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Helix was a short-lived, science fiction and science fantasy imprint of DC Comics, launched in 1996 and discontinued in 1998. (In early promotional materials prior to the release of the first title, the imprint was called Matrix instead of Helix. It was renamed because of the then-upcoming film, The Matrix.[1]) It featured a handful of ongoing monthly series, several limited series, and one short graphic novel.

Despite the involvement of successful SF/fantasy novelists Michael Moorcock, Lucius Shepard and Christopher Hinz, and established comics creators Howard Chaykin, Elaine Lee, Matt Howarth, Warren Ellis, Walt Simonson, and Garth Ennis, sales of the comic books were low, and most of the ongoing titles were cancelled after 12 or fewer issues. Ellis' Transmetropolitan was switched to the Vertigo imprint, where it continued for several more years before reaching its planned conclusion. Ennis' Bloody Mary mini-series and Michael Moorcock's Multiverse were later collected in Vertigo-label paperbacks and Moeller's Sheva's War was released as a graphic novel paperback by Dark Horse.

Limited availability of the books in bookstores that already sold science fiction, resistance among science-fiction readers to serialized monthly publication, the lower visibility of the line's deliberately muted cover color palette, and the lack of interest in genre SF among regular patrons of comic-book stores, were all cited by industry observers as factors in the imprint's demise.

Summary details of Helix titles

Book title Issues Writer Artist(s) Publication dates
The Black Lamb
6
Timothy Truman
Timothy Truman
Nov 1996 - Apr 1997
Bloody Mary [2]
4
Garth Ennis
Carlos Ezquerra
Oct 1996 - Jan 1997
Bloody Mary: Lady Liberty
4
Garth Ennis
Carlos Ezquerra
Sep 1997 - Dec 1997
BrainBanx
6
Elaine Lee
Temujin
Mar 1997 - Aug 1997
Cyberella
12
Howard Chaykin
Don Cameron
Sep 1996 - Aug 1997
Dead Corps
4
Christopher Hinz
Steve Pugh
Sep 1998 - Dec 1998
The Dome: Ground Zero
1
Dave Gibbons
Angus McKie
1998
Gemini Blood
9
Christopher Hinz
Tommy Lee Edwards
Sep 1996 - May 1997
Michael Moorcock's Multiverse [3]
12
Michael Moorcock
Walter Simonson, Mark Reeve, John Ridgway
Nov 1997 - Oct 1998
Sheva's War [4]
5
Christopher Moeller
Christopher Moeller
Oct 1998 - Feb 1999
Star Crossed
3
Matt Howarth
Matt Howarth
Jun 1997 - Aug 1997
Time Breakers
5
Rachel Pollack
Chris Weston
Jan 1997 - May 1997
Transmetropolitan
60 [5]
Warren Ellis
Darick Robertson
Sep 1997 - Nov 2002
Vermillion
12
Lucius Shepard
Al Davison, John Totleben, Gary Erskine
Oct 1996 - Sep 1997

References

  1. ^ "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #114", Comic Book Resources, 2007-08-02. Retrieved on 2008-03-21.
  2. ^ A TPB collected edition was released in 2005 under the Vertigo imprint.
  3. ^ A TPB collected edition was released in 1999 under the Vertigo imprint.
  4. ^ A TPB collection - Iron Empires vol. 2: Sheva's War - was released in 2004 by Dark Horse.
  5. ^ Issues 1-12 published under the Helix imprint; issues 13-60 published under the Vertigo imprint.
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