A lot of us who have been hard and committed to Vertigo have been waiting for the coming revamp details, which have had rumors circulating for months. In the new list of solicits from Preview, and now available for pre-order a number of places, there is little there that we don’t know already. There is the continuation of the well worn series Astro City, Hinterkind, Federal Bureau of Physics, Dead Boy Detectives, and Coffin Hill. You will notice that Fables, Fairest, and Unwritten are all missing, which is a reminder that all three of these beloved fantasy series are going to be ending in the next couple months. The final trade paperback volume of Unwritten, vol. 11, will be available in this solicit.
Two large additions are the two graphic novel sequels to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. These are going to be released on May 6th and June 3rd, respectively, which is much closer in proximity to each other than to the original release. It is also a continuation of Vertigo’s recent turn towards doing these adaptations, which they also did with Django Unchained. This is not a great move for Vertigo, which used to define their brand through quality and perspective. With these adaptations they essentially show that they are following the exact same trends as other labels, except just being for “mature readers.” It reminds me of the way that HBO has changed over the years. It used to be that HBO television programs stood out because they were simply not like television programs at all. Now that many channels do the high-quality dramatic and serialized programs that HBO was known for, they no longer actually have many shows that are “not like television.” Instead, they are just good and adult television. Vertigo is producing these properties that are no longer “not like other comic books,” and instead just doing “adult comics books.” If they want to reclaim their brand then they will need to shift away from this, and possibly even away from their singular focus on creator-owned work. Image and Oni have made this creator focus their bread and butter, and it may bode well for Vertigo to go back to its early 1990s roots and do a mix of creator work and deconstructionist DC properties.
On this list is a heavy focus on the different miniseries, some of which have already begun such as Effigy and Fables: A Wolf Among Us, as well as new ones like the bizarre Strange Sports Stories. One of the biggest surprises is that Vertigo Quarterly is actually going to continue with another four-issue round. With sales numbers at the very bottom of monthly numbers, it is surprising to see a strange anthology series like this returning. This is a great turn, however, as this was one of the best and most surprising of everything from Vertigo in 2014. The quality of stories, design, art, and everything that put this anthology series together is the kind of thing that gives us such hope for Vertigo, and reminds us why we are here to begin with. The recently ended Vertiqo Quarterly four-issue run focused on different colors(Blue, Yellow, Red, and Black), and with the solicit for this first one it looks like it will focus on different sense based effects, the first one being sound effects.
We see that Suiciders #3 and Strange Sports Stories are both there, which continue Vertigo’s focus on odd miniseries that color the brand. Ex Machina also has a new trade paperback printing, and exciting addition afer-the-fact to the larger Vertigo library. There is a long tradition of reprinting content to Vertigo that wasn’t originally published there, yet will find a long-term home there. It also shows DC’s commitment to continuing with the brand by bringing such an evergreen property over to the brand. Let’s hope that DC executives continue to see the crucial importance of the Vertigo license.
Vertigo April Solicits:
STIEG LARSSON’S THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST HC
Written by DENISE MINA
Art by ANDREA MUTTI and ANTONIO FUSO
Cover by LEE BERMEJO
On sale JUNE 3 • 272 pg, FC, $29.99 US • MATURE READERS
In this final graphic novel adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s international bestseller, Lisbeth Salander lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: If and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge – against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that nearly destroyed her life.
STIEG LARSSON’S THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE TP
Written by DENISE MINA
Art by LEONARDO MANCO, ANDREA MUTTI and ANTONIO FUSO
Cover by LEE BERMEJO
On sale MAY 6 • 288 pg, FC, $19.99 US • MATURE READERS
In this graphic novel adaptation of the second of Stieg Larsson’s international blockbuster thrillers, Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of the magazine Millennium, is preparing to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. But on the eve of its publication, the two reporters behind the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled hacker Lisbeth Salander. While Blomkvist tries to clear Salander’s name, Salander herself is drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse that forces her to face her dark past.
