Vertigo Resurrected: Shoot

Nice shot, “Shoot”!

For the first in a new line of super-sized anthologies under the “Vertigo Resurrected” banner, Vertigo reaches back to the late 1990s and early 2000s with “Shoot,” so named for its lead story, a never-before-published tale of senseless schoolyard homicides. Written by Warren Ellis and featuring John Constantine, Hellblazer, it’s no wonder the work hasn’t seen the light until now. The story is strong, disturbing, powerful and still sadly too close to reality for comfort.

The remaining eight stories in this 100-pager “” graphic in more ways than one “” come culled from such long-dead Vertigo titles as “Weird War Tales” and “Flinch” (which I really wish would be collected in whole, either in hardcover or in trade paperback “” I’m not choosy). 

“100 Bullets” maestro Brian Azzarello probes a link between unexplained cattle mutilations and unsolved serial killings in “Native Tongue”; Grant Morrison has a ball imagining a literal revolution in playthings in “New Toys,” which is more “Small Soldiers” than “Toy Story”: Steven T. Seagle presents the twisted mind of a cancer specialist in the chilling “Diagnosis,” with visuals by Tim Sale that partially ape the Pop Art of Roy Lichtenstein; “Fables” creator Bill Willingham delivers a tongue-in-cheek look at a monster provider; and Bruce Jones chronicles the “Resolve” of a classic Gothic maiden, with old-school horror illustration by the great Bernie Wrightson.

The tales have no unifying theme beyond being terrificly executed comics for big people, especially those of us who missed this stuff the first time ’round. “”Rod Lott


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