Who Are Changing the World and Forbes’ 30 Under 30) with art by Robbi Rodriguez (Spider-Gwen, FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS) will debut in December
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Quinn (l) and Rodriguez

In a near future where all of humanity’s needs are administered by a godlike A.I., it’s one young woman’s horrible job to do tech support on it. But when Cassandra finds herself violently drawn into a hidden and deadly digital world beneath our own, she discovers a group of super-powered women and horrific monsters locked in a secret war for the cheat codes to reality.

 

  • HIGH LEVEL from writer Rob Sheridan (former art director for Nine Inch Nails, co-creator of the Year Zero alternate reality game) with art by Barnaby Bagenda (THE OMEGA MEN, GREEN LANTERNS) will debut in 2019
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Sheridan (l) and Bagenda

Hundreds of years after the world ended and human society was rebuilt from scratch, a self-interested smuggler with a price on her head is forced to traverse a new continent of danger and mystery to deliver a child messiah to High Level, a mythical city at the top of the world from which no one has ever returned.

 

  • SAFE SEX from writer Tina Horn (host/producer of Why Are People Into That? podcast, writer/journalist/lecturer in sexual education and activism) and artist Mike Dowling (UNFOLLOW, 2000 AD) will debut in 2019
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    Horn (l) and Dowling

A dystopian sci-fi thriller about a ragtag team of sex workers fighting for the freedom to love in a world where sexual pleasure is monitored, regulated and policed by the government.

 

  • SECOND COMING from writer Mark Russell (God Is Disappointed in You, THE FLINTSTONES) with art by Richard Pace (IMAGINARY FIENDS) will debut in 2019
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Russell (l) and Pace

God sends Jesus to Earth in hopes that he will learn the family trade from Sun-Man, an all-powerful superhero, who is like the varsity quarterback son God never had. But, upon his return to Earth, Christ is appalled to discover what has become of his Gospel and vows to set the record right.

17 COMMENTS

  1. I’m intrigued by both HIGH LEVEL and AMERICAN CARNAGE.

    Sheridan, the writer of the former, has a massive imagination and an eye for detail. Consequently, I’m keen to see what he can do in the post-apocalyptic HIGH LEVEL. Add Bagenda to the mix and you’ve got my dollar!

    AMERICAN CARNAGE, on the other hand, screams topical. Hill can write, Fernandez can draw, and, I dunno why, but the description for AMERICAN CARNAGE pushes the same buttons SCALPED did when it was solicited many moons ago (and SCALPED, to this day, remains a firm favourite). I’m in,

  2. These all sound good and their respective premises developed, to me. The real dead certainty for me to check out is Mark Russell on whatever mature-age readers title he wants to do. See what he does with it

  3. These are real?? They sound like what someone would make up if they were trying to make fun of liberals! What incredibly small section of humanity wants to sit in the choir and be preached to by comics?

  4. Every single one of these books will be gone within a year, just like the craptastic Young Animal line. They need to stop making comics for people who don’t and won’t read comics.

  5. I’m slightly more interested, when compared to previous Vertigo reboots after Karen Berger got shafted. Still, I don’t think Vertigo will ever get back to the lofty perch it once inhabited. There are just to many competitors diluting the waters, DC’s own upcoming Sandman line, Dark Horse’s Berger Books, IDW’s Black Crown, and of course the possibillity for creators to do pretty anything they want at Image, provided they bring a bag of money of their own.
    I admit High Level sounds interesting for example, but just browse the Image section of Previews for another handfull of dystopian future scenario’s. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for Vertigo to get another strong (backlist) seller such as Preacher or Y the Last Man. I’m just afraid that premium talent can get better conditions elsewhere so there’s no need for them to sign Standard DC contracts.

  6. Anyone who wants to argue that woke politics don’t sell comics will get a whole bunch of supporting evidence here.

  7. Changing the marketing brand to DCVertigo is a good thing I think. Vertigo is dead but DCVertigo is mature and interesting comics put out by a comics stable publisher DC. Taps into a tradition of DC’s having made interesting comics in the past. On reflection, good move and commitment.

  8. Border Town and Second Coming look like sure bets for me (definitely Second Coming, with Russell’s involvement). It’ll be good to see some sweet Barnaby Bagenda art again, so I’ll check out High Level.

    But this is all first impressions. There’s still time for the other books to grab me with previews or creator interviews, etc. Safe Sex and American Carnage are maybes. (Goddess Mode is the hardest sell with me, because ugh, I just can’t care about video games.)

  9. So, a bunch of non-comics writers and some try-hard progressive politics…I mean “stories.” None of these look interesting.

  10. American Carnage sounds exactly the same as Incognegro, also once published by Vertigo, under Karen Berger, and now over at her Berger Books.

    Mark Doyle seems to have no clue what Vertigo is. Shame DC got rid of the people who did.

    I don’t understand why you need to bring new voices *to* comics (as he says), what about all those many voices already *in* comics? Are they really that hard to find?

  11. I enjoy Russell’s work so I’ll check out a possible collection of Second Coming at some point. If I remember it 3 years from now.

    Vertigo (due to DC’s handling of the imprint over the last, oh, say 15 years) doesn’t really get scorn from me? But every new promise of recapturing what made Vertigo so special starts somewhere at less than zero. The market has changed. While Vertigo wiled away goodwill with it’s brand (mis)management everything else (particularly Image) got smarter. Now there are a bajillion cool looking lines like this. And also, I’d probably buy all of Berger’s books before I’d touch a Vertigo comic again, but that’s just the kinda cat that I am.

    I wish em luck and I hope the contracts are good for the creators.

  12. I thought of a possible reason why it was/is good for DC to have Vertigo there with non-comics writers coming in, and I came up with this: Tom King.

    Even if Sheriff of Babylon was not at the same level as a more prominent Image book, the value in having an inhouse Image type of label is massive. Both Marvel and DC universes have been raiding the creative talent of Vertigo as a strategy for decades. Tom King shows me that it is still possible (and King has gone on the public record at Wordballoon that he was a Marvel kid growing up and has an affinity with Marvel). For me, King is consistently the best thing in the DCU, so the strategy can still be seen to work.

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