ZENITH PHASE FOUR
With Zenith Phase Four, we now have the whole of this story of superheroes and monsters available for the first time. Grant Morrison wrote Zenith Phase Four for publication in 2000 AD #791-806, available in 1992. Due to some complications over legal rights, this is the first time they have been collected together. The collection also includes the short piece zzzzenith.com first published in 2000 AD #2001 (from 2000). As with the first three phases, Steve Yeowell did the artwork.
The main story is collected in over 80 pages of full colour and charts the story of the final battle with the multi-dimensional Lloigor. For the bulk of this story, all seems doomed as superhero rock-star Zenith and St. John (politician/superhero/hippy) struggle to overcome the alien superbeings despite their best efforts. Dr. Michael Peyne describes events in flashback and we learn he is the last man alive on an Earth being transformed by the Lloigor ahead of their final transcendence. As the pages turn, we learn of the destruction of humanity, the dark secret of the Lloigor’s creation and the deaths of Zenith and St John. We also watch as Dr. Peyne gets younger and younger, his reward for creating the superheroes in his genetic experiments during World War II.
When the finale comes it is, as ever, down to St. John who has really been the central character of the narrative in almost all the Zenith stories. The titular character is someone the story happens near rather than to; although this story is a step up from Phase Three it still lacks any substantial contribution from Zenith himself.
As a whole this makes a fitting conclusion to the series and readers who missed the original comic release will enjoy the chance to see Zenith in full-colour glory.
INFO: ZENITH PHASE 4 / AUTHOR: GRANT MORRISON / ARTIST: STEVE YEOWELL / PUBLISHER: 2000 AD GRAPHIC NOVELS / RELEASE DATE: JULY 16TH