A look into the first 40 years of the famed publisher.
When DC Comics launched their Vertigo imprint in 1993, they wanted a place where they could develop some of their lesser-known characters and give creators a chance to tell controversial and groundbreaking new stories. Comics like Sandman and Hellblazer were doing well for them and they wanted to give them a home of their own. Fast-forward 23 years and Vertigo screen adaptations are everywhere you look. Whether they bombed, like Constantine, progressed nicely like Lucifer and iZombie or were the hottest new show of the summer (hello, Preacher), the TV industry finally seemed to cotton on to what the comics industry figured out over two decades ago – controversial, provocative material is always the most interesting. 1990s Vertigo marked a creative period that remains incredibly impressive to this day. We got Sandman, Swamp Thing, Preacher, Hellblazer, Transmetropolitan, 100 Bullets, The Invisibles and more that decade, with titles like Lucifer, Fables and Y: The Last Man following in the early ’00s. Aside from poorly-received film adaptations of V For Vendetta and Hellblazer (as Keanu Reeves vehicle Constantine) and ongoing failed attempts to adapt Sandman for the big screen, the film and TV industry has been slow to take advantage of Vertigo’s treasure trove of original stories. But with the success of Preacher, that’s likely to change now.
Right from the beginning, Vertigo was determined to do things differently. “I’m not a comic book fan,” admits Vertigo founder and former executive editor Karen Berger. “I think I bring a different perspective to the work that I’ve done because I bring things from other areas of interest, objectivity, no sort of fan attachments, and ultimately just a