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The Authority, Vol. 1: Relentless (The Authority #1)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  4,234 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
The Authority, the powerful team that rose from the ashes of StormWatch, stars in this world-shaking collection of their first adventures. Led by hot-tempered, electrically powered Jenny Sparks and headquartered in a fifty-mile-wide spaceship that exists outside space and time, the Authority explodes into action, first against a global attack of genetically engineered supe ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by WildStorm
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Sep 26, 2015 Patrick rated it it was amazing
This is one of those rare superhero comics that you can pick up and enjoy without knowing anything at all about 70 year long convoluted soap-opera history of superheros.

That's just what I did about a decade ago. Didn't read superhero comics. Picked this one up and loved it.

Years later, after I'd read a lot more comics and knew a lot more about the standard Marvel and DC sets of heroes, I read these again and saw the subtle (and the not-so-subtle) satire running through the series.

That's the mar
Riku Sayuj
Mar 15, 2012 Riku Sayuj rated it liked it
Mildly disappointed as I was expecting something much better than an alternate (albeit darker) Justice League from this. But, it was good fun nevertheless and wildly imaginative in short bursts.
Stewart Tame
Oct 08, 2014 Stewart Tame rated it really liked it
One of the best superhero team books ever. Yes, this carries over from Ellis' run on Storm Watch, but it's not essential to have read that series to appreciate this one. Ellis is a past master of tossing off mind-blowing concepts as casual asides. He may not have read every single journal on the bleeding edge of technology and science, but he certainly gives that impression. If this book doesn't make you a Warren Ellis fan for life, then nothing ... well, I guess it couldn't hurt to try Planetar ...more
Quentin Wallace
Nov 01, 2015 Quentin Wallace rated it really liked it
If you enjoy hard sci-fi in your superhero stories, then the Authority is the book for you. It's a darker, more proactive version of the JLA at its core, but to simply write them off as yet another superhero team isn't fair.

This book has deep science fiction roots. For example, their base is a giant spaceship that exits in the same "space" as Earth, just in another dimension. Therefore, they simply step through a door and can be anywhere on Earth in seconds. Also the characters are a little mor
Jun 14, 2012 Jonathan rated it it was ok
While I certainly found the characters different to a degree and the plot lines with aliens also different something lacked in this graphic novel. It was one I simply drifted through going: yeah that's an alright idea, I like the interdimensional hub, lightning powers done before, supersoldier done before...

The characters are not typical heroes. They range from a spirit of the 20th century, to a Shaman, a nanotech filled Engineer, to a god of cities, to a solar powered being and a super fast int
Sep 22, 2010 Stephen rated it liked it
3.0 stars. I liked this first volume of The Authority but I must admit I was hoping to like it a bit more than I did. I really like the "attitude" of the story and Midnighter is on my list of favorite comic characters so when he is on the page, it is always interesting. I just thought the overall story-lines were a bit disjointed and didn't flow as well as I thought they should. That said, I will certainly pick up the next volume in the series as I think the good aspects of the title far outweig ...more
Apr 20, 2011 Julian rated it liked it
This was, frankly, a disappointment. The premise is excellent: a bunch of individuals with superhuman powers led by an English lunatic acquire an orbital fortress and inform the world that they are now in charge, and they will prevent bad things from happening. What they decide are bad things anyway . . .

You can see the promise. The whole idea of a small group taking it on themselves to legislate for everyone else what is good and bad without being answerable to anyone is the stuff of nightmare
I hadn't read this material in a while and was worried that it mite not be as enjoyable 13 years later. I was wrong. I still loved this stuff. Ellis is in there with his controlled chaotic take on thing and his effortlessly fun and smart character dialogue and Bryan Hitch does a fantastic job bringing the characters to visual life with the coloring help of Paul Neary.

We get massively powerful supers dashing around the globe to put down evil megalomaniacs, stopping extradimensional invasions, and
Eric Davis
Aug 14, 2008 Eric Davis rated it it was amazing
Goddamn awesome comic, and stays good through the next two volumes (though with a variety of creative teams, and diminishing returns).

