Too Many Long Boxes!

End of Summer
Scattershot logo

by David R. Black
art by Erik Burnham
special thanks to D.J. LoTempio, my partner in crime

The Vertigo Cycle

As part of the celebration associated with Fanzing 50, I decided that all installments of the Vertigo Cycle should be reprinted in one place. What is the Vertigo Cycle, exactly? Quite simply, it's a collection of fiction stories starring Count Werner Vertigo and Blythe "Byte" Bonner, two lesser known villains of the DCU.

In contrast to most epics (or collections of stories) you'll find in Fanzing, the Vertigo Cycle wasn't planned. It just sort of happened in an organic, evolving way. At it's peak, the collection of stories you're about to read is a testament to collaboration and synergy between two writers - namely, D.J. LoTempio and myself.

The unplanned nature of our collaboration creates a vitality that invigorates the stories with power and emotion. Much like the bi-polar cycle which plagues Count Vertigo, the roller coaster ride through the Vertigo Cycle will grab you and won't let go.

I've never found myself caring so much about two purported "second string" characters before I started reading (and writing) about Vertigo and Blythe. . In addition to its two leading characters, a recurring supporting cast of Prometheus, Dr. Stachowski, Dr. Martin, and Barney Bonner (among others) flesh out the Cycle.

The imagery with which D.J. and I weave our stories paints a vivid picture of two lonely, lost, and tortured souls - two souls whose only remaining tether to reality is each other.

At its core, the Vertigo Cycle is a testament to human survival - a testament to overcoming the failings we all have and using past sorrows to create a better tomorrows.

Count Vertigo, by Erik Burnham

The Vertigo Cycle currently consists of six stories. They are:

1) Scarlet Speedtrap (from Fanzing 31)

2) Prometheus Justified (from Fanzing 31)

3) Opposite Perceptions (from Fanzing 35)

4) Traduce (from Fanzing 35)

5) Half Empty Bowl, Half Full (from Fanzing 46), and

6) Half Empty Bowl, Half Full: Part Two (from Fanzing 49)

I had the distinct pleasure of writing the first and third stories, and Mssr. LoTempio is the genius behind the other four. (He's also working on the conclusion to Half Empty Bowl, Half Full which will appear in the final issue of Fanzing).

As part of helping D.J. prepare for writing Half Empty Bowl, Half Full, I wrote a detailed biography of Count Vertigo, and for the sake of completeness, it is reprinted in this issue. Completists should also know that Blythe and Vertigo make cameo appearances in Eve of Destruction, the conclusion to the Vile Vial saga, which is also in this issue.

The Cycle begins in the midst of the Vile Vial storyline, a Fanzing writing challenge in which villains suddenly finds themselves acting like heroes, and vice versa. Scarlet Speedtrap and Prometheus Justified serve as tantalizing introductions to Vertigo and Blythe, respectively, and Opposite Perceptions kicks the Cycle into high gear.

I'm loathe to say more without spoiling the story. But suffice it to say, the Vertigo Cycle is a wild ride.

Happy reading!

David R. Black is's magazine editor and chief archivist. A big fan of "The Warlord," he has a cat named Shakira and is looking for a girlfriend named Tara....

is the creative genius behind "Zingers." He's also from Minnesota (deal with it). Erik is the artist of "Behind the Fuzz", a story in our first comic book, "Fanzing Presents: Job Wanted", which can be purchased at Too Many!

Return to the Top of the Page

Now that you've read this piece,
discuss it in the Fanzing Forum!

All characters are © DC Comics
This piece is © 2002 by David R. Black
Artwork is © 2002 by Erik Burnham
Fanzing is not associated with DC Comics.
All DC Comics characters, trademarks and images (where used) are ™ DC Comics, Inc.
DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.

Fanzing site version 7.4
Updated 7/27/2010