After Brightest Day, What Other Vertigo Stars Could Make a Home in the DCU

Although for years there’s been a firm wall separating the characters and stories of Vertigo Comics and DC’s superhero line, in the past 12 months that wall has been shattered. First, Death appeared in Action Comics, and now both Swamp Thing and John Constantine have made their presence known in Brightest Day. Under the new editorial regime it seems all bets are off, and it’s easy to think there might be more where these came from.

But which ones? Since it’s inception in the early 80s, Vertigo comics has been a mixture of revamped DC-owned characters and new concepts that are co-owned by the creators and DC itself. With that being said, here’s some Vertigo standouts we’d like to see pop up in the DCU.

Madame Xanadu: While only a recent transplant to the Vertigo line, her self-titled series there by writer Matt Wagner was the character’s first real success in years. That series explored her origins, which could easily work in the DCU. She might have some competition from DC’s other magic woman Zatanna, but it could also stoke a potential rivalry that’d make for good co mics.

Lucifer: Although Satan and the Devil have appeared numerous times in DC’s super-hero comics, Lucifer himself from the titular Vertigo title has a long history and track record DC could take advantage of. It mixes Mephisto with the smarminess of Namor, and could be a unique foil for a variety of costumed heroes or an untraditional star on his own. You could even grab Mike Carey, who’s currently writing Marvel’s Age of X, to return to plot Lucifer’s new exploits.

The Losers: The Losers began life as a DC team, but it wasn’t until Andy Diggle & Jock’s reinterpretation that the characters gained their modern stature. Although the movie failed to knock the socks off movie-goers, imagine if the Losers popped up to do a heist in Gotham City.

Transmetropolitan: Although I doubt anyone besides Warren Ellis will ever write Spider Jerusalem, but imagine if Perry White of The Daily Planet needed a columnist to give a new take on the metahuman situation in Metropolis.

Scalped: Super-Chief comes to Prairie Rose Indian Reservation. ‘Nuff said.

100 Bullets: Maybe better as an Elseworlds tale, but what if a young Bruce Wayne was approached by Agent Graves with an untraceable gun, 100 bullets and a license for revenge.


  1. As much as I want my Vertigo and DCU separate, I do like your ideas for The Losers/Batman over and Bruce Wayne/100 Bullets crossovers.

  2. Avatar photo Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    I’m sort of in love with the idea of Super-Chief bring a character in Scalped if only for a one-shot special. And I wouldn’t want him done in the regular art style. I’d enjoy it if he was drawn super clean, similar to the animated style on Superfriends. That’d make him stand way out. Sounds like a wonderful short story in the next Bizarro Comics collection!

  3. You mean Perry White of The Daily Planet, not The Daily Bugle.

  4. Bigby from Fables would fit right in.  Put him on Shadowpact.

  5. Isn’t Madam Xanadu connected to the DCU? The run on Vertigo hinted at it and she even has adventures with a Golden Age Sandman.

  6. lol if someday DC ever crosses over with Y The Last Man i will walk away from DC forever

  7. Avatar photo Arrrggghhh (@Arrrggghhh) says:

    I’m not finding this to be such a big deal, cross-overs between the two have been going on for years – they’ve never been completely separate. What’s most important is that there is a good story be told and simply not a cross-over of cameos . . . 

  8. I’ve always wanted to see a new Preacher book under the Johnny DC line. If they reprinted the series in digest format, maybe with activities or popups, I can see kids of all agest lapping it up.

  9. Tim Hunter (Books if Magic) has been kinda languishing for a while. A trainee magician in the DCU could be fun; face-off with Klarion the witch boy, anyone?

  10. Morrison’s JLA has a great 2-parter with Dream guest starring which I liked quite a bit.

    Agent Graves (100 bullets) had a cameo in Batman: Broken City. I always thought that it would of rocked if Graves and the Secret 6 crossed paths.

