Following the introduction of Vertigo in 1993, there was an editorial measure to make sure that younger readers didn't mistakenly purchase adult stories after seeing a character make guest appearances in their favorite comics. Because of this, many DCU characters seemed to vanish from continuity whi
In the pre-New 52 DC Universe, the Vertigo Universe referred to an unofficial designation in the DCU. Vertigo was DC Comics' established imprint for mature readers, and while some Vertigo comics - such as Sandman and Doom Patrol - were canonical to the DCU, their characters usually did not cross paths with mainstream superheroes.
Following the introduction of Vertigo in 1993, there was an editorial measure to make sure that younger readers didn't mistakenly purchase adult stories after seeing a character make guest appearances in their favorite comics. Because of this, many DCU characters seemed to vanish from continuity while they appeared exclusively in their solo titles.
Despite this, occasional crossover between Vertigo titles was not unheard of, especially within Vertigo's one-shots such as Vertigo Jam. Some Vertigo characters did continue to occasionally appear within the mainstream DCU as well, such as Batman and Swamp Thing crossing over in 1995 and Death appearing in Action Comics in 2010.
Geoff Johns made the concept of the Vertigo Universe an explicit part of continuity during the Flashpoint storyline, where it appeared as an alternate timeline next to the mainstream DCU and the Wildstorm Universe. Pandora uses all of them to create one greater timeline with elements from all three. On Prime Earth, many of these Vertigo characters reappear as members of Justice League Dark.
- Many stories published by Vertigo Comics are creator-driven and appear in their own self-contained universes. They do not traditionally exist in a shared universe. This concept only applies to characters who were formerly in the mainstream DCU before crossing over.
- DiDio stated in a Wondercon '08 interview that the Vertigo Universe was not part of the 52.