Aztek's 2010 Vertigo Comics Round Up

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#51 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@fenixREVOLUTION: by digging do you mean reading stuff from their back catalog? because I admit I find a lot of joy finding old treasures from their nearly two decades of publishing comics, the new stuff keeps me reading comics on a consistent basis but there's some really good old stuff and sometimes it's nice to read something that's done because you can read it all in a short period of time rather then waiting month to month 
 
@-Eclipse-: ha, well thank you (after you do) 
 
being open-minded is all I ask, I can understand when comics aren't for someone...I'm not quite sure what you are inferring by gritty since there's so many Vertigo comics running through my head right now but as I said, the open mind is all I ask...I don't like all comics but I love the fact that the medium can be so diverse and therefore still appreciate the existence of the comics I don't like personally
#52 Posted by -Eclipse- (7588 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: Well, what Vertigo comic would you recommend for a hardcore superhero addict who only reads superhero books? Invincible, Red Robin, Amazing Spider-man, those are the comics I read. I can't see many Vertigo books which deal with superheroes, so what do you think would be a good next step for me if I'm trying to broaden my horizons?
#53 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@-Eclipse-: hmm, I'm not a big superhero guy myself (not because I don't like superheroes, but they just don't tend to get written into stories of my tastes)...however, when you put it that way...the first book to jump into my mind was Doom Patrol...Grant Morrison's run (#19-63)...technically speaking it was published by DC in the early 90's with the last issue being the month before Vertigo launched but it really helped lay the groundwork for the imprint and is definitely one of the best comics I've ever read, Vertigo is the one who collected the run and you can get it in six trades...that may not be entirely broadening your horizons in that it is still a superhero book but it is not your typical one at all...I never even thought of them as superheroes as much as flawed characters 
 
another thing to come to my mind is Unknown Soldier, which I mentioned in my review...again, not your typical superhero but when I think of a superhero comic...I think of a person with abilities beyond those of the average reader fighting to save the world...he doesn't have superpowers necessarily but he definitely has abilities not any joe schmoe possesses, and admittedly he goes about his saving the world in a "anti-hero" fashion...but his is the good fight 
 
Sandman Mystery Theatre is a great series about the superheroes of the 1930's (70 issues, mostly collected in trade, eight of them so far with an expected two more in the future)...the book can be very dark (it was The Great Depression) and that may not be your thing but I think it captures a different era of superhero...Wesley Dodds is like the 1930's Batman I suppose...wealthy but driven to fight the crime that infects his city by night...the comic takes a format of "villain of the month" style as each Act (four issues) features a new villain, murderer for the most part, that Wesley Dodds must unmask and bring to justice...but this is probably the least commonly read book of all the ones I'll mention and I understand if you pass it up 
 
and finally, to mention another thing I brought up in the review, Demo - Volume II...now, this is more for the broadening of your horizons bit...again, not too drastic as the Demo series was originally pitched as a teen superhero book, only without the superheroes (just the powers)...as in the main character of the issue will have powers, but it will be in the regular world, not a world where other people have powers...and some of the powers aren't even necessarily superpowers at all...but I feel it perfects the idea of the things that make superpowers so compelling...not the epic clashes of titans but how it gets personal with the people affected, very great character stories...I also recommend it because it's only six issues (one trade later next year) and it's not a huge commitment...you can try it, let me know what you think, and if you don't like it, you're not impoverished because of it 
 
again, just throwing all these out there...I had the rare situation of jumping in and then telling myself after the one great comic that I was going to read them all...hopefully what you do check out you enjoy...I'll always have more titles to recommend if you're Vertigo lust arises again
#54 Posted by -Eclipse- (7588 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: I think I'll check out Doom Patrol... Even though, going by the Morrison stuff I have read (Batman RIP, etc.) his writing is a little cooky for me... Still, I'll give it a shot. Same for Demo, but should I be looking at the first volume or just the second one? And maaaaaaybe Unknown Solider, but looking up the synopsis makes me a little uncertain. I'm not a gore fan (Invincible doesn't count because it's ridiculously unrealistic gore where intestines fly out of everywhere and people have too much blood) and that seems pretty dark for me. 
 
