This year marks the 25th anniversary of DC Comics’ legendary Vertigo mature-readers imprint—although you’d be forgiven for not knowing that. Aside from the welcome announcement of the Neil Gaiman-curated Sandman Universe imprint, Vertigo has had a quiet 2018, with a handful of new mini-series but no particular fanfare amidst the exciting announcements of new DC Comics initiatives like the DC Ink Young Adult line, the DC Zoom middle-grade collection and DC Black Label, a new set of “edgy,” standalone takes on DC’s most iconic heroes. All of that changes this fall, when Executive Editor Mark Doyle oversees a line-wide Vertigo relaunch and rebranding aimed at injecting new life into the once-revolutionary imprint.
Doyle began his comics editorial career at Vertigo in 2006, and returned to the imprint last year after a stint overseeing the Batman group of titles for DC proper. Under his leadership, Vertigo editorial is “rededicating its focus to creating modern, socially relevant, high-concept, inventive stories appealing to readers of all genres.” The first new slate of titles celebrating Vertigo’s 25th year includes seven new series from creators with various entertainment backgrounds, including gaming, television, podcasts, art direction and, yes, comic books. Four monthly series will launch this fall and winter, with the remaining titles following in early 2019.
“It’s time to rebuild DC Vertigo,” explained Doyle 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.”
For a full breakdown of the seven new titles, including creative teams and covers, keep reading below—and be sure to check back later this year for Paste’s thoughts on Vertigo’s latest revival.
Border Town #1 Cover Art by Ramon Villalobos
Writer: Eric M. Esquivel (Adventure Time)
Artist: Ramon Villalobos (Nighthawk)
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Release Date: September 2018
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 #1 Cover Art by Joëlle Jones & Jordie Bellaire
Writer: Ben Blacker (co-creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour)
Artist: Mirka Andolfo (Wonder Woman)
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Release Date: October 2018
“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 #1 Cover Art by Ben Oliver
Writer: Bryan Hill (Postal)
Artist: Leandro Fernandez (The Old Guard)
Colorist: Dean White
Release Date: November 2018
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 #1 Cover Art by Robbi Rodriguez
Writer: Zoë Quinn (Crash Override, featured in People’s “25 Women Who Are Changing the World” and Forbes’ “30 Under 30”)
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez (Spider-Gwen)
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Release Date: December 2018
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 #1 Cover Art by Guillaume Ospital
Writer: Rob Sheridan (former art director for Nine Inch Nails, co-creator of the Year Zero alternate-reality game)
Artist: Barnaby Bagenda (The Omega Men)
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Release Date: TBD 2019
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 #1 Cover Art by Tula Lotay
Writer: Tina Horn (host/producer of Why Are People Into That? podcast, writer/journalist/lecturer in sexual education and activism)
Artist: Mike Dowling (Unfollow)
Release Date: TBD 2019
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 #1 Cover Art by Amanda Connor & Paul Mounts
Writer: Mark Russell (Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles)
Artist: Richard Pace (Imaginary Fiends)
Release Date: TBD 2019
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.