REVIEW: ‘Superman And The Authority,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Superman and the Authority #1

Superman and the Authority #1 is written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Mikel Janin, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by Steve Wands. It is published by DC Comics. Years in the future, the Justice League is no more, and Superman’s powers are waning. Inspired by a promise he made to then-President John F. Kennedy during an errant trip in time, the Man of Steel resolves to form a new team to battle an onslaught of criminals from the Phantom Zone. But to do so, he needs the help of one of his enemies: the punk rock psychic known as Manchester Black.

The Authority was originally created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch during the early days of the Wildstorm Universe. They were meant to be a more realistic version of the superhero team archetype. The Authority were willing to kill if necessary and didn’t let any laws or borders stop them. Likewise, Black and his team of antiheroes known as the Elite were created as a direct response to the Authority in a story that served as a reinforcement of Superman’s values story, “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?”

Morrison, who has tackled the Man of Steel before in iconic stories such as All-Star Superman and the New 52 era of Action Comics, brings their trademark mix of wonder and science fiction trappings to the proceedings. In addition to the aforementioned time travel element, there’s a military force equipped with anti-psionic equipment that attempts to apprehend Black and the Phantom Zone criminals who have possessed a group of robots. In contrast to Morrison’s work on The Green Lantern, which was more of a mix of science fiction and fantasy, this story utilizes hard sci-fi, which is a departure from Morrison’s previous Superman stories-but more than fitting with the stakes at hand.

Morrison also continues to prove that they’re one of the best Superman writers on the planet, as every appearance of Superman in this book feels true to the Man of Steel’s spirit. Even though he’s lost his powers and his team, Superman is willing to fight against the Phantom Zone’s incoming forces because he promised to protect humanity. And he serves as the perfect foil to Black, who is cynical, sardonic, and more than willing to indulge his numerous vices. Yet Superman still believes they can help each other, making for an interesting dynamic as the two reform the Authority. Unfortunately, this does lead to the issue feeling mainly like table-setting, as the titular team doesn’t appear within this story.

The issue also marks the reunion of Janin and Bellaire, who previously worked on the Future State-Superman: Worlds of War series. They give Superman a makeover with greying hair and a darker uniform reminiscent of his look in Kingdom Come. Black is also sporting his bright purple hair, trademark Union Jack T-shirt, and jet black trench coat. The action sequences hit fast and hard, whether it’s Black brainwashing the soldiers sent to capture him or Superman engaging in battle with the Phantom Zone criminals. Bellaire’s colorwork brings life to the backgrounds, including the sunny skies of Washington D.C. and the icy cold walls of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. And Wands’ letters feel bold and bombastic: they’re making a statement.

Superman and the Authority #1 features the Man of Steel at his best, along with the promise of a classic Wildstorm team being resurrected. If you are a fan of Superman, the Wildstorm Universe, or the creative team’s work, you’ll definitely want to add this to your pull list.

Superman and the Authority #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Superman and the Authority #1
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TL;DR

Superman and the Authority #1 features the Man of Steel at his best, along with the promise of a classic Wildstorm team being resurrected. If you are a fan of Superman, the Wildstorm Universe, or the creative team’s work, you’ll definitely want to add this to your pull list.