I've always thought about giving Y the Last Man a try, so I'll probably get that too, even though you didn't directly suggest it to me, lol. What's the art situation like on these comics?
#55 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@-Eclipse-: I usually don't go out of my way to recommend Y:TLM because it's usually that one Vertigo book everyone's read and those that haven't, have at least heard of it...but it is one of my favorite comics for sure 
 
I can understand your thoughts on Morrison, all of his works are like that for the most part...and I admit in Doom Patrol some concepts may fly right over your head (or at least they did over mine) but it doesn't make the book any less enjoyable, it adds to the atmosphere of it...Doom Patrol was always meant to be a team of freaks...and Morrison makes the book what it should always be...a book featuring superheroes that you can admire and love but not really want to be, because they have bigger personal problems then any real people 
 
if you mean, do you need the first to appreciate the second? no. each issue is completely it's own thing for both series'. if you are asking whether the first one is also a good read, the answer is yes. but I feel in the second series (although half the length) he outdid the first and perfected what I felt he was going for. there are a few issues in the first volume that feel out of place but others that are beautiful...it's a good read too, but it's the work of emerging talent...Demo Vol. II is the perfected piece 
 
I understand, Unknown Soldier is gritty in that way I suppose, it is portraying a real war and so violence is necessary...I wouldn't call it gore because when I think gore I think Ennis or something, like over-the-top death and dismemberment but yeah, people get killed...I can't recall a particularly bloody scene or anything though... 
 
As for the art...well Pia Guerra, Richard Case, Becky Cloonan and Alberto Ponticelli are all talented artists if that's what you're asking...if you want examples, I suppose I could look for some on the site: 
 
I couldn't really find any HQ pics of Pia Guerra (Y:TLM) but you seemed like you were going to check that one out anyways :P 
 
Richard Case's (Doom Patrol) art isn't particularly unique in that I can see it and say, that's Richard Case...but it's not bad by any means 
 

 
Becky Cloonan I believe is described as having manga-like art...but I don't feel like I'm reading a manga when I see it or anything...Demo is all in black and white and she shows a lot of her sketches in the back of the issues and I really do enjoy it...maybe not everyone's style but I love it, not jaw-dropping but fits the series perfectly: 
 

 Different Series, Her Art
 
 

 Demo

 And finally, Alberto Ponticelli I don't really know from anywhere but Unknown Soldier but as I said in the review, where he surprised me is that his art style at the beginning and end seems so different (at least to me), both are good, but I can't really find any good examples on the site...and google didn't help much...maybe if you're still interested I'll try and get some for tomorrow (of both styles)
#56 Posted by -Eclipse- (7588 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: The art looks good enough for me. I really only ask because, as much as I love Invincible, if the original artist (Corey Walker) was still drawing it instead of Ottley, I would have lot interest a LONG time ago.
 
Alright, I'll look them and possibly blow my £30 Amazon voucher I got for Christmas on them, thanks for the suggestions :D
#57 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@-Eclipse-: ah, I see...yeah, there's not too many artists I encounter that I don't like...I'm just used to people complaining about unique and different art styles when saying why they don't like Vertigo...but in a similar situation, if the artist of the first three issues of Lucifer (my favorite comic ever) would have remained the artist, my love for the book probably would have been affected, loved all the artists after him though! I also don't think he's a bad artist as I love his work in The Filth and Invisibles...but yeah, just didn't capture the feel of Lucifer I wanted
#58 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@-Eclipse-: oh yeah and be sure to get back to me on what you think of the comics after you read them...I like to know if my recommendations are benefiting people or not so I can adjust myself accordingly
#59 Posted by -Eclipse- (7588 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: Nah, I'm fine with art that has a different style to the norm, Chris Bachalo is one of my favourite Spider-man artists and his stuff is pretty crazy sometimes. But with Invincible it was a choice between.... 


