Friday, March 03, 2017

It makes me think of TV's, but that's because I'm old, apparently.

We've mentioned Quality's 2000 A.D. reprints numerous times over the years, including the titular reprint 2000 AD Showcase; but I don't think I had many of what was probably the most popular story reissued there: Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Zenith. From 1987's 2000 AD #545 and reprinted in 1989's 2000 A.D. Showcase #35, "Burn Baby, Burn!" Written by Grant Morrison, art by Steve Yeowell. (The reprint has a pretty good cover from Tom Lyle.)

This was well before Grant Morrison was, y'know, Grant Morrison; and reading this issue cold, without any other chapters or Wikipedia, I didn't know much besides the hero's name was Zenith, and I think he wore a jacket? He may have had powers, but he wasn't a full-on superhero at this point, and was admittedly not prepared to face returning Nazi superman Masterman, who is mopping the floor with "former 60's superhuman Ruby Fox." Zenith's friend Red Dragon is more willing to take on the bad guy, but gets his face heat-visioned off for his trouble. Enraged, Zenith enters the fray, and in short order is thrown through Big Ben! Well, he was described as a pop singer, not a superhero. Masterman tells Zenith his soul will be eaten, and his "leader" will take his body; but Zenith may yet be saved by the sudden return of former superhuman Mandala...

That would've been at least a full splash page in an American comic, here getting punched through Big Ben rates two panels!

Looking it up, this was towards the end of the first phase of four--although, a quick search on Amazon finds a book five, so I couldn't tell you how it breaks down. Still, it appears to be downloadable now, which sounds a damn sight easier than tracking down reprints! Per the GCD, Zenith would be reprinted serially until the end of phase two in 1989's 2000 A.D. Showcase #45; phase three was then still in progress in the British weekly, but the reprint title was cancelled before Zenith could return.

Also this issue: ongoing chapters of "Meltdown Man," "Harlem Heroes," and "Return to Armageddon." For some reason, I thought it was the first installment of the latter serial; it was chapter 7 of 23...

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

I'd be really really interested in collecting that whole story myself. Looks good, and it's a true classic.