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NYCC: Inside DC’s Vertigo and Young Animal Lines

by  in Comic News Comment
NYCC: Inside DC’s Vertigo and Young Animal Lines

The imprints of DC Comics have already had a busy New York Comic Con. On Thursday, Jim Lee announced at the Meet The Publishers panel that Vertigo would be relaunched in August of 2018, and yesterday, a slate of three new Young Animal titles as well as a Young Animal/DC Universe crossover event were unveiled.

The titles — Deathbed by Joshua Williamson and Riley Rossmo, Eternity Girl by Mags Visaggio and Sonny Liew, and Motherlands from Si Spurrier and Rachet Stott will each be six issues long and launching in early 2019. The crossover event, titled Milk Wars will feature close encounters between Young Animal and DC favorites in weekly special one shot issues like Doom Patrol/Justice League, Shade the Changing Girl/Wonder Woman, Mother Panic/Batman, and Cave Carson/Swamp Thing. The event is set to start on January 31st, 2018.

DC has brought together a panel featuring Spurrier, Visaggio, Stott, Rossmo, Williamson, and Tim Seeley — with the promise for surprise guests — to spill the secrets of their newly announced books and CBR is there live to get you the latest details. Keep hitting that refresh button!

Vertigo executive editor Mark Doyle started with Tim Seeley and Stephen Molnar “lyrical horror” book, Imaginary Fiends, under the Vertigo imprint. “It’s creepy-good monster fun, we’re trying to do creepy kids stuff,” Seeley explained, “It’s the creepiness of the way kids think combined with the real horror of the Slenderman case in Wisconsin. It’s about subjective reality.”

John Ridley, writer of The American Way then joined the panel. “Thanks for having us back,” Ridley began, “The American Way was a project we started ten years ago when Wildstorm was still publishing. It was about the first black superhero back in 1962 when the prevailing culture was not accepting of that. So the idea of returning to this story ten years later, it gave me a chance to approach it from a different perspective.” Ridley continued, “The times have changed, but the issue remains.”

“I don’t suppose anyone’s anyone’s politics in this room, but I think that anyone here, regardless of what they believe, would like to live in a world where they can see themselves more readily in the stories they consume.” Ridley explained, “So I’m very grateful to DC for letting me tell this story.”

The panel then moved over to Motherlands with Si Spurrier and Rachel Stott. “Motherlands is a book about an emotionally needy woman trying to build a relationship with her narcissistic overbearing mother…both of whom happen to be international bounty hunters.” Spurrier explained, “Have any of you seen Absolutely Fabulous?” He compared, “It’s a mother who used to be the “it girl” who still thinks she’s the “it girl”.”

“This was a perfect pitch for me,” Stott went on, “I love doing body language and character work but I also do a lot of Dr. Who so I love the sci-fi elements too.”

Motherlands and Deathbedaccording to Doyle and the creative team, is being published under Vertigo rather than Young Animal as previously reported. Deathbed from Josh Williamson and Riley Rossmo were up next, “This is about a sort of Howard Hughes character who would travel the world and continue reinventing himself, doing all these crazy things, and then one day twenty years ago he just disappeared. So one day out of the blue, he contacts a reporter and wants to tell this story about his crazy life.”

Rossmo credited the fact that he and Williamson both became parents within six months of one another, saying that it effected the creative process on the book. “It’s about death and legacy,” Williamson said, “I think about all these different aspects of my life and all these lives I’ve had and that’s where this story is coming from.”

“It’s a zany adventure story, but it’s got a lot of personal moments that shine through,” Doyle commented, before praising Rossmo’s ability to turn in amazing, imaginative work.

The panel then shifted focus from Vertigo to Young Animal, bringing Nick Derrington and Mags Visaggio to the stage.

Steve Orlando spoke about the upcoming JLA/Doom Patrol crossover, “Milk Wars.” “The guy you see on the cover of JLA/Doom Patrol is the progenitor of “Milk Wars” Milkmanman.” (Milk Man Man?)

JLA/Doom Patrol will feature art by Midnighter alum, Aco.

“I could not be more excited about these chapters because everyone has something so exciting to say about these characters,” Orlando praised the crossover event and the efforts of his peers on their respective, “You will see aspects of the Young Animal universe you’ve never seen. You’re gonna see Gods you didn’t know existed. You’re gonna see Lobo with his mustache shaved off.”

Nick Derrington, Doom Patrol artist, took over to speak about the way the current Doom Patrol story will be moving to see up the “Milk Wars” events. Doom Patrol #12 will kick off the event.

Orlando compared the “Milk Wars” crossover to Crisis on Infinite Earths int the ways that it changes the status quo of the Young Animal universe — which allowed Doyle to pivot to Mags Visaggio’s Eternity Girl.

“What if you’re an immortal who wants to die? And then someone shows up and says “hey, what if we destroy the universe?” The main character is this girl called Carolyn Sharp who lost her ability to control her powers after a showdown with her arch nemesis Madam Atom, and then was sort of forcibly retired. So she’s been suicidally depressed but…she can’t die, she’s not even really a human, she doesn’t have a physical body. So the ghost of Madam Atom shows up and wants to destroy the universe and she thinks “Yeah, that might work.” Visaggio explained.

“The first time we’ll see Eternity Girl in Milk Wars,” Orlando explained. “We’ll see a two page spread where we see her fake publication history stretching back to the 1950s,” Visaggio picked up.

Doyle rounded out the conversation by saying again that Vertigo’s 25th anniversary is coming next year, saying next year will be an “exciting one” for the line. He finished by announcing a 25th anniversary hardcover special that will be released next July, including both new and classic Vertigo content.

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