This

And...

THIS

Yeah, if the first guy had stuck around the series wouldn't be nearly as popular, probably would have been cancelled after the first year, LOL
#60 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@-Eclipse-: ah yes, I love Chris Bachalo, he was the main artist on one of my favorite Vertigo comics before he left to work for Marvel 
 
and...wow...that is...well it's hilarious that you found images that are displaying the same thing because it highlights the contrast so much more...but yes, I can see why you prefer the latter :P
#61 Posted by -Eclipse- (7588 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: LOL, yeah, I struggled through the first few issues, really :P 
 
Here's the contrast I was trying to find, here's a cover for the first issue done by Cory Walker, then two homages by Ryan Ottley after the costume got changed a couple of times. 

 


 


 
#62 Posted by Nighthunter (28582 posts) - - Show Bio

Eclipse, check Morrison's Animal Man 
 
if you wanna step a little outside the superhero. Try sweet tooth, I have a feeling you would like it considering your tastes
#63 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@Nighthunter: trying to upstage me? :P 
 
but yeah...both good books, although, I know I'm probably alone in this but I think Delano's Animal Man (#51-79) was better than Morrison's (#1-26)
#64 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@-Eclipse-: ha! you know, I never noticed anything bad about that first cover until you did the contrast thing...it seems like good art until you realize how undetailed it really is
#65 Posted by -Eclipse- (7588 posts) - - Show Bio

@aztek the lost: Yeah, you could argue that it's the colourist, but a) initially it was the same colorst, Crabtree stayed on for almost 50 issues, I think, and b) the colourist didn't add in all the details. Ottley has a good understanding of anatomy, whereas Walker just scribbled a few lines on the figure for some reason. He always did this weird thing to noses that I hated. 
 
@Nighthunter: Sweet Tooth? I'll search for it, lol, I thought you were talking about Chew for a second
   

#66 Posted by fenixREVOLUTION (889 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: Yeah, I've started reading Sandman, Preacher, Transmetropolitan and Morrison's Doom Patrol. 
 
So far Morrison's Doom Patrol and Transmetropolitan are probably my favorite. After I finish those up, I plan to look into Hellblazer and The Invisibles.
#67 Posted by Nighthunter (28582 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost said:
" @Nighthunter: trying to upstage me? :P  but yeah...both good books, although, I know I'm probably alone in this but I think Delano's Animal Man (#51-79) was better than Morrison's (#1-26) "

never even heard of Delano's run, also his name in spanish would mean "From the anus" so eeeeeew :P (yes, I'm immature sue me)
#68 Posted by Mercy_ (92843 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" This is the article you were talking about? Holy wowzers.  "
you didn't read a single word of it, did you? 
 
@Darkchild: thank you, I too would have to agree that your effed in the head "
Sure I did. ^^
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#69 Posted by Pizawle (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice write-up, aztek.
 
Vertigo definitely reigned supreme this year. Daytripper is probably my series of the year.

#70 Posted by Silkcuts (5272 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost said:
" @Silkcuts: is Gaiman even interested in comics anymore? I would have loved to have a Gaiman Swamp Thing to read...but did he actually have it already written or did he just refuse to write it and wrote that Brother Power story instead?  but otherwise, seeing as I'm not a big continuity guy it's all okay to me...I wouldn't mind it if Swamp Thing was appearing under both publishers without any explanation...those concerned with continuity could follow the DC one...and those concerned with story could read the Vertigo one...but I will admit, Swamp Thing hasn't really had a successful run since Moore which is a shame...everyone so far that had talent has been ousted before they could finish "

I don't think Gaiman has a huge care for comics since he makes more money doing movies and stuff.  I don't know the whole story since I never finished the dream king book, but what I know is that he plotted it and did not take the book after Veitch because of the drama.  My understanding it was Gaiman and Delano next on Swampy, not Wheeler. 
 
