REVIEW: ‘Superman and the Authority,’ Issue #2

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Superman and the Authority #2 - But Why Tho

Superman and the Authority #2 is the second part of a limited series published by DC Comics. It is written by Grant Morrison; illustrated by Mikel Janin, Fico Ossio, Evan Cagle, & Travel Foreman; colored by Jordie Bellaire, Sebastian Cheng, Dave Stewart & Alex Sinclair; and lettered by Steve Wands. Following the conclusion of the first issue, Superman tasks Manchester Black with forming a new superhero team to combat the invasion of the Phantom Zone. In short order, they manage to recruit Natasha Irons aka Steel; original Authority members Apollo and the Midnighter; and June Moon, who is possessed by the malevolent Enchantress.

Team-building sequences in comic books are a tricky thing. Due to the nature of decompression that has become a standard in modern comics, it will often take a whole arc for a team to form. Thankfully, Morrison uses the limited format of this series to explore the different aspects that each team member brings to the table. Steel’s intellect and control over technology are shown while she battles a living computer virus.

Apollo & Midnighter have an extremely strong sense of justice, as they deliver a rather lethal brand of justice to a child trafficking ring that is turning its victims into superhuman weapons. And Moon’s relationship with the Enchantress takes a rather dark turn as the latter has an affair with a Satanist who sends June’s soul to another dimension. The wide range of powers and personalities sets up an interesting team dynamic, and between this and Batman: Urban Legends I’m glad DC is making an effort to utilize more characters from the Wildstorm Universe.

Also adding to the differing tones is the fact that each team member is introduced in a vignette by a different artist. Janin handles the Superman/Black sequences, which mostly take place inside the Fortress of Solitude. Bellaire uses mostly blues for the setting, giving the Fortress its icy and otherworldly look and complementing the Man of Steel’s dark blue ensemble. Ossio and Cheng tackle Steel’s segment, giving her a sleeker and silver version of her uncle John Henry’s trademark armor. They also pit her against an ensemble of foes including a literal Internet troll that looks ripped from World of Warcraft.

Cagle & Stewart tackle Midnighter and Apollo’s segments and showcase the differences between the two. Midnighter’s all black ensemble leaves him standing out in the harsh sandy dunes of their mission location, while Apollo perpetually gives off a bright light that’s almost as white as the uniform he wears. Finally, Foreman and Sinclair give Enchantress’ story a green-tinged effect that looks like an acid-fueled take on The Wizard of Oz—only this time, the Wizard is a demonic force that feeds on human suffering.

Superman and the Authority #2 takes a unique approach to team-building, giving each member a chance to shine as the Man of Steel builds a new team. The next issue promises to see the team escape from Hell—which means there will be a literal trial by fire. So far, this creative team has excelled at delivering upon the promise of the series and I hope they continue to do so with the two remaining issues.

Superman and the Authority #2 is available wherever comics are sold.

Superman and the Authority #2
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TL;DR

Superman and the Authority #2 takes a unique approach to team-building, giving each member a chance to shine as the Man of Steel builds a new team. The next issue promises to see the team escape from Hell—which means there will be a literal trial by fire. So far, this creative team has excelled at delivering upon the promise of the series and I hope they continue to do so with the two remaining issues.