cover image Zenith: Phase One

Zenith: Phase One

Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell. Rebellion/. 2000 AD (Simon & Schuster, dist.), $25 (112p) ISBN 978-1-781-08276-8

If you are looking for a formula here, it’s not too hard to find. Take Booster Gold, put him in a Watchmen-like situation, add in Nazis and Lovecraftian abominations, mix well with battle scenes. That’s not the sum total of the book, but it’s closer than it should be. Morrison (Final Crisis, Doom Patrol) created Zenith, a “realistic” superhero, back in the late ’80s to run in the magazine 2000AD, and ownership disputes kept the comic in the attic until now. He does some nice worldbuilding in this tale of the last superhero, who is more interested in being a pop star than mussing himself up saving the world. But when Nazi superhero Masterman threatens to destroy the planet, Zenith may be forced into action. Morrison’s script is no-nonsense—though the scenario is similar to that of Watchmen, its brimming with action thanks to its original short, serialized form. Yeowell’s art is serviceable, doing the job in that busy, realistic style of ’80s comics. The story has the same scrappy appeal of other 2000AD comics of the period and is able to meld some intriguing ideas with the derivative aspects. (Oct.)