- Posted by Johanna on November 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm
- Category: Comic News
Issue #300 of Hellblazer, due in February, will be its final. It’s just not trendy these days to have those triple-digit numbers, and John Constantine, the star of the book, is hanging out in the DCU in Justice League Dark (aka “Let’s put all our magicians in one title and call it JL to help it sell”). He’s even getting his own, new title, Constantine, set in the DCU, by Robert Venditti and Renato Guedes.
Graeme McMillan, bless him (at a link no longer available), asks the question a lot of people are wondering about after all this — what does the future of Vertigo look like? They’ve got four titles left, and although there’s plenty of profit to still be made from the perennial backlist — Sandman, Preacher, Swamp Thing — the line is struggling in coming up with new material with similar strengths.
The comic market is so different now, and people don’t buy new series the way they used to. Those left buying periodicals are following long-time brand-name favorites, even if they’re appearing under different titles and origins. “Edgy” material, like that Vertigo made its name on, can be found in many other places (IDW comes to mind; Dark Horse also has a strong horror line). Vertigo used to be a stepping stone for those who felt as though they were outgrowing superheroes but still wanted to read comics; today, there are plenty of graphic novels for that audience.
Moreover, the kinds of creators that work for Vertigo are aware enough to want creator ownership and other deals that make it more difficult to turn the properties into movies and toys, which seems to be DC’s focus these days.