Vertigo Comics


These days, thanks mostly to movies and cartoons, everyone has heard of DC or Marvel comics. As much as I have to admit that I miss the days when not many people had heard of a certain character or story arc, it is a fantastic thing that comics are finally getting the respect and attention that they have always deserved. With Marvel and DC being the most popular and well known publishers out there, I wanted to write about two other publishers that I think deserve the same love and recognition as the two giants of comics. As there are many titles with each publisher that warrant coverage, I will do one this post and the other next time. The first of these is basically the old dark side of DC comics.

Whereas Marvel has the MAX imprint for stories that deal with more adult themes and experiences, DC has their own version: Vertigo comics. Ever since its inception in 1993 Vertigo has mainly been involved in the horror and fantasy genres but has also dipped its toe into crime, biography and social satire. Many of their on-going series have won the prestigious Eisner award, basically the Oscar for comics, which only goes to show what kind of talent they have on their side.

The following are the series that I think are the best Vertigo has to offer:

Hellblazer follows the exploits of John Constantine, a cunning bastard from Liverpool who also happens to be a powerful magician. He smokes drinks, fucks and worms his way through life charming new friends and using up old ones along the way. He is a character that is just damn fun to read about and always has a surprise or trick up his sleeve that you never see coming. Ironically he first appeared in the next series on my list, Swamp Thing, back in the 80’s.


Swamp Thing is a powerful plant elemental who fights to protect his swamp home, the environment and humanity from various supernatural or terrorist threats. After first appearing in 1971 he was revived by comics God Alan Moore in 1982 and reinvented to be just vegetation that had memories scientist Alec Hammond but was never actually him. It was a massive twist that became a defining trait for Swamp Thing and helped him become his own entity with goals and a purpose.

SOTSTv2 p12-35

The final book that warrants your time is the Sandman by genius writer Neil Gaiman. The Endless are 7 siblings who embody powerful forces or aspects of the universe. The Sandman follows the exploits of Dream, the personification of dreams and stories, as he tries to retake his home and repair his broken relationships with family and past loves. It is a beautifully drawn and told story that is stunning from start to finish. If you can get your hands on any of the collected editions then do so, you honestly won’t regret it and will have in your collection some of the finest stories ever told.



5 thoughts on “Vertigo Comics

    • I personally loved it. All the nods to the past writers and artists was brilliant, I wish they never cancelled it as Vertigo John is superior to the New 52 one. What did you think?

      • Well. *Ahem*. I didn’t love it. Cue awkward silence.
        I think Milligan was the wrong dude to finish up the run, his take on John was just. I dunno. It felt wrong-ish. Too long to explain here, but yeah, I would have preferred Carey to handle the end, with Manco blowing us all away with his art.
        I appreciate all the nods to the past, but it wasn’t enough of a mind-blowing ending for me to say it was satisfying. John in heaven? *Shrugs* Doesn’t ring true for ME, anyway. I would rather have seen him in Hell, rotting and fucked up, still with the coat and smokes, still running games on demons and sinners alike, a nod to the eternal struggles of mad bastard chancers the world over. But whatever. I’m still gonna re-read them again and again for the rest of my life, so I can’t really complain about it.

        I’m staying way the hell away from the TV show too. I find everyone’s acceptance of well-at-least-its-something kinda nauseating. The fuckers have John passing out business cards, for Nergal’s sake, and the man can’t even pronounce his own name correctly! Aah! Mustn’t rant!
        Sorry for the wall of text. Peace.

  1. I agree on the fact Carey should have come back to finish the run.
    Most of the criticisms I have are aimed at the fact I never liked johns marriage as it just seemed forced and not really one of his true loves: Not like kit was for example.

    I agree that John should have ended up in hell or at least purgatory where he just saunters about in his jacket smoking fags.

    I’ll give the new tv series a chance, mainly because it’s gotta be better than the movie! It’s a shame we seem to be getting more the new 52 version than the vertigo one. Admittedly vertigo john would probably be too much for the tv networks! He’d be fucking, smoking and bastarding his way through the show 😉

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