All I know is Swamp Thing is not handled right.  Moore's was the only strong seller because it was a head of its time.  Veitch's run is where the curse came....
#71 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@fenixREVOLUTION: ah yes, the classics, The Invisibles is also very good...pure Morrison...as for Hellblazer, do you have any plans what era you want to check out or just the series in general because it's been written by a lot of people and some of them never got the collection treatment so unless you get single issues it's sort of hard to read it all...although, I noticed DC puts up two new digital issues of the series up a week and is at 31 now, if you're into that 
 
@Nighthunter: HA! I almost wish I could speak Spanish...anyways, he is the original Hellblazer writer and he wrote a few creator-owned projects for Vertigo such as 2020 Visions, Ghostdancing and Outlaw Nation...and I'm sure most people don't know that the series had more then 26 issues (it had 89)...but yeah, Delano's run is a lot darker though, obviously it has different themes too but it was really great...Delano created the concept of The Red and Buddy became the figurehead of a new religion...I'd recommend it more but it's not in trade 
 
@The Dark Huntress: the intro paragraph? 
 
@Pizawle: thank you, and yes Daytripper was amazing, as a trade guy though I wish it was in trade rather then hardcover... 
 
@Silkcuts: well, that and Gaiman does his novels (which are good but still)...I really do wish Gaiman had written or finished some of his things from those days...he was supposed to be the next big writer but besides Sandman, he never really did any comics...granted the Miracleman thing wasn't his fault but now that Marvel has the rights I want to see him finish that too...I'm actually reading Veitch's run currently...it hasn't met my expectations but it's still good...I can't wait for Tefe!
#72 Posted by fenixREVOLUTION (889 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: For Hellblazer since I read that you don't have to read it in order, I was thinking of starting as far back with the first author I like, so I suppose Garth Ennis would be it, the move on to Warren Ellis and Brian Azzaerllo. I haven't ventured into the realm of digital comics, but I may look into that, I'd still prefer the trades though, I think.
#73 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@fenixREVOLUTION: Yeah, I prefer trades too...in March they're releasing a new edition of the first trade and the solicit insinuates that they may properly collect everything this time around, I hope so anyways. But that sounds like it'll work...Ennis references some things in Delano's run but I don't think you'll be lost or anything, he incorporated a lot more of the supernatural into his run then Delano did...Ellis' run is short (as he left the book) but there's some very good stuff in there, it should be accessible...as for Azzarello, his run, although fantastic, is very different from the rest of Hellblazer but the good thing is it's entirely on its own if you want to check it out and in fact it ALL takes place in America (whereas Constantine is usually in his home in England). The ending was a little meh, but the build-up throughout the run was awesome.
#74 Posted by fenixREVOLUTION (889 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: If they do release all the trades again, I may just wait until March to start picking it up. Thanks for all the info, really do appreciate it. I was looking at all the writers who did Hellblazer and Delano is the only one I didn't recognize and the others I've liked on other titles, so it actually does sound pretty exciting to get into. The fact that it's so far in is kind of daunting though, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it.
#75 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@fenixREVOLUTION: I understand, how daunting it can seem that is...took me quite a while to get up the nerve to start it...and although they were the occasional low points between writers I really enjoyed the series when there was a storyline being developed in various writer's runs...and like I said, I hope this means there collecting everything but we'll see, the actual solicit they released reads as follows: 

The very first Hellblazer collection is back in a new edition that includes John Constantine's early appearances in SWAMP THING #76-77 along with HELLBLAZER #1-9. This is the first of a series of new HELLBLAZER collections that put all his adventures in reading order, capturing Constantine at his youthful, anarchic best.    

It says first in a series, however, how far they plan to take that series I don't know...are they collecting everything? Including the Hellblazer spin-offs? Or are they just collecting a little bit of his early stuff. One of the things that irks me with Vertigo is they're never up front about their trades when they collect the old stuff, they solicit a new trade but they never infer if they will collect everything else or not. Thankfully Hellblazer is for the most part already collected but a proper chronology would be much nicer on the shelf.
#76 Posted by fenixREVOLUTION (889 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh, it even has the Swamp Thing stuff, I didn't know that. Hopefully it ends up being everything from start to current, but sometimes the gaps Vertigo takes between printing trades of older stuff is a bit long, hope this doesn't potentially suffer from that.

