The age of Vertigo is officially coming to an end.
Today, DC Comics announced the company will re-brand in 2020, bringing all of its publishing content together to be organized and marketed under the DC brand. The comic brand will now operate with three labels under it: DC Kids, DC and DC Black Label.
The move would absorb all of its existing imprints and focus DC’s publishing content around characters and stories that evolve and mature along with the awareness and sensibilities of DC’s readers. As a result of this new labeling strategy, DC will close the Vertigo publishing imprint at the end of the year.
The news of Vertigo’s retirement should not come as a surprise to most. Closing the imprint has been rumored for the last couple of years, and creators such as Scott Snyder have even teased that their creator-owned comics would be moving to other DC labels. DC’s new structure, featuring the new age rating system, will launch in January 2020.
“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, who has long articulated a passion for expanding DC’s outreach to young and young adult readers and who was reportedly the brains behind the Ink and Zoom imprints. “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.”
DC also unveiled the content seen from each label:
- 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
- DC Black Label will focus on content appropriate for readers 17 and older