The Authority is a team of badasses, protecting earth from all the assholes who would do it harm.

True to form, Warren Ellis breathes life into some pretty unique characters, including Jenny Sparks (a century baby who is the spirit of the 20th century - imagine what she's seen: she was Hitler's muse!?), The Doctor (who is, at his core, junkie, who just happens to
Aug 09, 2008 Trin rated it it was ok
Not as impressed by this as I had hoped to be. It doesn’t seem that different from other superhero comics, and thus far, at least, I felt the characters were less well-developed than in many other titles. And the villains—painfully clichéd, including a ridiculous Fu Manchu knockoff. Though actually, none of that bugged me as much as the fact that whoever drew this (I’ve already given my copy to Wychwood) has obviously never looked at a photograph of L.A., much less visited. There are several maj ...more
Callum Shephard
Nov 14, 2012 Callum Shephard rated it really liked it
Chances are if you’ve ever read a Wildstorm comic it was this one.
Created back in the late 90s by Warren Ellis, The Authority was an attempt to follow up an idea introduced in Stormwatch: Superheroes actively trying to actively improve the entire world. While Superman might take down Lex Luthor every week and Captain America might rail against unjust governmental acts (thanks for that Tony) they’re rarely displayed as characters attempting to actively reshape the world. They’ll preserve it, try
Joe S
Dec 28, 2007 Joe S rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I'm willing to forgive quite a bit in a first trade paperback, just because of the necessary set-up drudgery and the way most writers seem to need an issue or eight before they feel comfortable with their characters. The Authority has the added advantages of a manic colorist (I think this title would be sweeet on acid) and two queer characters who aren't (gasp) villians beaten to bloody pulps and pissed on every third issue by a hairy-chested blonde wearing an Amerikan flag. And I'll admit -- se ...more
William Thomas
Jun 02, 2012 William Thomas rated it really liked it
I missed out on big things during the years I'd abandoned comic books. Evidently, Wildstorm Studios had developed into an uber-mature version of its original self and hired on comic-kind's greatest talents- Mark Millar, Dustin Nguyen, Warren Ellis, Ed Brubaker. The list goes on and on. In The Authority, Ellis gives us gratuitous violence and literary writing, making the book supremely mature and not just adult. Although The Authority is made up of a team of what seems to be unbeatable supermen w ...more
Nov 16, 2008 Travis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-books
Warren Ellis creates a super team that is a great mix of the Justice League, a really good summer comic book movie and a spoonful of wit and sarcasm.

Lots of big action scenes, larger than life menaces and adventures, a couple nice character moments and, because it's Warren, some real bitting humor.

Warren's run on the Authority is the only one worth reading. Learn from my mistake and walk away after the first 12 issues. There was never a creative team that was able to capture the magic of Ellis a
Carlos Emilio
Dec 05, 2014 Carlos Emilio rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
The authority was a recommendation from a friend and I'm glad he mentioned it.
The characters feel more genuine in the sense that they grew up to feel a certain entitlement due to their powers; not to mention their flaws come out as being so human that you can't help but feel like they aren't that far from grasp.
The adventures the bunch goes through and the sudden shifts in storyline make it a very decent read and a fun experience.
Kimberly Ann
Jan 02, 2009 Kimberly Ann rated it liked it
As I was reading "The Authority" I could see where Mr. Ellis made his own version of certain established heroes. There is a Batman-like character and a Superman-like character and they are a couple. There are a couple of characters that seem like they don't belong, as if they don't have anything to do except when it time to fight, but that's okay all books need characters like that. These are heroes who will kill and without prejudice.
Robert Wright
Aug 19, 2012 Robert Wright rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is Ellis at the top of his hero game.

Hitch & Neary's art is great, like a slightly less cartoony version of Davis & Neary.

One thing I noticed on the latest read-through is that it doesn't do a great job of positioning new readers who may not have followed the previous incarnation of the characters as part of the Stormwatch series. So track down Ellis' run there for some good stories, too.

