DC Comics is shutting down the Vertigo imprint at the end of 2019, and reorganizing all of its publishing content next year, the company announced on Friday. DC Zoom and DC Ink are also being retired.
Beginning in 2020, the comics publisher will market and organize all its books under the main DC brand, with three age-specific labels: DC Kids will focus on readers ages 8-12 and offer content created specifically for the middle-grade reader; DC, focusing on ages 13+, will primarily be the current DC universe of characters; and DC Black Label will focus on content appropriate for readers 17 and older. Current titles published under Vertigo, DC Zoom, and DC Ink will be absorbed into one of the three labels.
“We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio. “That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group. This new system will replace the age ratings we currently use on our material.”
“What we’ve done here is apply an ages and stages organizing philosophy that will strengthen what we’re already doing well, whether that is our move into the young adult and middle grade audience or our long track record of success with creator-driven pop-up lines,” said DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee. “We will also continue to publish creator-owned projects, and will evaluate and assign to the appropriate label to help our fans find the best books for their interests. These new labels not only bring greater consistency and focus to our characters, but they also open up a wealth of new opportunities for the talent working on our books.”
Vertigo was founded in 1993 to house DC’s mature titles, such as “The Sandman,” “Y: The Last Man,” and “Preacher.” The Vertigo brand has undergone several relaunches, the most recent taking place last year as part of its 25th anniversary.