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As the TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks moved on, Creator/DCComics noticed they were publishing several series that weren't just ''dark'', they were ''mature'' -- with complex, thinky, often philosophical stories and deep, complicated characters, by names like Creator/AlanMoore, Creator/GrantMorrison, and Creator/NeilGaiman. Thus, to separate these from the "normal" [[Franchise/TheDCU DCU]] fare, they created the Vertigo Comics imprint.

Many of these were remakes of old DCU properties, given new life through clever writing. ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', ''Comicbook/AnimalMan'', ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol'', and ''Comicbook/SwampThing'' are probably the exemplars here. It seemed the rule was "The more obscure, the better"; series like ''Brother Power: The Geek'', a two-issue TotallyRadical attempt from the '60s to appeal to the "hippie" market, were brought back as [[DarkerAndEdgier dark, edgy romps]].

This had the knock-on effect of pretty much excising certain characters from the main DCU, for fear that a John Constantine and Franchise/{{Batman}} crossover [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids would encourage little kids to pick up]] ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}''. This meant that certain comics, though still technically part of the DCU, were [[ExiledFromContinuity unable to do "proper" crossovers]] or acknowledge that connection directly. This was relaxed occasionally for one-panel cameos (Constantine in ''ComicBook/{{Hitman}}''), characters whose comics have ended (Daniel from ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' appeared in ''JLA'', while Comicbook/AnimalMan and the Comicook/DoomPatrol have come back to TheDCU full-time) and characters who have always straddled the divide between the two (ComicBook/{{the Phantom Stranger}}, Zatanna, et al). DC's 2011 partial ContinuityReboot brought several characters like Constantine and Swamp Thing back into the main DC continuity fold. The Vertigo-only ''Hellblazer'' continued to be published separately until issue 300 in 2013, when it was replaced by a main-DC-universe ''Constantine'' title. This left Vertigo proper no longer publishing any ongoing title featuring characters originating in the DC universe.

Over the 2000s, however, the focus of the imprint had gradually shifted from its original shared-universe titles to creator-owned original works. These are still often in the horror/fantasy genre. 2009-11 saw an unsuccessful attempt at genre diversification with a series of "Vertigo Crime" graphic novels, although a number of the published titles retained supernatural elements and one of the first to be published was a ''Hellblazer'' special.

The Vertigo line was edited by Karen Berger from its inception in 1993, until she stepped down in 2013. It was Berger who edited Alan Moore's Comicbook/SwampThing, and brought Creator/NeilGaiman to prominence on Comicbook/{{Sandman}}, the series that led to the formation of the imprint.

'''Some of the best-known series published by Vertigo include:'''
[[index]]
* ''ComicBook/OneHundredBullets''
* ''ComicBook/AmericanSplendor'' (2006-2008)
* ''ComicBook/AmericanVampire''
* ''ComicBook/AnimalMan''
* ''ComicBook/TheBooksOfMagic''
* ''ComicBook/{{Daytripper}}''
* ''ComicBook/{{DMZ}}''
* ''ComicBook/DoomPatrol''
* ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}''
* ''ComicBook/TheFilth''
* ''ComicBook/FlexMentallo''
* ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}''
* ''ComicBook/HouseOfMystery''
* ''ComicBook/TheInvisibles''
* ''ComicBook/IZombie''
* ''ComicBook/TheLosers''
* ''ComicBook/{{Lucifer}}''
* ''ComicBook/MadameXanadu''
* ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}''
* ''PrideOfBaghdad''
* ''ComicBook/PunkRockJesus''
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman''
* ''Comicbook/SaucerCountry''
* ''ComicBook/{{Scalped}}''
* ''ComicBook/{{Seaguy}}''
* ''ShadeTheChangingMan''
* ''ComicBook/SwampThing''
* ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}''
* ''ComicBook/UnknownSoldier''
* ''ComicBook/TheUnwritten''
* ''ComicBook/VForVendetta''
* ''ComicBook/{{We3}}''
* ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan''

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Some Vertigo series are technically part of TheDCU, due to using DCU characters, and WordOfGod says the [[TheVerse shared universe]] titles like ''Comicbook/{{Hellblazer}}'' and ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' ARE part of the mainstream [[Franchise/TheDCU DCU]]. However, not all of them are always {{canon}} for the DCU characters, and some of them effectively take place in a world of their own. These include:

* ''Comicbook/AnimalMan''
* ''ComicBook/AngelAndTheApe''
* ''Comicbook/BlackOrchid''
* ''ComicBook/TheBooksOfMagic'' and spin-offs
* ''ComicBook/DoomPatrol'' and spin-offs
* ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' and spin-offs
* ''ComicBook/SwampThing'' and spin-offs
* ''CongoBill''
* ''ElDiablo''
* Some of the stories in the anthology ''{{Gangland}}''
* ''{{Heartland}}''
* Three ''ComicBook/JonahHex'' miniseries
* ''KidEternity''
* ''ComicBook/MadameXanadu''
* ''{{Scarab}}''
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' and spin-offs
** ''ComicBook/TheSandmanOverture''
* ''ComicBook/SandmanMysteryTheatre''
* ''ComicBook/SgtRock: Between Hell and a Hard Place''
* ''SkinGraft: The Adventures Of A Tattooed Man''
* ''TheTrenchcoatBrigade''
* ''{{Totems}}''
* ''ComicBook/UnknownSoldier''
* ''ComicBook/{{Zatanna}}: Everyday Magic''

Many other Vertigo series feature re-imagined DCU characters and concepts in a context outside the DC Universe itself. These include:
* ''ComicBook/BewareTheCreeper''
* ''SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadman}}''
* ''HouseOfSecrets''
* ''TheHumanTarget''
* ''TheLosers''
* ''Comic/UncleSam''
* ''VertigoVisions'', a series of one-shots, each re-imagining a different character.
* ''TheWitchingHour''

Vertigo comics which are not associated with the DC Universe at all include:
* ''ComicBook/OneHundredBullets''
* ''ComicBook/AmericanSplendor''
* ''ComicBook/AmericanVampire''
* ''ComicBook/AmericanVirgin''
* ''ComicBook/AstroCity''
* ''ComicBook/{{Daytripper}}''
* ''ComicBook/{{DMZ}}''
* ''{{Fables}}''
** ''Fables'' spawned two spin-offs: ''Jack of Fables'' featuring the title character, and ''Fairest'', a series of side stories centering around female characters.
* ''ComicBook/FBPTheFederalBureauOfPhysics''
* ''ComicBook/TheFilth''
* ''ComicBook/{{Hinterkind}}''
* ''ComicBook/TheInvisibles''
* ''Comicbook/{{Lovecraft}}''
* ''ComicBook/{{Loveless}}''
* ''ComicBook/{{Northlanders}}''
* ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}''
* ''PrideOfBaghdad''
* ''ComicBook/PunkRockJesus''
* ''ComicBook/SaucerCountry''
* ''ComicBook/{{Scalped}}''
* ''ComicBook/{{Seaguy}}''
* ''ComicBook/ThessalyWitchForHire''
* ''{{Transmetropolitan}}'' (not published originally under the Vertigo name, but later collected editions are)
* ''ComicBook/TheUnwritten''
* ''ComicBook/VForVendetta''
* ''ComicBook/{{We3}}''
* ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan''
[[/index]]

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