The Authority #1-12
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Brian Hitch
I’ve got so many reccommended titles on my to read list, and not all of them live up to their reccommendations – but when they do, it makes me happy down to my bones.
Ellis and Hitch had something magical here. Ellis starts right out in the story, as if giving the reader enough respect by trusting they’ll catch on to what’s happening and won’t need it all spelled out like most comics do. In a world with no more leagues of superheros, Jenny Sparks puts together a group she calls The Authority, who are determined in letting the world know they aren’t alone anymore.
The stories are big, and while the characters take a few issues to truly warm up to, they’re engaging and understandably flawed. The power sets introduced are interesting, I love the idea of the Carrier, and seeing a stable gay relationship between two male superheroes gives me nothing but glee. (Even moreso that they’re both sort of homages to Superman/Batman.)
While I’ve never been a big Hitch fan, his art here is amazing. The action sequences are painfully realized down to every last detail and he makes reading this run tons of fun.
The Authority #13+
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Frank Quitely
Aaaaand then Mark Millar comes along and tarnishes the good name.
I’m actually a Millar fan, on most occasions (but not Wanted. What a piece of crap.) but not this time. While he did try to keep up the major action, and kept the characters compelling, he pushed it a little too far by injecting politics into the equation.
All of a sudden the tone of the book shifted to something uncomfortable, and while Millar is great at discomfort, I don’t believe it really works here. The politics of The Authority and the world they’re in were left unsaid by Ellis, and I believe it should have been left that way. That, and his goddamn trademark violence. Come on now, man. I know Ellis’ run was violent, but there’s tasteful violence and there’s having a giant guy’s legs blown off.
I’m not much of a fan of Quitely’s art. His faces really bug me; everyone is strong jawed and full mouthed. It’s creepy.
I’m still working my way through the first volume, though, so I’ll give it some more time and see if my opinions on Millar’s run change.
But Ellis was still best.