DC Creates New Reprint Format With Vertigo Resurrected, DC Comics Presents
Vertigo recently announced Vertigo Resurrected, a 96-page $8 special due in October that promises to finally print “Shoot”, a story by Warren Ellis and Phil Jimenez that was intended to be Hellblazer #141 but was banned by Paul Levitz in the aftermath of the Columbine shootings.
Backing it up will be “rarely seen tales exploring the disturbing depths of horror, war, romance, and science fiction by Brian Azzarello, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis and artists Jim Lee, Phil Jimenez, Bernie Wrightson, and others.” Speculation has it that these may be short pieces previously published in such anthologies as Weird War Tales, Flinch, etc., not banned stories. Some observations:
- What a definite sign that DC is operating under a changed regime.
- No matter how shocking something is at the time, ten years later, it won’t be.
- I’m not sure the younger folks remember how crazy everyone was about hints of school violence at that time, to the extent of holding part two of Buffy’s season finale for three months just because it was set in a high school.
- A company will eventually publish anything they have paid for.
- Those observers hoping that this means that we’ll see Rick Veitch’s “Swamp Thing Meets Jesus” story or a reprint of Finals or other famous banned projects are likely going to be disappointed. There’s mention of this being first in a series, but I suspect DC sees it as a way to capitalize on creator name value, not reverse creative decisions of years past. Although if sales are strong and voices loud, never say never.
- Is this a cleaning-out of the cupboards in preparation for something else?
- I suppose this means you won’t be able to read Shoot here for much longer. (Right! Link no longer available.)
- Why would you title this special something that suggests that you’re coming back from the dead at a time when people are speculating on the future of your imprint? That seems a bit tone-deaf.
There’s a similar DC project called DC Comics Presents that has seven issues announced, including a reprint of Ellis’ aborted Jack Cross series, a Young Justice special that reprints the two-issue JLA: World Without Grown-Ups, and a reprint of the two-issue Batman and Catwoman: Trail of the Gun that is strangely titled “DC Comics Presents: Ethan Van Sciver #1”. In the DC case, it seems to be a way to put out omnibus reprints that don’t quite qualify for trade paperback collection.
If we combine the two ideas and consider the possibility of the DC book printing a cancelled story, I vote for Kurt Busiek’s Krypto story.