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Primed for disaster: Graeme talks with Authority from 10/24

Graeme McMillan

So, on Thursday, my boss comes into work and she’s dying of what looks to be the worst cold known to humanity. We all yell at her that she should go home, that she’s going to make the rest of us sick, and she says that she’ll stay in her office the whole day. Friday, she comes in again, still sick. We all yell at her again, tell her that she’s going to make us all sick, and she goes to hide in her office for the whole day again.

Today, I am dying of the worst cold known to humanity.

Thanks a lot, boss. Shall we get to comics, instead?

Unlike Diana, I don’t really think that THE AUTHORITY: PRIME #1 is okay, and I’m blaming almost all of it on Darick Robertson. Don’t get me wrong; I think that Darick’s a good artist, able to produce a variety of styles of work (His messier-than-usual issue of 52 in which Ralph died is one of the best looking of the series, and he’s doing good stuff month in and out on The Boys), but there are parts of this comic that go beyond “being rushed” and into the “okay, now you’re just doing taking the piss” arena. You can kind of see it in the cover, which has some sloppy background work barely saved by the colorist, but it’s towards the back of the issue that it really becomes apparent – the last three pages of the book in particular, especially the last page where the splash page that should be one of the most important, money shot, pages in the issue has some appallingly sketchy figures – look unfinished and amateurishly sketchy (Check the backgrounds on the last couple of pages; look at the shadows on the second last page to see what I mean). I don’t know if this was produced under a horrifically tight deadline, or whether Darick just didn’t really care about the book, but it’s a completely distracting black mark against a book that wasn’t really that strong to begin with.

The story, you see, is a strange attempt to revive Wildstorm’s last successful franchise, months after the last stalled revival. It’s a good example of what’s wrong with Wildstorm, on one level; Christos Gage’s script is continuity-heavy, impenetrable to non-Wildstorm regulars, and reads like a parody of DC or Marvel books with much longer histories. It has no identity of its own, and not enough thrills, spills, or humor to make you want to overlook that.

Part of the problem may be that the Authority just isn’t needed anymore; both of the Big Two have their own extreme superhero teams, and Marvel has pretty much driven the “superhero logic taken to extreme” and “widespread destruction” buses as far as they can go, and stripped of its status as the edgy superhero book, there’s nowhere else for the Authority to go – The characters aren’t strong enough or interesting enough to stand on their own outside of the original concept of the book, and putting them into a generic “two superteams fight!” plot like this underlines that. Unless you were already a fan of the characters in this issue, there’s nothing of interest here at all, and when you take that and then add in the subpar art, then you’ve got a book that’s pretty much Crap.

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