12:49pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Rebellion to Re-Release 'Zenith' in Hardcover Collections
After the successful publication of a limited edition hardcover collecting the entire series, 2000AD publisher Rebellion has announced plans to release mass-market editions of Zenith, the superhero series that first propelled writer Grant Morrison into the public eye.
Rebellion PR coordinator Michael Molcher told Comic Book Resources that the success of the Complete Zenith hardcover -- which was limited to 1,000 copies and available only from Rebellion directly earlier this year -- demonstrated the interest in the strip, which had remained out of print for more than a decade up to that point.
"The huge response [to the limited edition hardcover] was overwhelming," Molcher explained. "We've had a lot of requests from people who either couldn't afford the complete volume in one go or were too late to secure their copy, so releasing the story in its individual parts -- or 'phases' -- so that readers can see how the story and, just as importantly, the art develops over the course of the series."
The reason the material -- Morrison's first mainstream superhero work, pre-dating later successes such as Animal Man, All Star Superman and his seven-year Batman run -- had been out of print was confusion over who held the rights to the work. That confusion continues to this day; Rebellion's announcement of the limited edition hardcover reportedly drew threat of legal action from Morrison, who believes that he maintains control of the material due to the lack of a signed contract giving 2000AD ownership at the time of creation.
The new Zenith editions will split the series into the four runs -- or "phases," in the terminology of the series -- in which it was created, with each of the four hardcovers, including "newly commissioned material" to complement the strips, potentially including unseen artwork from series artist Steve Yeowell. The first collection will be released in October 2014, with the second due in December 2014.