Swamp Thing and other "Vertigo" characters to return to the mainstream DC universe

Back in the DCU of the 1980s, Swamp Thing hung with Superman, Sandman met Martian Manhunter, and John Constantine bothered anyone he damn well pleased. This changed with the advent of DC's Vertigo imprint, but things are changing once again.

According to Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool, Swamp Thing will be returning to the DC Universe along with those characters who debuted in DC, but — due to editorial mandate — were exiled to the Vertigo line for much the Nineties and Aughts:

I understand from speaking to a number of people that the new policy is that any character that came from the DC Universe can and will be used by the DC Universe. Prez, Black Orchid, Shade, they're all back up for grabs. [NOTE: Links added by io9.]


So while we won't see Spider Jerusalem or King Mob running around with the JLA, we could see John Constantine drop by Metropolis or Anton Arcane harangue Zatanna. Of course, this means we won't see China Miéville's Vertigo run on Swamp Thing, which has been canned to make room for Swampy's return to the main DCU.



My feeling with Swamp Thing is that he should have been shelved permanently after '87, since nobody else could ever come closer to defining the character than Moore, a fact borne out by every subsequent incarnation of the book. (I would've liked to have seen Mieville's take, though — that really sucks it got killed.)

This is rather ominous. Could DC be pulling the plug on Vertigo altogether? The imprint hasn't had a flagship title for a long time, and most of the key figures in the line's history are either firmly ensconced in mainstream comics, like Morrison and Ellis, or aren't active in the industry anymore, like Gaiman, Delano, and Moore. Maybe with the recentchanges in DC's editorial board, Time Warner is hoping to streamline its comics unit as a R&D lab for more concepts and characters that can be repurposed as multimillion dollar movie franchises.