The launch of twelve new titles in the end of 2015, and a couple more new titles into 2016, was intended to revitalize Vertigo that had been lagging in comparison to publishers like Image Comics and Boom! Studios. Though Lucifer, which was essentially their flagship, did get over 17,000 on its first issue, the rest were relatively lackluster. This does not mean they were not steady and reasonable by Vertigo standards, but they are still far below even the fringe DCU titles. The only one in recent years that has competed with the top Marvel, DC, and Image sellers was Sandman: Overture. While Vertigo largely makes their money from trades over the long haul, it is still important for Vertigo to pull its weight in numbers month to month.
It is with this in mind that Neil Gaiman has been asked to bring back another Sandman title, possibly a spin-off or series continuation. Overture was not the first time he has done this, with many spin-offs from Sandman including Lucifer, Dead Boy Detectives, The Dreaming, and a couple dozen miniseries and one-shots. Gaiman is involved once in a while, often contributing some of the most details and original volumes among these, but also passing off to very able hands like Peter Milligan and Bill Willingham.
It has been linked that Vertigo’s Shelly Bond has asked Gaiman to return with even more Sandman, which will likely be just as popular as Overture was. He has said he will not return to Sandman as a regular author, but he may do what is called “back of the envelop pitches” for some expanded characters. This could look like, well, the Dead Boy Detectives 12-issue run that Vertigo just recently concluded, which was written by Fables artist Mark Buckingham. This could be incredibly useful for drawing in committed fans of the older Vertigo universe, and could even be the first step towards reviving a real Vertigo universe with its own solid characters and continuity. Vertigo took a major turn towards only having creator-owned work, like Image is doing, but that does not mean that they could not reclaim a few of their crossover characters and re-establish a certain back-and-forth that made early Vertigo such as success.