  11. Vertigo characters have been making minor appearances in books for a while now. I recall Daniel and a major story arc from Sandman rearing their head in JSA some years back during Infinite Crisis. Daniel appeared in a 2000 issue of Morrison’s JLA. Animal Man was made to be more like his Vertigo self around IC. I seem to recall Constantine making an appearance in the Hal Jordan Spectre stuff. The wall was never all that firm to beign with. People often forget, but Swamp Thing was just a mature readers DCU book when it launched. Same with Hellblazer and Sandman. Technically, the Mike Grell Green Arrow book would fall under Vertigo. The issue has only ever been how do you reconcile calling on continuity in the main line from the mature line? And this has been what’s barred the characters from all but minor appearances. 

  12. Wait wait wait…John Constantine showed up in Brightest Day??  He’s not the new Hawkman, is he?

  13. all madness, just stop the madness.

  14. Yep, @PraxJarvin is correct. It’s never been that firm of a wall.

    Sandman Mystery Theatre used Hourman, Flash and other Golden Age characters, but then James Robinson used Wesley Dodds in Starman and then later in the first arc of the JSA series. Animal Man went Vertigo but came back. Phantom Stranger and Zatanna and Madame Xanadu have all flitted back and forth over the line. Martian Manhunter even appeared in Madame Xanadu’s recent series for Vertigo, just never using the ‘Martian Manhunter’ name or costume.

    I think they’ve tried to firm up the wall at times (with rules on Swamp Thing and Constantine), but really the big difference now isn’t so much a reversal as it is the move to make “multiple iterations” of characters like Constantine.

    I think they’re trying to make a more cohesive DCU these days, and there’s less of a tolerance for blurry lines. They want to bring some of the ‘weirdness’ back into the DCU, but this time they’re doing it by just making different versions.

    I think Vertigo is also a different place now. Over the years, they’ve come to focus much more on creator-owned original series, and really — after Madame Xanadu’s cancellation — Constantine was the only real hold-out. And the creator-owned titles just really aren’t made to play in a cohesive universe. Nor should they (although the 100 Bullets/Bruce Wayne idea is inspired 😉 ).

  15. Jesse Custer vs. Maxwell Lord.

  16. Truth be told I cant help but love cross overs like these.

  17. i just want my hellblazer/zatanna crossover.

  18. Hate this entire idea. The reason I like Vertigo stories is that they live on their own. They have beginnings, middles and ends. I don 19t want to see what happens when Yorick meets Batman. That would suck balls. Even more super friendly characters like Swamp Thing and Constantine are better off alone IMO.

  19. wow, i didnt realise they had done this,  john constantine in the dcu? why not, i guess!

    out of interest guys, what would you suggest I read from the Vertigo stable? I recently got Transmetropolitan 1 &2 and loved it, so I’ll be getting the rest of that gradually, also got the first DMZ and Invisibles trades and havent read them. Suggestions? I’m back into comics after about 6 years away and i was a marvel zombie before!  

  20. I usually think of Vertigo as a place for creator-owned work, and I forget that some of these titles are ownd by DC/WB.  For those titles, being part of the DCU is no problem with me, but as interesting as Bruce Wayne in 100 BULLETS might be, I don’t see the worlds working together well. But what do I know?

  21. Sgt Rock, Unknown Soldier, Doom Patrol….i mean those are old school DCU. Bring those guys in somehow, throw in Animal Man. I dunno, I could see them making guest appearances in all kinds of DC titles and team books.I think it could be lots of fun. New toys for creators to play with. 

  22. Why was The Losers not a huge hit? That was the most fun i had watching a movie in years!

  23. Skinner Sweet. Nothing else to add. Just Skinner Sweet.

  24. so long as vertigo characters remain similar to how they once were and they dont lose their edge then i am a happy panda

  25. munocard, you took my wildest dreams and gave them words. If there was anything where Pearl and Skinner appear in the modern DCU, I would have so much fun with that.

  26. Shade, the changing man I think is coming back to the regular dcu.
    Personally, I still long for the opposite! It’s much more novel for me to see the “regular” dcu stars get the “vertigo” treatment! Originally that’s what vertigo was: unusual or more mature takes on the established dcu: doom patrol, sandman mystery theater, animal man, hell blazer, shade, swamp thing, black orchid, Tim hunter, kid eternity….now that’s MY vertigo (telling my age). vertigo today is basically creator-owned…what Wildstorm was supposed to be…

  27. Yorick goes to Paradise island.