22 April 2009

2009 - The Year of Graphic Novels - Update #1: The Authority

As I noted earlier, I'm attempting to burn through 104 of my unread graphic novels this year. I started with Warren Ellis' Planetary and Stormwatch series, and now I've plowed through The Authority, also started by Warren Ellis.

11. The Authority Vol. 1: Relentless by Warren Ellis
12. The Authority Vol. 2: Under New Management by Warren Ellis

This first incarnation of The Authority was pretty brilliant, with great writing and artwork supporting a fairly smooth transition from the shatterered Stormwatch to the Authority. There's a pretty astonishing amount of death and destruction, but it's all within the storyline of superhumans tasking themselves with dealing with global threats. Can Warren Ellis do any wrong? Not really. I even follow him on Twitter.

13. The Authority Vol. 3: Earth Inferno and Other Stories by Mark Millar
14. The Monarchy: Bullets over Bablyon by Doselle Young
15. The Authority Vol. 4: Transfer of Power by Mark Millar

Mark Millar's takeover of the series was less inspired than Ellis', but still a good time was had by all. Doselle Young's interlude was forgettable.

16. The Authority Vol. 5: Harsh Realities by Robbie Morrison
17. The Authority Vol. 6: Fractured Worlds by Robbie Morrison
18. Coup d'├ętat by Various Artists

I'm not sure what happened here, but all of a sudden, the Authority went into virulent anti-American, populist mode. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it was just very strange seeing America portrayed as a corporate-run plutocracy (some would argue that is, in fact, an accurate portrayal, but I prefer to cling to the idea that we're a representative republic, not a true democracy, however, as most believe). Overall, however, the world in the comics is quite different from the real one, so I didn't take the sort of knee-jerk offense that some others may have.

19. The Authority Vol. 7: Revolution 1 by Ed Brubaker
20. The Authority Vol. 8: Revolution 2 by Ed Brubaker

Without throwing down any spoilers, I'll say that Ed Brubaker's run on The Authority wasn't really his best work (he's best at the noir genre vs. supers), but it was nice getting some closure on an open storyline back from the Stormwatch days.

21. The Authority: Kev by Garth Ennis
22. The Authority: The Magnificent Kevin by Garth Ennis

Garth Ennis never disappoints, but he also, in this case, respected the source material, which I appreciated. He weaves a tale of Kev, a British spy who gets mixed up, repeatedly, with The Authority. Lots of violence, nudity, vulgarity, and humor. Good stuff. No idea why I don't have The Authority: A Man Called Kev in my collection, but I'll rectify that shortly.

23. Lobo/Authority: Holiday Hell by Keith Giffen and Alan Grant
24. Jenny Sparks - The Secret History of the Authority by Mark Millar
25. The Authority: Human on the Inside by John Ridley

Three one shots here (although the Lobo title is really a 3-in-one), that were all worth the price of admission. I expected to loathe the Lobo and love the other two, but the Lobo crossover was surprisingly solid.

Next up: Ed Brubaker's Catwoman run.