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Comic Book / Zenith

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I'm nineteen, I can fly, I can flatten ballbearings between my fingers and I'm practically invulnerable to damage. I mean, let's face it... what can possibly go wrong?

A Super Hero Deconstruction comic created by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell. Zenith follows teen superhuman turned pop star Robert MacDowell, more popularly known as his stage name "Zenith" or "Superbrat" to the press. Superficial and spoilt rotten, Zenith is recruited by the previous generation of superhumans to fight against the Lloigor. Unfortunately, as cowardly and inept as he is, Zenith is mostly reduced to being a supporting character in his own comic.

The series was initially published in 2000 AD, spanning four "phases" between 1987 and 1992. Phase III is particularly notable, since it takes place across The Multiverse and featured a multitude of classic British superheroes, both named and ersatz. An incomplete list can be found here.

Zero-Context Examples have been commented out.


Zenith provides examples of:

  • After the End: Phase IV. Subverted.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Used twice. First breaking into Wallace International and again into the Antarctic base.
  • Alliterative Name: William Whitlock a.k.a. Maximan.
  • Alternate History: World War II ends when the atomic bomb is dropped on Berlin.
  • And This Is for...: "The name's Zenith. And this is for Siadwel Rhys."
  • An Ice Person: DJ Chill.
  • Beware the Superman: A major theme.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Phase III.
  • Blind Seer: Maximan of Alternative 23. He even has a raven perched on his shoulder.
  • Break Them by Talking: How Zenith convinces Wallace to stop his missile strike and without his telepathy no less.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Zenith. He's pound for pound one of the strongest superhuman in the series in terms of raw power and his mental faculties aren't wanting either; Peter St John, the comic's master manipulator, outright praises Zenith for more or less foreseeing the social media scene and expresses some disquiet that he sees through his illusions and schemes that manage to fool people "smarter" than him.
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  • British Rockstar
  • Callback: The two scenes of Masterman about to kill Maximan/Zenith are nearly identical. Even Masterman's dialogue is similar.
  • Car Fu: Grant Morrison superheroes love chucking vehicles at each other. A bus, a Weetabix van and even an aeroplane get this treatment.
  • Civvie Spandex: Zenith's ensemble.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The miniature universe of Chimera.
  • Chest Insignia: Zenith's lighting-bolt "Z". Vertex has a "V" in a similar style.
  • The Cracker: Scott Wallace leaves a back door in software he wrote for a nuclear submarine.
  • Curse Cut Short: The Wyvern's last words.
  • Demonic Possession: Superhumans possessed by the Lloigor.
  • De-Power: Cloud 9 claim to have lost their powers. They're lying, though they are a bit rusty.
  • Defector from Decadence: Peter St John refuses to abandon London like the royal family and the rest of the government to avoid the coming nuclear strike they've condemned the rest of the city to, opting to stay behind on the slimmest of chances that he'll be powerful enough to stop the missiles.
  • Differently Powered Individual: Always "superhumans", never "superheroes".
  • Domino Mask
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Peter St John's prophetic dream of the black sun.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Chaostructor. A bomb powerful enough to annihilate a world, yet small enough to fit in your pocket. The timer mechanism breaks easily, though.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Lloigor.
  • Eldritch Location: Four-dimensional space.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Zenith's first feat of superhuman might? Protecting his grandmother from a brutish CIA operative when he was just a lad.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Peter St John is a manipulative, pragmatic scoundrel, but no matter the era or incarnation, he is most definitely not on board with the plan his Cloud 9 colleagues cooked up despite how advantageous it would be for him personally.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: Hotspur, paralysed by the Lloigor, blinks in Morse Code to communicate with Big Ben.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
  • Evil Twin: Zenith's counterpart Vertex from Alternative 300. Of course, since Zenith is shallow and unpleasant while Vertex is amicable and well-mannered, this means Vertex is the good twin.


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