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Forbidden DC to be published


DC’s Vertigo blog, Graphic Content, has announced that “Shoot” by Warren Ellis and Phil Jimenez is finally going to see print as part of a “Vertigo Resurrected” line. Originally planned to run in HELLBLAZER #141, “Shoot” dealt with schoolyard shootings and was shot down following the Columbine massacre in 1999, as it was deemed too sensitive to publish, even though it was written well beforehand. On his blog, Ellis wrote,

The regime at DC Comics at the time decided that it could not be released in its completed form. I refused to go along with the changes they wanted to make. They decided not to publish the book at all. I quit.

I remember that, at the time, someone telling me that the stance was that Paul Levitz would not release the book so long as he was running DC.

It never occurred to me that a new regime would feel differently.

According to Graphic Content, other stories in the works include material by Brian Azzarello, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis and artists Jim Lee, Phil Jimenez, Bernie Wrightson, and others. Hm. The blog entry doesn’t mention the fact that “Shoot” was spiked, and in fact is one of the most euphemistic things we’ve ever read, but the “Vertigo Resurrected” line presumably will consist of things that former publisher Paul Levitz would not allow to be printed but the current regime finds less objectionable. And then the debate can begin!

Any guesses as to what else will see the light of day?

  1. I suspect most of the stories will be ones from anthologies that we have seen before; after all, the description states, “Also included are rarely seen tales…”

    So it’ll be things like the Jim Lee stories from Weird War Tales and Flinch. Maybe some of the stories from the Fast Forward anthology published by Piranha Press. That sort of thing.

  2. it’s good they decided to release this, but I also agree with the decision not to release it so soon to the Columbine killings.

    Ellis needs to take a chill pill, he should be happy, his stuff is getting published, he should not sound like such a baby over the past.

  3. I coulda swore I read that Elseworlds Superbaby story somewhere. That’s the one by Kyle Barker where Superbaby ends up in the microwave, right?

    I would also like to see the Swamp Thing meets Jesus comic.

  4. The Superbaby story was published in the BIZARRO COMICS anthology. The Bob Haney Super-Sons story from that issue was published in a collection of older Haney Super-Sons story. There are still some 50 pages from that issue not published. Ty Templeton just posted the original art for some of them on his site.

    It does sound like most of this will be reprints from the various Vertigo anthologies.

  5. New (or old) Phil Jimenez art is always a plus, so I’ll be picking this up.

    re: Tenzil’s comment – Has this already been released before?

    I hope they do ‘spotlight’ issues for the Azzarello, Brubaker and Rucka stories from Flinch. As they were first printed about 10 years ago.

  6. I’ll never understand why it’s considered “objectionable” to release stories that seem to relate to actual events, even if they were written before it happened, but it’s considered “respectful” to make a cheap “movie of the week” about it two months later.

    Perhaps it’s because allowing an imagined story to see the light of day suggests that it wasn’t a freak occurrence, but was instead a sad but inevitable outgrowth of flaws endemic to our society. “Honor” the past, but don’t you dare try to predict the future.

  7. Michael, how is Ellis sounding like a baby? He only describes how he felt at the time, and quite clinically at that.

    Alexa, very well put. Especially since the point of this story was that looking for easy things to blame like comics or video games is utterly useless and ignoring the real underlying problems in society.

  8. Hmm… what other forgotten DC stories are there..?

    Might we see Moore’s “Twilight”?

    And this is confusing… Vertigo is printing a Hellblazer story, but they axed China Miéville’s Swamp Thing story?

    As for Swamp Thing/Jesus Christ… the damage is done. Neil Gaiman would have scripted the series afterwards, but DC’s editorial misstep caused him to withdraw.

  9. Maybe the Krypto-Superboy story that was supposed to be published after Infinite Crisis? I know Kurt Busiek wrote it so…

  10. This is great news! …but seriously, this is just a stroke of good fortune. Do fans *really* think any of the aforementioned legendarily axed storylines will *actually* ever be published? Seriously? I do understand that kind of wishful thinking though. I’m still waiting for the Image 1963 King-Size Annual from Mr.Moore to come out…
    going on 11 years now, isn’t it? ehl oh ehl.

  11. @Niels, again, I don’t see the point, it’s not like he was interviewed or anything about it.

    Bringing up his own grumblings about it, from the past, mind you, seems like just some mindless bitching. Of course, it’s his own blog so he can say whatever he wants, but..

  12. It’s wonderful that these stories can see the light of day, but it seems a bit late to be rehashing old material from the 90’s when comics have come so far since then. Isn’t DC supposed to be trying to catch up with Marvel right now? Between this and giving the name Wonderwoman to a second rate “superhero” because they can’t even see that Alam Moore already reinvented her, and called her Promethia, I’m getting a little doubtful that DC’s new leaders are any better at the job they’ve been given then the old leaders. Don’t get me wrong, I want them to do well, but so far I haven’t seen anyone step outside the box.

  13. I don’t know why people are thinking this thing will include un-published (or, in the case of Twilight, never-produced) DC superhero material. The PR pretty clearly indicates that aside from the Hellblazer story, it will all be reprints of short stories from various Vertigo anthologies. Not that that’s a bad thing; I came across a whole bunch of them in my last comics purge and there were a lot of little gems in there. I’d like it if they looked a little further afield at material like the Paradox Big Book of _____ series, the Piranha Press stuff, or the Del Close/John Ostrander Wasteland series. Anyone else remember that one?

  14. The Swamp Thing story itself is apparently finished art-wise so would be easy to publish. But since it’s still a few issues from the end of the storyline you would need to commission new art to complete it.

    I am glad to see it is still so popular! I have often wished that a trade collection of the Time Travel storyline could be extended with new material to wrap it up, for once and for all. I suspected the DC/Vertigo schism was influencing that as well, though. Such a shame! This was one of my first DCU time travel stories and IMHO still one of the best uses of those historical characters.

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