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Authority, The: Relentless Paperback – May 1, 2000

3.9 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
Book 1 of 11 in the Authority Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Are we ready for yet another take on superhero morality? Let's hope so, because The Authority: Relentless retools old ideas for a new century. Warren Ellis has his heroes think globally as they kick butt locally, stopping or slowing down to consider how they can use their powers to "make the world a better place." How he can pull this off in our oh-so-ironic age is an artistic mystery, but the results are clear: superheroes with believable personalities and community spirit. Two story arcs, each encompassing terror and evil on a global scale, pit the group of seven against armies of superhumans dispatched in scenes reminiscent of the best action movies. Many of the characters from the older StormWatch series reappear here, and fans will be pleased to learn that Ellis has, if anything, improved his depth and storytelling prowess. Bryan Hitch's penciling, Paul Neary's inking, and Laura Depuy's coloring are all equally responsible for the gloriously lovely artwork-- from interdimensional spaceships to dismembered spinal cords, they make saving the world beautiful. --Rob Lightner

About the Author

Warren Ellis is the acclaimed writer of Transmetropolitan, Hellblazer and Planetary. Bryan Hitch has drawn Stormwatch, Superman, Batman, WildCats and X-Men among many other titles. Mark Millar is the writer of Judge Dredd, Red Razors, Superman Adventures and JLA. Frank Quitely has illustrated Batman: The Scottish Connection, The Kingdom: Offspring and Judge Dredd Megazine. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Authority (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wildstorm (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563896613
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563896613
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #779,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the '70's comic book writers began to add greater depth of characterization and take on adult themes, and for the most part this was a welcome change. Books like Alan Moore's Miracleman and V for Vendetta; Los Bros Hernandez' Love & Rockets; Garth Ennis work on Hellblazer and Preacher; (and so many others) did more than entertain, they actually enriched my life. It was (and still is) a great time to be reading comics.
Yet the attempt to add meaning can become portentious or simply pretentious. Over-complex characterization can result in intermindable soap operas that go nowhere. And sometimes, you just want to "kick it" (in both senses of the phrase). In this sense, Warren Ellis & Bryan Hitch's twelve issue run on The Authority (the first 8 of which are reprinted here) represents a breath of fresh air. Yes, it helps to have read Stormwatch, but then it helps to have read Batman before reading JLA. Ellis does introduce interesting ideas & character development; but he does so in a piecemeal fashion the better to keep the emphasis on the action. And for once it's worth it.
People called The Authority, "the JLA (or the Avengers) finally done right," and I have to agree. Ellis & Hitch do it so well! Realistic cinematic art with a touch of grandeur, incredible world-shattering threats, Jenny Sparks "appallingly bad attitude," and a group willing and able to force change on a global scale, not just to neutralize the enemy but to build "a finer world" whatever the vested interests arrayed against them. It's been a wild ride and great fun to boot: the comic book equivalent of a really well made summer blockbuster action movie. Turn off your brain and give it a try. (Again) for once, it's worth it.
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Format: Paperback
The Authority is a secret global-protection group ('superheroes') who protects the earth from things 'normal' human agencies can't handle. Things that aren't known to the general public. With a wide variety of superpowered 'humans' they are pretty well equiped in every situation.
Although this series spawned off the earlier 'Stormwatch' title, you needn't be too familiair with it. Knowledge about what happened in Stormwatch is a pre, not a must. It's not like you'll miss out on anytthing vital in here if you haven't read it, only you'll know some more on the back-ground of SOME characters if you have (not all).
This first collection collects #1-8 of the series, which are basically divided in two four-part sub-plots (the complete Warren Ellis run/storyline goes on for another four issues in the second volume, along with the first four Mark Millar-written issues).
Storywise intro:
The first sub-arc is called "The Circle". A dictator/tyrant ruler of the island called 'Gamorra' is trying to put his mark on the rest of the world in a rather brutal, unconventional way. It's up to the top-secret global defensive group "Authority" to put him to a stop. In this arc the group is forming and deciding who it's members are gonna be. It's mostly used as an explanation to the reader who the characters, led by Jenny Sparks, are and what they are about (powers, a little background and such).
The second story-arc is called "Shiftships". Earth is under attack by creatures from an alternative earth. Jenny Sparks knows these creatures (half humans) from her past, but she was convinced they were long dead. The question is how to stop them, but luckily Jenny has an ace up her sleeve which should give her group a fair chance.
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Format: Paperback
Make no mistake about it, boys and girls: The Authority is the promise of superhero comics fulfilled at long last.
"Relentless" collects the first eight issues of Warren Ellis' run on The Authority, along with the efforts of his visual collaborators Bryan Hitch (who has come a long way since his uuuugly fill-in days on Uncanny X-Men), Paul Neary and Laura DePuy. Warren said it: "for twelve issues, we were the f***ing Beatles". That they were. Hitch's exquisite detail in each and every splash page is simultaneously epic and romantic, but also in-your-face visceral. But it'd all amount to nothing if not for the beautiful color job by DePuy, who has turned computer coloring into an essential element of the storytelling.
There are those who criticize that Authority lacks in characterization and while these arguments do carry weight, these people plainly fail to realize one thing: superhero comics are not soap operas. This is a fact that seems to have been forgotten so much over the years of superhero comics, that the original intent of the genre has been lost: these are meant to be stories of action and wonder. If you're looking for Watchmen or Dark Knight Returns or any kind of deep, subtle, literary masterpiece ... look elsewhere (like Ellis' Planetary). If you want to see a 70-foot-tall woman made of electricity destroy a fleet of fighter jets from a parallel Britain... come on in.
Besides, these heroes' personalities are so potent that, when they get a good one-liner in, it counts for so much more than balloons of pedantic dialogue in another title. The words are sharp, and so are these heroes.
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