VERTIGO QUARTERLY: SFX #1
Written by PETER MILLIGAN, LAURIE PENNY, HOPE LARSON, CLAY CHAPMAN, ROBIN FURTH, ERICA SHULTZ, DAVID WINNIC, JIM ZUB, LAUREN PETTY and NATHAN FOX
Art by HOPE LARSON, NATHAN FOX, CELIA CALLE and others
Cover by NATHAN FOX
On sale APRIL 29 • 80 pg, FC, $7.99 US • MATURE READERS
POP! SLAM! KRAK! BANG! Sound effects bring that extra bit of vibrancy to an already exciting comics page! Following the success of Vertigo’s CMYK Quarterly Anthology, which explored the four colors that make up a comic book, we continue to push the boundaries of short storytelling with 2015’s SFX Quarterly Anthology. Comics luminaries will converge with the next generation of talent as they interpret four different sound effects, leading to mind-bending innovations in story and art.
ASTRO CITY #22
Written by KURT BUSIEK
Art by JESUS MERINO
Cover by ALEX ROSS
On sale APRIL 8 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Starfighter has been enjoying a hero’s reward for decades. But with dark forces stirring in the cosmos, will he be called back to action? Or are there other paths? A look into the past, present and future of Astro City’s cosmic guardian, with guest artist Jesús Merino.
AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SECOND CYCLE #8
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art and cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
RESOLICIT • On sale APRIL 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
Retailers: This issue is resolicited. All previous orders are canceled.
With Skinner and Calvin leading the space race, back on Earth it’s time to face the most guarded stronghold in the country: Area 51! Felicia and Pearl go behind the fence to expose the nation’s extraterrestrial secrets. What do they encounter floating in the test tubes? You’ll find out here!
Written by SI SPENCER
Art by DEAN ORMSTON, PHIL WINSLADE, MEGHAN HETRICK and TULA LOTAY
Cover by FIONA STEPHENSON
On sale MAY 27 • 208 pg, FC, $16.99 US • MATURE READERS
The eight-issue miniseries is collected in one volume! Vertigo brings you a mystery with four detectives, four time periods, and four dead bodies – all set in London. Edmond Hillinghead is an 1890s overachiever who’s trying to solve a murder no one cares about while hiding his own secret. Karl Whiteman is our dashing 1940s adventurer with a shocking past. Shahara Hasan is 2014’s kickass female Detective Sergeant, who walks the line between religion and power. And Maplewood, an amnesiac from post-apocalyptic 2050, brings a haunting perspective to it all.
FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US #4
Written by MATTHEW STURGES and DAVE JUSTUS
Art by STEPHEN SADOWSKI, SHAWN McMANUS and TRAVIS MOORE
Cover by CHRISSIE ZULLO
On sale APRIL 8 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • DIGITAL FIRST • MATURE READERS
Bigby’s search for clues leads him to a barstool at the Trip Trap, where he gets conflicting history lessons from Gren and the Woodsman. It’s exactly like Rashomon, right down to the bloody brawl with a giant swamp monster ten feet away from a clogged men’s room toilet. And by the end of this pivotal issue, the mystery will be deeper – and darker – than Bigby and Snow ever could have seen coming!
COFFIN HILL #17
Written by CAITLIN KITTREDGE
Art by INAKI MIRANDA
Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
On sale APRIL 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
Children keep murdering their parents as the ghosts of Coffins past weave their spell around Coffin Hill. It all comes home when Eve is forced to see through the eyes of the one person she least expected to ever have anything in common with: her own mother.
Written by TIM SEELEY
Art by MARLEY ZARCONE
Cover by W. SCOTT FORBES
On sale APRIL 22• 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
As Chondra Jackson explores the seedy side of convention culture, Grant pursues a murder suspect who doesn’t seem quite himself. Meanwhile, Edie descends into the dark and secret history behind her favorite TV show, Star Cops!
