Without Sandman, there would have been no Vertigo, and without Vertigo, DC Comics might not have had an entire line of some of the most interesting comics of the 1990s and beyond in its stable. Recently, DC’s Young Animal imprint has felt like it is filling the old Vertigo space, taking offbeat, subversive characters and concepts and pairing them with creators willing to take risks with their storytelling.
Well, DC is finally reviving Vertigo, and they’re going right back to the source (not to be confused with The Source, although if the shoe fits…) to do it. The new Vertigo line (which will see Mark Doyle serve as executive editor) will kick off with a range of titles curated by Neil Gaiman himself, returning to and expanding on the world of The Sandman.
“The Sandman Universe has always been very close and personal to me and I am thrilled to open up the world once again to an extremely talented group of writers and artists,” Neil Gaiman said in a statement from DC. “I get to see the joy in these brilliant people whom I’ve selected, as they get their chance to play in this world.”
The line will kick off with The Sandman Universe #1, plotted by Neil Gaiman, and written by the folks taking on the assorted ongoing series, Si Spurrier, Nalo Hopkinson, Dan Watters, and Kat Howard. Bilquis Evely provides the interior art with a cover by Jae Lee.
Daniel, the lord of Dreams, has gone missing and it causes chaos in the kingdom of dreams…A rift between worlds has opened, revealing a space beyond the Dreaming. Meanwhile, A book from Lucien’s library of all the unwritten books ever dreamed is discovered by a group of children in the waking world. Simultaneously, a new House appears—the House of Whispers—joining the Houses of Secret and Mystery in the Dreaming. Its proprietor is a fortune teller called Erzulie, whom the inhabitants of the Dreaming suspect may be responsible for all the strange goings on. Elsewhere, Lucifer has fallen again, only this time he might be in a Hell of his own design. And in London, a young boy named Timothy Hunter sleeps, in his dreams he becomes the world’s most powerful magician, but in his nightmares, he becomes the world’s worst villain, which future will become reality?
From the mind of Neil Gaiman, a new world filled with dreams and nightmares, all of his wonderful characters living together in a shared universe for a story unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
And this, of course, will launch the new line of Vertigo titles.
The Dreaming will be written by Si Spurrier, a favorite around here, who has done some great work for DC on Suicide Squad. Here’s the official synopsis:
There is a place where gods are born and stories are spun. But twenty-three years after he was anointed as its master, Dream of the Endless has inexplicably abandoned the dreaming. His absence triggers a series of crimes and calamities which consume the lives of those already tangled in his fate, among them Lucien the librarian, Matthew the Raven, and Dora, a monstress without memories. But while they struggle to restore the King to his throne, they face intrigues from within and conquest from without. As usurpers circle the defenceless domain and an impossible shadow awaits its own birth beside a rip in reality, the denizens of the Dreaming play out their stories of loss and love, resignation and resistance.
House of Whispers will be written by Nalo Hopkinson (Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, New Moon’s Arms) Here are the official details…
Latoya is in a coma. Her girlfriend enlists the help of Latoya’s two younger sisters. Using the Book of Whispers, they mistakenly steal the essence of Erzulie, a deity of voodoo mythology. The psychic blowback of the spell causes her house to crash into the Dreaming, beside the Houses of Secrets and Mystery and their custodians, Cain and Abel. In the real world, the awakened young woman suffers a mystical form of Cotard’s Delusion—she believes she is already dead, and she’s transmitting her belief to others, causing them to become guardians of the Gap that has appeared in the Dreaming.
And of course, there will be a Lucifer book. Long a favorite side character in the Sandman mythos, and currently enjoying renewed popularity thanks to his TV series. This one will be written by Dan Watters. We see the TV magic words “police” and “Los Angeles” here in the official synopsis, so there’s a little synergy there…
A few years ago, the devil vanished. Some people say he died or simply ran away, while others believe he never existed at all. But we aren’t some people. No. This is the one true story of what happened to the Prince of Lies, the Bringer of Light—Lucifer, the blind, destitute old man, who lives in a small boarding house in a quiet little town, where nothing is quite what it seems and no one can leave. He’s trapped, you see? Trapped in a bizarre prison with no memory of how he got there or why. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, a dying policeman believes his suffering may be a call to a divine mission—one that draws him towards revelations regarding the devil himself.
We’re also seeing the return of Books of Magic! Kat Howard (Roses and Rot, An Unkindness of Magicians) writes.
Timothy Hunter may be destined to become the most powerful magician in the universe, but he’s still a London teenager and having magical abilities complicates things more than it helps. It’s not like he can use magic to pass his exams, stop being bullied, or convince his cute friend to date him. And while Tim’s trying to live his life, there are cultists who want to kill him, believing his power will eventually corrupt him, and turn him into a merciless mage. Oh, and those are the good guys. Luckily, his new substitute teacher is more than she appears, and may be able to help Tim discover the mystery behind the Books of Magic…
No word on the artists on these other titles yet, although those might be revealed at the Vertigo panel at Emerald City Comic-Con on March 3. We’ll update this with details as we get them.