With most of its major hits and standout series having run their course months or years ago, Vertigo has been due for a renaissance for a while now. Judging from the announcements made at San Diego Comic Con late on Thursday, the publisher may be rallying, with 12 new series set to launch in the closing months of 2015 at a rate of one new issue #1 every week.
Those 12 titles include a couple of previously announced books that have been rescheduled, but enough new announcements to suggest that Vertigo means to impress with its ambition. Sci fi and the supernatural are inevitably well represented, and the roster includes veteran talents, emerging names, and a few cross-disiplinary transfers in the form of novelists Lauren Beukes and Holly Black — the latter on a relaunch of Lucifer — and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.
A more appropriate name for DC Comics' Convergence event, at least the miniseries that will accompany the main series for two months next spring, may be "Nostalgia Trip."
DC has been rolling out titles and creative teams for the 40 planned series week by week. The first batch focused on the publisher's pre-New 52 continuity. The second focused on the 1990s (including WildStorm), and the third seemed to center on the 1980s.
The fourth and final group of miniseries, which DC announced Tuesday, covers a much wider time period: All of DC's pre-Crisis On Infinite Earths continuity. And there's another twist: They all take place on defined and listed alternate Earths which existed before the company's last line-wide reboot in the 1980s.
That fan response to Marvel's Spider-Gwen one-shot Edge of Spider-Verse #2 was so profound can be chalked to a number of important factors that we've covered before, but perhaps none as crucial as the exhilarating visuals created by artist Robbi Rodriguez and colorist Rico Renzi. The duo earned praise from us and others for introducing a kind of crackling, almost reckless sense of energy and fun into an already aesthetically diverse Marvel Universe (or alternate universe, as the case may be).
But this came as no surprise to readers of FBP: Federal Bureau Of Physics, the Vertigo series Rodriguez and Renzi launched last year with writer Simon Oliver. FBP's mantra is "the impossible is always possible" thanks to its universe's occasional and frequently catastrophic breakdown of all known laws of physics. It's a premise that allows artists to be artists, and Rodriguez and Renzi dive wildly into their talents for hugely expressive, hypercolored images that -- along with routinely gorgeous covers by Nathan Fox -- have made FBP one of the most visually compelling American comics around at the moment.
Deadline reports that Justin Marks, writer of the upcoming live-action Jungle Book movie and of the screenplay for Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, is adapting a treatment written by Oliver. David S. Goyer, who has been a driving force behind a good many DC Comics movie properties over the past several years, will produce.
It's fairly commonplace for comics to change creative teams or other details early on in their runs, but it's pretty rare for a comic to change its actual title between the first and second issues.
That's exactly what's happening with Simon Oliver, Robbi Rodriguez, and Rico Renzi's Vertigo series formerly known as Collider, though. Starting with issue #2, which comes out August 28, the series will be known as FBP:Federal Bureau of Physics.
Collider #1 is an attractive package. And I say package because that's really what this feels like. The way comics work, or at least the way they should work, is with every piece -- script, art, color, and lettering -- working in sync, and when everything is right, you have a good story. Sometimes great visuals carry a mediocre script, and vice versa, but that's not ideal. In Collider, the newest Vertigo series, you have a comic that works: a script from Simon Oliver, art from Robbi Rodriguez, colors from Rico Renzi, letters from Steve Wands and a cover by Nathan Fox, melding together to tell a fun story about weird physics, dangerous jobs, and the inevitability of change.
Collider is a new ongoing Vertigo series starting next month that sees its authors returning to a high concept hook that may be familiar to readers of their previous work, but from all appearances seems to be a considerable step up in style from the already enjoyable comics they've created before.
Simon Oliver, best known for his work on Exterminators, is expanding his horizons--taking on a 6-issue arc of Wildstorm's Gen-13 (as revealed in San Diego), and just announced--writing a Hellblazer spinoff mini-series featuring Chas, John Constant
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