Vertigo Relaunch Round-up: Final Rankings

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

In which Dave and Brian collect their thoughts and discuss where the new Vertigo titles fall in their respective comic book landscapes.

We’ve wrapped up our reviews of the three month Vertigo soft relaunch. If you haven’t read them yet, here are parts one, two and three.

For our final piece, we thought we’d come back together once more and put together a ranking chart for our experiences with these new titles. Which titles are we most excited to continue? Which titles are on thin ice? Have we chopped any yet?

We do understand that some of these titles have only had one issue to stun us, while we’ve read as many as four issues of others. On the flip side, however, that may have been a long enough rope for us to make some tough decisions.

Let’s look at our final rankings:

The Best:

Dave says:

  1. Sheriff of Babylon
  2. Unfollow
  3. Twilight Children
  4. Clean Room

Brian says:

  1. Sheriff of Babylon
  2. Unfollow
  3. Twilight Children
Cover Art by John Paul Leon

Cover Art by John Paul Leon

Dave: Hey, look at that! Our top three books are identical. Even in ranking. We both raved about Twilight Children, but it’s #3 on our lists. What’s your take on that one?

Brian: Twilight Children is a really great book. Certainly it has the strongest pedigree of any creative team. But I came away feeling that it felt very “safe” for both creators. I was expecting something a little more challenging but in the end we got a really strong, really fun story. Sheriff came roaring out of the gate in a way none of the other books did and it has kept that feeling into its second issue. Unfollow has gotten stronger with each issue, and really sold me on its premise in issue two to a point where it became my favorite until I read Sheriff.

Dave: Also: I can’t help but notice that Clean Room is at the top of my list, but missing from yours. I’m sure it’s NEXT, right?

The Good:

Dave says:

  1. Lucifer
  2. Jacked
  3. New Romancer

Brian says:

  1. Lucifer
  2. Jacked
  3. New Romancer
  4. Art Ops
Cover Art by Dave Johnson

Cover Art by Dave Johnson

Dave: We’re very similar here. I’m on the fence about New Romancer (especially after the second issue), but I’ll admit that I’m giving it a little leeway because of my love of some of Peter Milligan’s other work. But Lucifer and Jacked are both very solid entries for Vertigo.

Brian: Lucifer is scratching a very specific itch. I think with perhaps more consistent art, the book could easily vault into Great territory. Jacked continues to be very strong, but there’s something holding it the slightest bit back and I can’t place it. New Romancer is definitely on my “iffy” list. It’s good, but I’m not sure if it’s for me.

 

 

Giving it One More Shot:

Dave Says:

  1. Art Ops
  2. Survivor’s Club
  3. Last Gang in Town

Brian says:

  1. Survivor’s Club
  2. Last Gang in Town
  3. Slash and Burn
art by Bill Sienkiewicz

art by Bill Sienkiewicz

Dave: If I’m being honest, I WANT to like Art Ops more than I do. I’m giving it another shot, but as much as I like Allred, I’m not really connecting to the material. It’s still a bit too much weirdness for the sake of weirdness without me seeing the underlying heart behind the weird. I will admit to liking where they’re going with Mona Lisa in the last issue I read, so that’s a lot of why it’s getting another shot. It’s also worth noting that Survivor’s Club is tumbling down my list. I loved the premise of the series, but in execution it hasn’t really lived up to my expectations. Which is sort of the opposite effect of Clean Room, which has climbed in ranking as I’ve enjoyed the serialized execution.

Brian: Art Ops came together for me in issues 2 and 3, and ended up creeping up my list a bit, but like you I want to like it more than I do, too. Survivors’ Club fell incredibly far. The first two issues were so strong and intriguing if not exactly what I would have done with the concept, but three and four just fell flat. I think the team could rebound but I’m afraid it might be chopped. I promised to see Slash & Burn through the first arc and I think I’m going to hold to that promise but my interest has waned. It’s not a bad story, it’s just okay and doesn’t feel as inventive as some of the others. And I want to give Last Gang another shot before deciding.

Dave: Yeah, I’m very uncertain about Last Gang in Town, but I feel like it’s only had a single issue, and I like the ideas behind it enough to give it one more go.

Chopped:

Dave Says:

  1. Slash and Burn
  2. Red Thorn

Brian says:

  1. Clean Room
  2. Red Thorn
art by Tula Lotay

art by Tula Lotay

Dave: Slash and Burn is chopped for the reasons you cited above. I felt like 10 titles was already a lot, so if I’m giving Art Ops one more shot to wow me, then Slash and Burn  just doesn’t make the cut. Tough, but I might come back to it in trade if I hear good things, and my pull list thins out a bit. Whoa, whoa… wait a minute… Clean Room is CHOPPED?! Curious to hear your take on that one.

Brian: So when we started out, I made a promise to myself that if I didn’t click with a book right away or find something to like, I’d drop it, no questions asked. We both agreed on the problems with Red Thorn, so I didn’t check out issue two. With Clean Room… well. I took two passes at the first issue before I got a sense of what it was. I felt like dropping it but after talking with you and seeing some of our fellow Panelteers reactions, I gave it one more shot and then picked up the second issue. And then I kept putting off the second issue off. When I finally did sit down with it, I was left a little cold. I could appreciate the parts and what they were doing but just did not connect with it at all. So, I decided to drop it.

Dave: Fair enough. There you go — our current standings on the end-of-2015 Vertigo “explosion.” There are more Vertigo titles on the horizon, like the recently solicited Dark and Bloody, so we may have to check in in a few months to see how things are going. But right now we’re both liking more Vertigo titles than we’re not, and I’m personally adding more Vertigo titles to my pull list than I have in years.

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