Complete Zenith Collection finally on its way from 2000AD

2000AD is to publish a complete – if strictly limited – collection of Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell’s ground-breaking superhero series Zenith for the first time in December.

The 2000AD marketing team have been teasing fans with the possibility of a collection for weeks, starting, it appears, by wearing Zenith t-shirts at CE2 and running Zenith covers and other art on the comic’s official tumblr. The official announcement was embargoed until today.

The limited edition hardback book will only be available from the 2000AD online shop. Restricted in 1,000 copies, it will be available for pre-order from 1 July 2013 and will be published on 1 December.

Although Titan Books published five collections, Zenith has never collected in its entirety before due to copyright issues, so this is a unique opportunity to own the whole of Morrison’s first superhero series in a never-to-be-repeated format.

Zenith is the world’s first “Superbrat” – a vain, self-obsessed, egotistical pop singer whose only interests are girls, partying, and where he is in the charts. Yet he does not realise that there are mighty forces at work which seek to enslave the Earth – and use him to do it!

Zenith on the cover of 2000 AD
prog 792, by Steve Yeowell

Starting in 1987, Zenith heralded the arrival of a talent to 2000AD who has since gone on to become one of the biggest names in comic books. A very cynical British take on superheroes, Zenith showcases themes and ideas found throughout Morrison’s later work for Marvel and DC, and demonstrates his remarkable depth and maturity as a writer.

Steve Yeowell’s striking black and white artwork – based on Zenith’s character design by Brendan McCarthy – gave the strip a vitality and rawness that still shines through today.

The collection will feature all four series, or ‘phases’, the latter two of which have never been reprinted – and will also include later stories by Morrison and Mark Millar.

Both Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell have been informed of the exciting plans for The Complete Zenith, and this new edition is being handled with the same respect and close attention to detail that 2000AD gives all its much-praised archive reproductions.

Brendan McCarthy’s character design for Zenith

The Complete Zenith is one of more than 30 graphic novels that 2000AD will release in 2013.

The cover of Titan Books
Zenith Book 1

Titan Books published five trade paperbacks of Zenith between 1988 and 1990 collecting Phase I through III but previous attempts to republish the series (including the never collected Phase IV) were prevented by a copyright dispute between the publisher and Morrison.

“Fleetway have no paperwork to confirm their ownership of Zenith,” Morrision told David Bishop in 2007 during interviews for David’s book Thrill Power Overload, “so I’m currently involved in legal proceedings to clear things up.”

(Titan did get as far as printing a Phase IV collection but had to warehouse the entire print run, hoping a deal could be worked out between Morrison and Rebellion. When nothing was forthcoming, Bleeding Cool reported back in 2010 that they pulped the entire run rather than pay the warehouse fees any longer. A few copies did escape, and were sold on eBay.

The Complete Zenith will be available to pre-order 1st July 2013 only from the 2000AD online shop: shop.2000ADonline.com

Background to the Zenith stories on International Hero

About John Freeman

Editor, writer, curmudgeon. Founder of downthetubes.