For all the comics that go on sale in America that eventually rile up, offend or upset parts of their readership, there are plenty of efforts that for one reason or another get scuttled for fear they’ll upset readers too much.
Today, DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint announced via their blog Graphic Content that starting in October, they’ll be releasing a number of comics previously canceled before publication under the banner “Vertigo Resurrected” starting with “Shoot” -Â a story focusing on school shootings written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Phil Jimenez that was originally intended to be published as “Hellblazer” #141.
Originally, the comic one-shot was written in response to a string of school shootings throughout the U.S. in the late ’90s, however shortly after the issue was completed, the Columbine High School massacre occurred drawing massive amounts of media attention and heightening sensitivity around such tragedies. In the wake of Columbine, DC requested Ellis change his script. Ellis declined and resigned from writing the series, letting the issue fall into comic book limbo.
Shortly after Graphic Content announced that “Shoot” would return, the writer posted a brief statement on his own blog, saying, “I remember that, at the time, someone telling me that the stance was that Paul Levitz would not release the book so long as he was running DC. It never occurred to me that a new regime would feel differently.”
Perhaps as expected, Vertigo doesn’t mention the controversy surrounding the issue in their post, however there is a promise that “Vertigo Resurrected” will include not only “Shoot” but presentations of stories by Brian Azzarello, Grant Morrison and others presumably from the company’s previously off-limits archives. The full extent of issues to be released in the long term remains unclear, so readers may want to start placing bets on which spoken of but never seen “controversial” comics may be making their way to stands by years end.