It’s official: DC Comics is killing off its Vertigo imprint, which has been a major part of the publisher’s business since 1993, publishing titles such as Y: The Last Man, 100 Bullets and Preacher. This, according to a new report from Bleeding Cool, comes as part of a company-wide rebranding strategy that will house all future books under the DC brand. Vertigo, along with DC Zoom and DC Ink, will be shut down by the end of 2019.
Instead, DC Comics will now offer three new labels aimed at specific age groups. These include DC, DC Kids, and DC Black Label. The brands are broken down as follows.
- DC Kids – Focusing on readers aged 8-12, offering content specifically created specifically for middle-grade readers
- DC – Focusing on ages 13 and up, offering primarily the current DC universe of characters
- DC Black Label – Focusing on content geared toward readers 17 and up
The publisher stated in its announcement that certain titles published under the labels that are being given the ax will be moved to an appropriate label under the new structure, which is set to launch in January 2020. At the current time, a comprehensive list of titles making the jump hasn't been revealed.
DC Publisher Dan DiDio had this to say about the move in a statement.
"We're returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material. That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group. This new system will replace the age ratings we currently use on our material."
Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee also added the following in a statement of his own
"What we've done here is apply an ages and stages organizing philosophy that will strengthen what we're already doing well, whether that is our move into the young adult and middle grade audience or our long track record of success with creator-driven pop-up lines. We will also continue to publish creator-owned projects, and will evaluate and assign to the appropriate label to help our fans find the best books for their interests. These new labels not only bring greater consistency and focus to our characters, but they also open up a wealth of new opportunities for the talent working on our books."
At the end of the day, it does make some sense for DC to house everything under the core brand name. Still, it won’t make it any easier for comic book readers to see Vertigo bite the dust, as it’s produced some truly stellar work over the last two and a half decades.