Image to Publish Former Vertigo Series The Crusades

Crusades #2

Image news from their WonderCon panel: In July, they will put out the first of two collections of The Crusades, a 20-issue series (plus introductory one-shot) originally published by Vertigo in 2001. Writer Steven T. Seagle and artist Kelley Jones created this story of an 11th century knight transported to modern-day San Francisco. The Urban Decree starter and issues #1-9 will be included in Volume 1.

I don’t recall if the story had a satisfying wrapup, but since this interview promises bonus material in the second volume, as well as “new covers by Kelley, new cover and book designs by [Seagle], and new re-mastered pages with some color and text fixes”, I hope that there will, at least, be a piece on what the creators hoped for from the series. The way this came about is fascinating to me, because I didn’t expect to DC to allow this:

Kelley and I have always had a very specific vision for what we wanted this collection to be -– two volumes in hardcover called “Knight & Dei.” But the term “creator owned” only gets you so far when you’re at a major publisher. Out of the blue, DC/Vertigo decided to put out The Crusades collection this year, and it was going to be a softcover of the first story arc only –- which was not what Kelley and I wanted at all.

I really went to the mat with Shelly and Karen and begged them not to do it because it wasn’t what Kelley and I wanted. And worse, if the first volume didn’t do well enough for DC, there wouldn’t be a second volume… ever! Karen expressed our wishes to Paul, and right before he announced his step-down, he reverted the rights to us (which we had been requesting for about five years) so we could do the project the way we saw it. I have to thank them for that.

I’m always interested when a series is able to get out of one of the big superhero comic companies. Most times, it’s because they’re not interested, not because the creator has a different opinion, although one never knows the real details. What other examples are there, where Vertigo series were collected by someone else? I can think of 2020 Visions, which was reprinted by Cyberosia and then Speakeasy.

12 Responses to “Image to Publish Former Vertigo Series The Crusades”

  1. Ralf Haring Says:

    Fallen Angel got out and is now at IDW.

  2. Johanna Says:

    That’s right, and IDW is reprinting the DC issues in a book available in the new Previews. But that’s an even rarer case, since it wasn’t a Vertigo title, but set in the DCU. The only other book I remember like that was Sovereign Seven.

  3. Ralf Haring Says:

    bringing WildStorm into the mix, there were The Boys and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

  4. Jim Kosmicki Says:

    Outlaw Nation got collected (by Desperado I think) in a nice thick omnibus, but in B&W.

  5. Greg McElhatton Says:

    The Last One by J.M. DeMatteis and Dan Sweetman got collected by Boom!; likewise, the first five issues of Seekers into the Mystery landed at Boom! (with hopefully two more volumes to collect #6-15 to eventually follow).

  6. chasdom Says:

    I seem to remember some kerfuffle when, I think Cyberosia, announced a Skreemer collection. DC pulled a right of publication clause and announced their own collection, which was published less than a year later while the Cyberosia edition was cancelled. It seemed to go nowhere saleswise, and then I think 2020 Visions followed a bit later with no peep from DC.

  7. Johanna Says:

    I knew there were some I was forgetting — Boys, obviously, and I even recommended Seekers — but I don’t recall what Outlaw Nation was. And thanks, Skreemer was the one I couldn’t recall that caused such an online brouhaha.

  8. Jim Kosmicki Says:

    Outlaw Nation was about 18 issues by Jamie Delano about the Johnson family who fought against everyone who wasn’t a Johnson. The main character was a writer named Story Johnson. It has its moments, but overall does not pull together. In the omnibus Delano claims that’s because the plug got pulled long before he was done, but the problems are evident pretty early. This is basically Delano trying to do a version of Preacher and not quite making the grade.

  9. Johanna Says:

    Oh, yes, that brought it back. No wonder I forgot about it. Thanks.

  10. Chad Says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if DC’s new regime ever lets rights revert back to the creators in the future. Has Marvel ever been similarly generous in the past, other than the Epic line (which I believe was specifically creator-owned in most — if not all — cases)?

  11. Chris G. Says:

    Seagel seems to be implying that the reversion hinged on getting Paul Levitz to agree before he stepped down. It calls to mind someone trying to get a presidential pardon by noon on January 20th or something…

  12. Steve Horton Says:

    Moench & Gulacy’s SCI SPY got reverted to them, and they’ve published it online in various places.




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