DC has announced that the company will rebrand its publishing content beginning in 2020, with everything marketed and organized under the DC brand. There will three new age-specific labels — DC Kids, DC, and DC Black Label — which will absorb imprints Vertigo, and the recently launched DC Zoom and DC Ink. Sadly, this will spell the end of Vertigo as DC has stated it will “sunset” the imprint at the end of 2019.
There have been rumors circulating for several weeks that DC would be retiring Vertigo, and after 26 years of reboots and reshuffles, one as recently as last year, DC is shutting down one of the most legendary imprints to ever produce comics.
Founded in 1993 by Karen Berger, Vertigo produced hugely popular mature titles such as The Sandman, Preacher, Fables, Y: The Last Man, and many more. Berger stood at the helm of the imprint for two decades, winning multiple Eisner awards for her work, and helped creators like Neil Gaiman, Brian K. Vaughan, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, and many others produce some of comics most beloved stories. In March of 2013 she stepped down from her role of Executive Editor & Senior Vice President, to be replaced by Shelly Bond.
“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.”
The three new labels will implement their new age rating system in January 2020. The recently launched DC Zoom and DC Ink imprints, which are focused on the middle grade and young adult segments, respectively, will be assigned to the DC Kids and DC labels depending on the content and intended audiences.
“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.”
Per a DC statement we know the three new labels will be structured as follows:
- 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
“Our decision to rebrand all content under the singular DC imprint is just that. Amazing bks that comprise the Sandman Univ e.g. will continue,” said Lee on Twitter. “Big plans for yr 2! YA, pop-ups & creator-owned comics will continue to be a big part of DC. No books are being cancelled or going away.“