Writer and creator Brian Wood confirmed reports that his Viking series, Northlanders will be cancelled as of issue #50. Now, that's still 10 issues away, and there's certainly something to be said for a modest selling viking book from Vertigo lasting 50 issues. I actually dropped off early and returned to the series, which has been spectacular of late. As Wood says, the series will wrap up nicely, and conclude with a 9 part "Icelandic Trilogy" with art by Paul Azaceta.
Wood claims that this has nothing to do with his exclusive with DC recently ending. He won't be working on any of the new DC books, which isn't really a surprise, because Wood's never really been a superhero guy, only dabbling now and then.
If I were to speculate some, I think this, and today's announcements of several traditional Vertigo characters getting their own DC series (Swamp Thing, John Constantine, Shade the Changing Man, Animal Man) signals the beginning of a shift for Vertigo. Does that mean it will go away? I don't know, but I would predict that it will shrink. It's been pointed out that there haven't been any significant new Vertigo ongoing series for some time. Jack of Fables just wrapped up, now Northlanders. It's certainly a gradual process, but I feel like something's going to happen, and it should be interesting (and hopefully not heartbreaking) to watch. Also, I hope I'm way, way off.
In any case, do yourself a favor and read the last 10 issues of Northlanders. This book shouldn't have been as successful as it was, and Wood really pulled out all the stops and made it even better as it went along. There's no ongoing narrative you need to know, so you can come into this last run as fresh as anyone. It gets my highest recommendation.
I wonder if they'll send off the remaining issues in a burning ship?