Making my way through my local comic shop’s discount shelf I came across The Authority: Relentless, the first volume of the award winning series. I hadn’t read this since the individual issues came out and it deserved a second look.
After witnessing the demise of most of her StormWatch teammates, Jenny Sparks wants to create a new super hero team dedicated to protecting Earth against threats of a global scale. Joined by former StormWatch members Jack Hawksmoor and Shen Li-Min, Jenny recruits four new members, the Doctor, the Engineer, Apollo, and the Midnighter forming the ultra-powerful Authority. Collected in this edition are their first two missions, battling a nation of super-powered terrorists and stopping an invasion from a parallel world.
This is 192 pages of action, non-stop. We’re treated to two full storylines while introducing us to a superhero group unlike others, at least for 1999 when this volume was first published.
This is a globally spanning team with outrageously powerful members working inter-dimensionally. I hate to draw parallels but it’s Wildstorm’s Fantastic Four but with a lot more ass kicking. First assignment is to battle a nation of super-powered beings; along the way we learn about each team member in a slick and easily digestible manner. No wasted talking head pages of flashbacks get in the way of superb storytelling, solid dialogue and an overall riveting tale.
We’re not complicated by gray areas and emotions: the bad guys are distinctly evil and The Authority does what’s needed to bring them down. Read the two pages above and you know that Gamorra needs to be crushed: a nation “built on terrorism” and “a wolf in a world of sheep”.
Let you felt that wasn’t large enough is scope the second storyline deals with a planetary attack from another dimension by an alien British Empire. More great characters and engrossing story.
Another layer is added to the cast as their backgrounds are revealed amongst their latest threat. Massive battles and individual fist fights: The Authority is all about action and delivers it page after page. It’s a standout book that every fan of team comics should read.
Originally published at Comic Book Daily.