#77 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@fenixREVOLUTION: well, technically those two issues are sort of essential for the story if you want to know what happens to John as the Hellblazer issue literally continued its story in the Swamp Thing one, at the same time though, it's an "out-of-body" experience if you will so it's not required (which I assume is why the first edition didn't have it) but it does add more depth to the story
#78 Posted by fenixREVOLUTION (889 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: Ah, that does make sense then, more sense than trying to track down those two Swamp Thing issues anyway. I'll have to tell my LCS to set one of these aside for me.
#79 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@fenixREVOLUTION: sounds good, and hey, the new edition even comes with a Jim Lee cover! (if you're into that sort of thing)
#80 Posted by Mercy_ (92843 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: It's a lot to read, m'kay. Especially for somebody who doesn't read Vertigo. 
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#81 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress: I know, I'm not belittling you (well okay...maybe I am) and I'm not saying you should read it if you don't actually care about the content (I wouldn't)...I wrote a lot so people who were interested could have something to help them make their decision
#82 Posted by Silkcuts (5272 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost:

I do enjoy Gaiman and you hit it on the nail why I think he is overrated.  Even today his name has so much pull, but all he really wrote was Sandman.  His Swamp Thing never really saw light, Marvelman was bad luck, but even his dabbles here and there never really were ground breaking. 
 
Veitch's run has its moments, its not moore's of course.  I think it picks up when Veitch and Delano team up (TEFE)... then that goes downhill after trade 9.  The Time travel story had potential... but ends badly the way it currently is.
#83 Posted by Nighthunter (28582 posts) - - Show Bio

For the Gaiman fans: Think about it this way, Gaiman returns to comics every few years to do ONLY projects he has a great passion or ideas for. 
 
Most recent example being his "Whatever happened to the caped crusader?"
#84 Posted by fenixREVOLUTION (889 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: Well, it certainly doesn't hurt to have a Jim Lee cover.
#85 Posted by HumphreyLee (1 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: Someone (probably new EIC Bob Harras) decided it would be best to get most of the characters that have been Vertigo only for a while, like Swamp Thing, back into the DC fold. I guess they think there is more sales to be had putting Batman in a Swamp Thing title or something, or that these characters had already ran their creative gamut so why not make them "mainline relevant." And, yeah, Vertigo is pretty much going to just be Creator Owned (and Hellblazer) as the line tries to figure out how to stay afloat apparently, in the light of the announcement that they are restructuring their loyalties and whatnot. I think that's why they cut so many titles this year and are just going with 8 successful ones and the line of OGNs they have been pumping out the past couple years. Good round up with all of this. Vertigo may not be as burgeoning as it used to be, but it's still home to the best comics in the industry. When my companions and I at AICN do our year end roundup, I know it'll mostly be Vertigo representatives (especially the "choose your own adventure" issue of THE UNWRITTEN, which was hands down the best issue I read all year). Cheers...
#86 Posted by etragedy (1089 posts) - - Show Bio

I used to be a big Vertigo fan. I was overjoyed when the imprint started. After picking up The Unwritten #28 (see my latest review), I have to say, it doesn't seem to do much for me these days. The comics seem to be trying to do what indies do rather than what Vertigo used to do best - occupy that great middle zone between mainstream superhero and horror comics, and the wierd, off-beat and low-key independent comics world. It seems they've strayed too far toward the latter, and sacrificed the former, what with Animal Man and Swamp Thing returning to the mainstream DCU.

#87 Posted by Billy Batson (58143 posts) - - Show Bio

Old round up, still great. Waiting for this years.
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#88 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33889 posts) - - Show Bio

bumping this thread because it has unlimited win

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