We’re a little late reporting this, but it’s kind of an importable story nonetheless. DC Comics has indeed shut Vertigo down.
It wasn’t long ago that DC brought Vertigo back from what was a relative phantom zone. An ‘adult’ brand kicking off in 1993 and featuring mature themes and stories, Vertigo was a monster back in its heyday. With comics like Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, and Preacher, Vertigo made a name for itself that was undeniable.
That was then though, and the brand has been slowly becoming less relevant since. In 2017, DC Comics rebranded it, a move that came with an ambitious slate of new books. Unfortunately, it was a slate of new books that seemingly no one wanted.
The various series’ were plagued with negative fan response, numerous cancellations and even scandal (which we won’t talk about here, but you can google easily enough). In the end, all of that led to this moment – the cancellation of the brand altogether.
While I believe this is an easy way to cancel an unprofitable stable, DC isn’t only labeling this the end of Vertigo. Instead, they’re saying that they are consolidating all of their various non-DCU imprints under a single banner.
That means DC Zoom and DC Kids will also see discontinuation… not that anyone really cares too much about those. Vertigo’s discontinuation is the main meat and potatoes of this announcement and move.
In its wake is a new DC Comics, united under one singular heading. That includes the relatively new Black Label imprint. Well, in a way it does anyway. Black Label is actually becoming a rating.
DC will be adopting a ‘Comics Code’ style system, that will be added to all of its books.
- DC Kids will focus on readers ages 8-12 and offer content created specifically for the middle-grade reader
- DC, focusing on ages 13+, will primarily be the current DC universe of characters
- DC Black Label will focus on content appropriate for readers 17 and older
As to when the new initiative kicks off, that’s January 2020. Vertigo and the other brands will run through the end of the year. Presumably, if there are any books still running under those imprints, they’ll transfer to the new DC Comics system.