The Authority has always been about pushing boundaries. About thinking bigger. But not even Millar and Ellis thought about deposing the United States government. An idea both genius and frightening.
This book is a series of one-shots from The Authority, Sleeper, Wildcats, and Stormwatch: Team Achilles that covers this event. If you are only into one series then your particular issue will do you just fine. If you want to know about the wider picture then they all add more detail to the plot. The big disappointment is Sleeper which only exists to kick things off. You don’t get any clues on who these characters are or any reason to want to know more about them. Such a waste of Brubaker’s talent.
The star of the show is actually the Wildcats issue. Even knowing nothing about this title the questions it raises and their response to the Authority’s action is the most intriguing. No one is backing down here. You have always followed the Authority as “the good guys,” or at least anti-heroes. Now this book cleverly makes you question that. How far is too far?
There are four different artists here and it is right they should stay true to their books. The differing styles, whilst interesting, do break up the flow. Rather than a unified whole this does serve to keep things separate with each title and its characters having a cameo of the week feel.
This volume contains the middle Millar stories plus three mini stories from various specials.
The Millar story isn’t bad and you see him twisting and bending the characters to express the more home-grown political message he is wanting to. He has fun with his new toys and spins an interesting yarn. Casey delivers a run of the mill action romp with some old Stormwatch references. Jenkins turns in a mature and touching story whose title, Isolation, says it all. This is the star of the show.
Ellis has clearly said goodbye to The Authority by this point. He basically has Hawksmoor recap the previous stories while doing parkour. While this is a definite let down story wise it is actually quite a poetic and elegant delivery.
There are plenty of artists at work here. Even the main story changes penciller and inker halfway through in a noticeable but not disastrous way. All the minor stories are beautifully rendered, obeying the previous conventions. The Ellis story does have a very different visual style with the words and pictures kept very separate and this compliments the internal narration very well. Weston’s two issue stand-in for Quietly makes the biggest impression and his pin sharp detail seems to be the closest to the original Hitch vision and the most suited for the ‘widescreen’ format.