In the latest edition of Comics to Read Before You Die, Jessie Robertson looks at The Authority Vol. 1…
Created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch
Complete Bad-assery. Obviously that is not a word, nor a phrase heard anywhere but after re-reading this book, it’s the only thing that comes to mind. My advice, though, when it comes to this: read it twice through without making opinions about it. The first time I read The Authority, I soaked it in at face value; terrorist villain, super-powered characters that can affect things on a large scale, other worldly espionage, science fiction and occult all wrapped into one confounding team-up book. It was all too familiar but with a handful of characters and worlds I was very unfamiliar with. It struck the notion of the latest batch of characters who are on souped up power levels to give them the weight of famous characters already created. But, I read it a second time, and I started absorbing exactly what was happening within the colored pages. A broken team of misfit heroes were being collected into one defining purpose, as a power-hungry madman with the foresight and capabilities of drawing an unholy circle on the globe amassed a great army of followers to do exactly that; so you have the fundamental forces of good and evil meeting head on in titanic collisions that I had never seen before.
I read the first time through with the fanboy chip on my shoulder, watching Apollo burst dozens, maybe hundreds of terrorist attackers out of the sky, thinking “This guy’s no Superman!” and reading the panel where his significant other, Midnighter, infiltrate the top secret base of Kaizen Gamorra, find a guard and tell him he’s already beaten him before the battle’s even begun. I snickered and snarked, “what a Batman ripoff.” I finished the book and immediately read it again and this time, I soaked in the massive set pieces and strange, intimate moments where these awkward people with special abilities try to interact with each other, and work as a team to bring down a man with centuries of know-how and blood lust.
One of the fun things about reading a book like this, with a lengthy team roster is latching onto your favorite character; it’s a childhood identification system where you see traits of yourself, or who you’d like to be in one particular character, or you just think they’re cool. There is no shortage of awesome individuals highlighting this book but for me, Jenny Sparks does the trick. Her back story is refreshing, historical and speaks to me, like one of my favorite novels, It by Stephen King. She’s been named “The Spirit of the 20th Century” because she was born on January 1, 1900 and her death comes on December 31,1999. She had influenced many of the greatest minds and revolutionaries of that century from Albert Einstein to Adolf Hitler. She also generates electricity from sources and can direct in into massive blasts of lightning, which is never a bad thing either. She’s a bad ass British chick who likes to kick ass and take names. What more could you ask for in a character?
I’m writing a piece on Volume 1 of this series, but honestly Volumes 2 and 3 are just as good and let you grow with the characters even more. Before I go let’s have some hypothetical fun with The Authority – as in casting their movie!
Michelle Dockery as Jenny Sparks “The Spirit of the Twentieth Century”. I went British with Jenny because she has to be, and Michelle, best known as Lady Mary from Downton Abbey has the toughness and leadership skills to give this role a different portrayal than I think normal Hollywood would give it.
Liam Hemsworth as Apollo “The Sun God”. Thor’s baby brother would be a good fit, but Apollo’s look would be hard to find, so you go wig for it; but Liam is handsome, brash and has a fit enough physique for this muscular loftsome hero.
Casey Affleck as Midnighter “Night’s Bringer of War”. You ever see Casey in Out of the Furnace? That role would prepare him for this one, and he can do dark, and nails every character he plays. I think this would be a great fit for his talents.
Anthony Michael-Hall as The Doctor “The Shaman”. I know a head scratcher, but Doctor is all about getting a new lease on life, he’s new to the job of having powers, immense powers, and I think Hall would supply the right look and the right attitude to take this on and make it his own.
Eva Mendes as Engineer “The Maker”. Any red-blooded male loves Eva Mendes, and this would be an excellent comic book role for her. She’s played tough, she’s played smart, combine them with special effects and this is a cinch plus she could do green screen with the silver suit on!
James Purefoy as Jack Hawksmoor “King of Cities”. If you’re not watching The Following, you’re missing out! He’s played Joe Carroll and Mark Antony and killed in both of those roles; he’s got the charisma, the physical prowess and introspection and acting chops to nail this role down and make Hawksmoor a very memorable character.
Charice as Swift “World’s Greatest Huntress”. Known for her singing , a sensation in the Phillippines, if she’d be up for it, she’s got the look, the spunk and the youth to pull this off; she wouldn’t be needed for as many important scenes as the rest of the team so it doesn’t have to be A-List but she’s a beautiful addition to the team.
Jessie Robertson is a contributing writer who loves all things comic books. He currently has one novel on Amazon.com, exploring people able to consciously do what they want in dreams. Yeah, sounds good right? Feel free to email him anything, questions, comments, critiques or Lost trivia at firstname.lastname@example.org.