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The Authority Vol. 2 #1 By Matt Martin
DC Comics/Wildstorm – Robbie Morrison (w); Dwayne Turner (p); Sal Regla (i)
Let me be brutally honest here: this book is a sad, empty shell of its former self.
I personally loved the Warren Ellis run on The Authority. The Mark Millar run was good, I thought, but his temporary hiatus and the exit of Frank Quitely killed my interest in the book (leading to me never actually finishing the original run of the title). So, for me, what made the book fun was never more perfectly defined than in Ellis’ opening salvos: the often-praised “widescreen action” mostly, but also the pseudo-real world problems. In the years that followed those issues’ publication, much has been made of DC editorial’s supposed distaste for the characters and subject matter of the book, as well as their alleged attempts to dilute, neuter or outright kill the franchise. And, really, I never paid too much attention to the conspiracy theorists that made those claims.
Not until now, that is.
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From the opening scene, itself featuring a fairly stomach-turning human rights violation (included for no apparent reason than for shock value and to quickly establish that “yes, those are in fact that the bad guys”), I could feel my expectations just plummet. When the clichéd macho posturing that follows The Authority’s arrival on the scene ceases, the plot exposition not-so-cleverly masquerading as dialogue takes its place. And once it does, you quickly realize that you’re not going to find anything new in this “new era” for the team that the cover blurb promises, because they’re back in Gamorra, once again attempting to topple a corrupt, morally bereft government that treats its own citizens like nothing so much as cattle. And what’s more, those in power of the rest of the world’s nations again begin to question the viability of the moral high ground that The Authority purports to stand on. This is followed by a quick reminder that Apollo and The Midnighter are still gay and a cursory update on the status of Jenny Quantum (the reincarnation of the team’s former leader). Then the arc’s mandatory mysterious new villain appears and begins killing civilians, prompting some cosmic commentary by a group called Reality Incorporated and some more punching of things by The Authority. And that’s about it.
And what “that” is, my friends, is a sketch of The Authority in their most basic, poorly written form: a dime-store Justice League, being written into adventures that crudely ape Ellis’ Authority issues, as well as Grant Morrison’s JLA.
So if you missed The Authority and were hoping that this relaunch might fill the void that its absence had left in your weekly stack of books, I’m afraid you’re going to be sorely let down.
Just move along, people. There’s nothing worth seeing here.