2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Prog 606

Zenith Phase II ends this prog after an eighteen week long run. In it, the rock star superhero fights his Ed 209 bound father and foils an attempt by Richard Branson to bomb London from a lo-jacked nuclear submarine. Also, he confronts his creator, Peyne, just like Marvel Man did in his second book.

In the twenty-first centaury we talk about decompression in comics as if it’s a new thing but in Zenith Phase II two decades old examples of it can be found. Grant Morrison wrote whole episodes where it seemed that barely anything happened or was uttered as Zenith swaggered around the Scottish complex he was being held captive in or wrestled with his dad.

Steve Yeowell’s art for the strip looks simplistic throughout. During these almost silent chapters, his figure work is solid but his backgrounds are almost non-existent. It’s as if he found blacking out huge areas of the artwork with a brush the most satisfying act in the world.

Yet, despite Phase II being my least favourite of all the Zenith books, it is still the best thing that has appeared in 2000 AD recently. Morrison and Yeowell not trying very hard is still better than other new contributors at this time trying their best.

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  • Aye, phase 2 was a bit of a mess. Phase 1 was relatively self contained then it became a hit with the readers and Morrison had to follow it up.
    I enjoyed phase 3 a great deal though.

    I really liked Yeowells art back then, his pencilling was tight and the heavy inks looked good. I wish his pencilling was as tight now...he's still quality though, I picked up prog 1600 today and he's illustrating "the Red Seas" now.

    By Blogger Derek, at 12:17 am  

  • Zenith was one of my favourite strips - story and art were, to my young eyes, nothing short of awe inspiring!

    I keep hoping either of the parties involved with the 'rights' dispute will see fit to compromise over the reprint situation of Zenith and actually make some money (rather than none) - Have you seen the cash changing hands on ebay for collected volumes?

    By Blogger Kevin Levell, at 8:41 am  

  • aye, this whole situation with morrison blocking phase IV is crazy.

    I took out progs 601-607 last night and had a read of them and what did I see on the letters page for prog 606 only a drawing from Greg Staples who would go on to produce sub-bisley muddy brown painted stuff in the 90's and much nicer pen and ink art in twoth and the meg in the 00's

    By Blogger Derek, at 2:59 pm  

  • Derek, I like what I see of Yeowell's artwork in general. It just looked incomplete to me during Phase II.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:54 pm  

  • Yeah Kevin, those Titan edition bring in the eBay cash.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:55 pm  

  • Thanks Derek, I'll remember that Staples fact for when I get to that prog

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:56 pm  

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