EX MACHINA BOOK FIVE TP
Written by BRIAN K. VAUGHAN
Art by TONY HARRIS and JOHN PAUL LEON
Cover by TONY HARRIS
On sale MAY 20 • 320 pg, FC, $19.99 US • MATURE READERS
In this last EX MACHINA collection featuring issues #41-50 and EX MACHINA SPECIAL #4, Mayor Hundred descends into the sewers of New York City to learn why he was given the strange powers that helped him become the Great Machine, while a powerful new foe reveals a terrifying plan that’s been in the works since the series began.
Then, in the very last EX MACHINA adventure, will the mayor’s new archenemy bring down his administration? Will the tragedies that Mayor Hundred warned about from the beginning come to pass?
Written by IAN EDGINTON
Art by FRANCESCO TRIFOGLI
Cover by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
On sale APRIL 1 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
The West Coast burns as the Psamira and her Skinling army bring war to the Sidhe. With the Silver City under siege, it falls to the seer Queen Telesche and her treacherous daughter Tersia to hold the line while John Hobb, Prosper Monday and an unlikely band of compatriots seek an audience with a sleeping dragon, the Sidhe’s only salvation. The question is, when they wake him, whose side will he be on?
THE KITCHEN #6
Written by OLLIE MASTERS
Art by MING DOYLE
Cover by BECKY CLOONAN
On sale APRIL 15 • 32 pg, FC, 6 of 8, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
The violence escalates in THE KITCHEN as Tommy puts his full support behind the girls in the only way he knows how: with a baseball bat and a hammer! And Raven decides it’s high time she was the boss…even if it means going through her sister to get there!
THE NAMES #8
Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art by LEANDRO FERNANDEZ
Cover by CELIA CALLE
On sale APRIL 1 • 32 pg, FC, 8 of 9, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
Becoming more embroiled in the strange organization known as The Names, Katya is handed over to the psychopathic Tara – and her genius stepson Philip is too engrossed in the mystery of the Dark Loops to save her! Evil alien machinations, the brutal murder of innocents, an unexpected liaison, and a strange seduction all await in the penultimate episode of THE NAMES.
STRANGE SPORTS STORIES #2
Written by AMY CHU, BEN McCOOL, GABE SORIA and TIM FISH
Art by DARICK ROBERTSON, TANA FORD, RONALD WIMBERLEY and TIM FISH
Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
On sale APRIL 15 • 40 pg, FC, 2 of 4, $4.99 US • MATURE READERS
Alien dodgeball! Sacrificial soccer! Hunky beefcake kitsch! Les boules with the devil! Reader, watch the stars! They’re out and telling strange sports stories on electromagnetic wavelengths!
Written by LEE BERMEJO
Art and cover by LEE BERMEJO
On sale APRIL 22 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • MATURE READERS
After an investigative journalist is mysteriously killed on his glittering estate, the darkest secret of the Saint is about to be revealed. Meanwhile, the young challenger Straniero begins his bloody climb out of the hardscrabble streets of Lost Angeles.
THE UNWRITTEN VOL. 11: APOCALYPSE TP
Written by MIKE CAREY
Art by PETER GROSS
Cover by YUKO SHIMIZU
On sale MAY 20 • 144 pg, FC, $14.99 US • MATURE READERS
In these final UNWRITTEN tales from issues #7-12, the three immortals – Wilson, Rausch and Pullman – are moving toward their respective endgames. But when was the last time they were all in the same room together? Answer: half a century ago, in Oxford, England. And the reasons for what they’re doing now can be found in what they said to each other back then…
WOLF MOON #5
Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by JEREMY HAUN
Cover by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
On sale APRIL 1 • 32 pg, FC, 5 of 6, $3.99 US • MATURE READERS
How did Cayce transition from loving wife and mother to monster hunter? As she and Dillon head to West Virginia to confront the Wolf, memories of the night that changed her life forever flood her mind while Dillon’s resolve to kill the Wolf is strengthened as he vows for his vengeance. Elsewhere, the murderer who has been butchering the Wolf’s hosts is determined to see his work through to its bloody conclusion and embarks on a sinister endgame.