Vertigo Comics – 25 Years of DC Horror, Fantasy, and SciFi

by Douglas Ohlandt

122021B-1024x536 Vertigo Comics - 25 Years of DC Horror, Fantasy, and SciFiIn 1993, DC Comics launched the imprint that would become the standard-bearer for horror, fantasy, and science fiction comics for over twenty-five years – Vertigo.  Let’s take a look at the key Vertigo books that are attracting collectors and investors.

Vertigo Launch

DeathTHCOL1-195x300 Vertigo Comics - 25 Years of DC Horror, Fantasy, and SciFiWith the launch of Vertigo, Karen Berger incorporated all of DC’s mature-themed comics under one brand.  The comics officially published as Vertigo-labeled comics included The Saga of the Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, Doom Patrol, Animal Man, Sandman, and Shade, the Changing Man.  For the first series to fall under the Vertigo imprint, Berger turned once more to Neil Gaiman.

Death: The High Cost of Living #1 was published in March 1993, and was the first spinoff from Gaiman’s Sandman series.  The first issue has recently surged in value, with the 90-day average sale price of a 9.8 reaching $200.

Until May of this year, the price hadn’t reached $100.  Definitely a comic to track, particularly as the character will be appearing in the Sandman series from Netflix in 2022.

The Invisibles & Preacher

The first two big Vertigo series were The Invisibles and Preacher, released in 1994 andPreacher-1-196x300 Vertigo Comics - 25 Years of DC Horror, Fantasy, and SciFi 1995.  The Invisibles was Grant Morrison’s first creator-owned title and was a hyper-violent series focused on magic, time travel, and meditation.

Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s creation, Preacher, tells the story of Jesse Custer, a preacher caught in a war between heaven and hell as he searches for God.  The Invisibles #1 has seen 9.8 prices rise to $225, which is up from its roughly $150 price a year ago but down from the heights it reached in 2019.

Preacher #1, on the other hand, has seen steady prices in the roughly $255 to $280 range for a 9.8 graded copy for a few years now.  Its peak was in 2015 and 2016 when the TV series was running.

Of the two, Preacher #1 would appear to have the most staying power and the one to see an eventual increase in value

Fables & Y: The Last Man

Fables_Vol_1_1-197x300 Vertigo Comics - 25 Years of DC Horror, Fantasy, and SciFiIn 2002, the Vertigo imprint expanded with two key series that would carry readers into the worlds of fantasy and science fiction – Fables and Y: The Last Man.

Fables, from writer Bill Willingham, brought the characters and creatures of myth and legend into the present day.  Y: The Last Man, from Brian K. Vaughn, told the story of Yorick, the last man to survive a plague that killed all men.

The value of a 9.8 graded copy of Fables #1 hovered in the $125 to $140 range for four years before beginning to rise in 2020.  Three of the last four sales have reached or exceeded $300.

Y: The Last Man #1 has seen a precipitous fall since the cancellation of the TV series.  An August 7 sale of a 9.8 graded copy for $1,995 was the peak for this comic, and prices have been cut in half to a 30-day average of $600.  Both books are prime examples of the Vertigo sensibility and should be worthwhile investments for the long term, even if Y: The Last Man #1 doesn’t again reach the same heights it saw this summer.

Sadly, Berger left DC and Vertigo in 2013.  The line never recovered this loss and eventually folded in 2020.  The legacy of Vertigo, however, lives on in comics and other media with creations that have won the favor of fans.

Hope you enjoyed reading about Vertigo comics and the key issues for collectors.  Have a favorite Vertigo comic?  Let us know below.

000080221A_Games_2-Footer Vertigo Comics - 25 Years of DC Horror, Fantasy, and SciFi*Any perceived investment advice contained within this blog is that of the freelance author and does not reflect recommendations from GoCollect

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Galen December 30, 2021 - 5:23 pm

I was saddened to have seen Vertigo cancelled. Sandman, Preacher, and 100 Bullets were awesome reads, and Y: The Last Man is one of my top favorite comic book stories of all time.

Hopefully, DC Black Label will bring back that same magic that Vertigo once did.

kenloi December 31, 2021 - 11:28 am

Karen berger had a narrative to use innovative writers under her instinctive editorial skill wiyh others to tell interesting stories and worldbuilding. A true caftsperson. I am lucky enough to own the editorial Sandman 8, a treasured book i have owned over 10 years..


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