Happy Vertigo-ween!

Happy Halloween! Due to a bit of unfortunate business where both of my local comic shops were shorted a handful of DC comics, including the Swamp Thing annual, there will not be a regular review this week.

Instead, I’d like to talk about the DC Halloween specials of past years, and what the reboot means for them.

I’m a big fan of done-in-one stories. As much as I love dozen-issue stories, and ongoings that turn little things from past arcs into A Big Deal later on down the line, self-contained comics have always been my favorite. This is probably why I’m such a big fan of webcomics like Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and graphic novels such as Habibi. The strips, and book, are universes of their own, and I like it. The DC Halloween Specials were 80-pages of one-shot stories meant to terrify and entertain, and this year, DC did not have one.

However, Vertigo did.

This is something I find interesting. For the most part, when DC decided to do a company-wide reboot and shove things from formerly separate universes into the main one (such as Swamp Thing, the Gen 13 kids, Stormwatch, everyone in the JLD)…they left some people out. The American Vampire, Sweet Tooth, Fables, and other books went untouched. I mean, thank freaking god for that; I do not want to see Bigby Wolf and Skinner Sweet throw down anytime in this life span.

But with Vertigo’s Halloween-type one-shot Ghosts having featured two Sandman characters, the Dead Boy Detectives, that opens up an entirely new can of worms. Their story ended on a cliffhanger, which invited me to continue it in the next Vertigo one-shot. Huh. So they’re going to be doing these again? Okay, color me interested. The only real question is, when?

DC put all its eggs in the New 52 basket, and while their Vertigo stuff hasn’t exactly fallen by the wayside (American Vampire is still going strong, there’s a new Fables spin-off called Fairest, and their six-issue series Punk Rock Jesus is a masterpiece), it hasn’t been promoted nearly as well as it used to be. In fact, the DC and Vertigo pages are completely separate on the DC website. Unless I check Diamond, I don’t even know what Vertigo books are coming out on a weekly basis.

So, what does this all have to do with Halloween specials, you may ask? Quite a bit, actually!

You see, aside from the Batman and Green Lantern franchises, too much has changed in the main DCU for one-shot, noncanon spooky stories to have a coherent place within that line of comics. However, depending on how well the Vertigo one-shots do, it might be likely that we’ll start seeing those in their place for Halloween and possibly even Christmas until the 52verse has enough history to it to allow for frivolous, non-character building, noncanon stories again.

At least, one can only hope.

I’m Touch of Grey, and I really need to get out of this Supergirl costume. Have a good night, and stay safe. You never know what’s lurking in the dark out there…

Attention South Florida comic fans! This weekend is the Annual Tate’s Halloween tent sale! Visit http://www.tatescomics.com for more information, or like them on Facebook. 5 for a dollar comics under the tent, or fill a longbox for $35. More deals inside the store. Trust me, it’s always a blast out there! Hope to see you!

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