Changing the world, one summer blockbuster at a time.
Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary
Colorist: Laura DePuy
Letters: Bill O'Neil, Ali Fuchs, Robbie Robbins
Published by DC Comics/Wildstorm, 2000
by Matt Singer
a colleague of Warren Ellis'. It's true; well half-true. All right,
so it's at least one-eighth true. You see, for a brief while we
were colleagues; we both worked on the short lived REACTOR Magazine.
Then he quit about 3 weeks into it. But for those three weeks life
was good. Anyone I met anywhere, I shouted at them "WARREN ELLIS
AND I ARE COLLEAGUES!" Most didn't know who he was -- hell, most
didn't know who I was, but no matter. It was cool.
right, THE AUTHORITY; well, all that has to be said is that
books like this that make me very proud to be associated with Mr.
Ellis, even in the most tenuous of connections. Sadly, Ellis has
already left the book, and has made it quite plain that he will,
in the near future, retire from super-hero comics indefinitely.
It's a damn shame if you ask me, few people do it better, and this
book stands out as one of his finest pieces of cinematic, bang-zoom
Authority is a team that doesn't listen to governments, it speaks
to them and expects respect. "
collects the first two four-issue arcs (out of Ellis' total three)
of THE AUTHORITY, a team created by and for Ellis from the
ashes of the old STORMWATCH book. While one book had its
genesis in the other, it's pretty interesting that they are so different.
StormWatch was heroes-in-the-real-world; dealing with governments,
black ops, and international politics. The Authority is a team that
doesn't listen to governments, it speaks to them and expects respect.
They operate on an even bigger level than StormWatch, and it's not
uncommon to hear the book referred to as a summer-action-movie-turned-comic.
Comprised of seven of the most powerful metahumans on the planet,
The Authority are a force to be reckoned with. This reviewer's favorite
character has always been The Doctor, a magician of immense power
and high chemical dependency. Leave it to Ellis.
in 'Relentless' are 'The Circle' and 'Shiftships,' eight issues
of pure, head-crunching fun. In the first, a terrorist who owns
his own country and army of super-powered killers tries to carve
up the earth, just for fun. In the second, The Authority have to
stop an invasion from a parallel earth. Each is complete with Ellis'
trademarks: high action, massive destruction (often of the United
States…odd) smart characters, and fun dialogue. Example:
"Got a cigarette Jenny?"
Jenny: "I've only got one"
Engineer: "I only want one."
definitely wrote these stories with serialization in mind; most
issues repeat important facts for new readers."
is matched on this book by Bryan Hitch, perhaps my favorite artist
right now. He is remniscient of Alan Davis' style, but on heroin.
Most issues feature at least one, if not two splash pages of walls
of enemies, dozens of ships deep. Deadlines be damned! From inks
to colors, the production is slick, and everything looks fantastic.
A lack of fill-in artists (A problem I always have with the STORMWATCH
stories) help keep the overall look very tight.
give the book a blanket recommedation, even though I really dig
it. For one thing, Ellis definitely wrote these stories with serialization
in mind; most issues repeat important facts for new readers. As
individual issues, this was probably a big plus, but as a graphic
novel it sticks out as repetitive and unnecessary. Also, there's
the frequent complaint that Ellis has very little in terms of depth
of character in these stories; and it's absolutely true. Most of
the members of The Authority are little more than their powers and
their witty rejoinders (Everyone except Jenny Sparks I'd say, especially
in the early issues).
how much characterization do you need in your popcorn comics? These
things are intentionally light and fun. THE AUTHORITY isn't
groundbreaking, but it is silly superheroics at their best. I bought
this book when it first came out, and I still read it every couple
of weeks just for fun. Ellis' insanity is always good for an escapist
laugh. And just remember; we've worked together. Well not directly,
but very indirectly. And not for very long. In fact, he might have
left because of me. Those death threats could be from him. Oh just
go read 'Relentless' already!
Matt Singer is a regular contributor to PopImage.
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