Following Morrison’s success on the previous volume he throws himself into The Authority and produces some great results. The first of three stories deals with a new religion. Whilst interesting it doesn’t ask as many questions as it could have, being more of an action romp instead.
Then the events of Coup D’état take place off-screen (collected in a separate trade paperback) and we enter a new story. This is definitely the highlight Morrison’s run with an unusual and unexpected antagonist, the Authority pushed to breaking point and some very hard decisions being made.
Finally we have a one shot concerning Jack Hawksmoor. This is a much more personal tale dealing with the death of just one person. An interesting choice but one possibly motivated by the announcement Morrison was being replaced.
Dwayne Turner does a fine job on the art but it isn’t the clean, sweeping strokes of the original Bryan Hitch work. Whilce Portacio does the last issue and really shakes things up in terms of layout making the visuals just as unusual as the theme. The colours for this are also distinctive and well chosen.
The curse of The Authority is that no one (other than superb colourist David Baron) lasts more than a year.
A proud Thumbs Up!
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.
How do you follow Ellis and Millar? You can’t but Morrison certainly gives it his all, blending the epic action and dirty politics of the previous two writers.
There is an issue zero which presumably was good enough for Wildstorm to let him loose on a longer gig. Then a four issue story which does a great job and has an interesting villain. This is saying something seeing as The Authority have taken on God. Then there is a single issue story that shows a more grounded and emotional understanding of what you can achieve with this title.
If you try and forget about the majesty of Morrison’s predecessors then he actually does a fine job of understanding and using The Authority correctly. Jenny Quantum can now talk and so Morrison makes her his own. Her unique viewpoint is very valuable to the last story and she is certainly well portrayed.
Dwayne Turner does a great job on the art adopting the familiar strong lines and detailed faces of his forerunners. David Baron is still the colourist and his signature effects of the Doors and the Bleed, plus excellent lighting effects remind you this is still the familiar Authority you know and love.
Unfortunately the last story is very different. Tang Eng Huat chooses an incredibly fine line style with distinctive detailing. This coupled with the switch from black backgrounds to white make it feel quite alien, although you can still feel it is the Authority, even if it doesn’t look like them.