DC Comics 2021
Written by Grant Morrison
Illustrated by Mikel Janín
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Steve Wands
Sometimes even Superman finds a task almost impossible. Sometimes even the Last Son of Krypton needs to enlist help. Some tasks require methods and heroes that don’t scream “Justice League.” So Clark Kent, the Metropolis Marvel, seeks out Manchester Black, the most dastardly of rogues, to form an all-new Authority tasked with taking care of some business on the sly. Not only will Black know the right candidates for the team, but if Superman can make him behave himself and act in service of the greater good, then he’ll prove literally anyone can be a hero! They’ll have to move quickly, however, as the Ultra-Humanite forms his own team to take out the Man of Steel.
I read this one on a whim as I was more curious than anything who the members were going to be. Manchester Black’s a good start, I was hoping for the original membership but I’m open to see where Grant takes this one after all he created the original. I will say the way that this opens is pretty powerful stuff and the realisation that he’s come to is rather profound for him to come to.
I really rather like the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. The character development we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how they act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter fleshes the characters out extremely well. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story and the characters it leaves us wanting, wanting to know and see more.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story emerge and grow is presented exceedingly well. The avenues we see opening up and those that are mentioned but not explored all manage to add this depth, dimension and complexity to the story. It also engages the reader with thoughts, theories and explanations in their own minds ensuring their return to see if these are explored at all. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is achieved beautifully.
I am very much enjoying the interior artwork we are seeing here. The linework is phenomenal and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the detail work is astonishingly well rendered. That we see backgrounds being utilised as they are to enhance the moments, give the moments an impact and how they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scale to the book is marvellous. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show an extraordinary eye for storytelling. The colour work is brilliantly rendered. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a sensational eye for how colour works and how to maximise the impact it can have.
I have questions galore based on what we see within these pages and I have my own theories about why certain things are happening. I’ll be back to see if they are correct or if i’m just reading too much into things. Either way I’m engaged and invested already, plus i’m interested in seeing who answers the call to be on this version of the Authority. With strong, intelligent writing and interesting characterisation along with these beautifully dynamic interiors make this one that’ll pleasantly surprise you.