Still, once this story starts to take off, that doesn't weigh it down very much.
Sep 22, 2013 Tamahome rated it really liked it

I actually read the new hardcover version:

Good writing and great art by Bryan Hitch (The Ultimates). The stories get 'edgier' later on as I recall.
Jul 30, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it really liked it
A really fresh new take on what it means to be a superhero. No longer willing to obey nationalism over morals, The Authority sets out to right the wrongs of the world.
Jan 10, 2017 Dean rated it really liked it
I liked this, as I tend to most things Warren Ellis writes, but not as much as I expected. Firstly, the art is fantastic, Bryan Hitch has been touted as creating 'widescreen art' and I can see why. The art throughout is fantastic, very detailed and huge in scope, just like the biggest action scenes in movies. At times Ellis seems to write over-the-top to see what Hitch will deliver.
The writing, though, is good but not great. The two story arcs are enjoyable but thin, with a lot left unexplained
Artur Coelho
Jun 30, 2016 Artur Coelho rated it really liked it
Nas suas doze edições à frente de The Authority, Warren Ellis soltou o espírito apocalíptico em larga escala. Em The Circle, esta intrigante super-equipe que vigia o mundo revela-se como defensora de uma humanidade atacada pelo exército de clones um vilão tão decalcado em Fu-Manchu e no Perigo Amarelo que Ellis replica na perfeição a iconografia xenófoba deste género. Ainda o mundo não está recuperado dos clones asiáticos e logo se perfila outro perigo. Desta vez, uma violenta invasão vinda de u ...more
Picked this up due to a BookRiot article about female leads we're ready to see in superhero Hollywood movies. And Jenny Sparks would be a fun one though there isn't a lot of character development per se in this volume. The recommendation was seconded by Patrick Rothfuss who like me, isn't up to date on all the superhero histories out there so I took it on faith from him that I could get away jumping into this volume like a stand-alone.

It was good as far as superhero comics go (I'm pretty hard o
Sep 18, 2016 Reme rated it really liked it
Mike Cruden
Sep 18, 2014 Mike Cruden rated it it was amazing
This series shows how good super-hero comics for non-kiddies can be, with all of the creators involved on top form and pulling out all the stops to produce top quality work. Everything is wide screen, from Ellis’ high concept stories to the beautiful jaw-dropping artwork from Hitch & Neary; three Englishmen showing the Yanks how it should be done. These are fantastic no-city-is-safe stories recounting death and destruction from insane psychopaths with their own superhero armies or from invas ...more
Dans Mon Arbre
Aug 17, 2016 Dans Mon Arbre rated it it was amazing
Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch's 12 issue run on The Authority is one of the best things to ever happen to superhero comic books. You can walk into it with zero knowledge of the characters and be entertained. You can pick it up 16 years after it was published and be entertained. It is dark, funny, political, drenched in science fiction and social commentary that doesn't beat you over the head.

It's brilliant.

Bryan Hitch might be the best team book artist of all time. Only Jon Cassaday could be bett
Jun 03, 2011 Doreen rated it really liked it
I've always found Warren Ellis to be the kind of author I could take or leave (sorry, Mers!) but I do believe his best work to date was on his late 90s run of this title, The Authority. He takes a fairly ho-hum group of super-powereds (or post-humans, as he terms them in this series) and makes them pretty darn awesome. I mean, really, Swift seems like a fairly pedestrian superhero until he gets his hands on her and makes her not only a badass but iconic. And Jack Hawksmoor has, to me, the best o ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Comicspectrum rated it really liked it
Rating: 4/5 – Improved Successor to Stormwatch.

This book is two arcs, the first arc they deal with a super-powered dictator that is sending supers all over the globe to destroy and wreck mayhem, partially in revenge for a previous attack by Stormwatch and partly because he is a crazy bad guy. Stormwatch is down to a small office at the United Nations and essentially defunded. Sparks makes it clear that her group is not going to be seeking permission from the world government and that they are ma
James Hummel
Sep 13, 2013 James Hummel rated it it was amazing
The Authority is ruthless, a book written from the perspective of, what if those more powerful than us truly made the decisions to be judge jury and executioner? A pre-emptive strike force going out of its way to police the planet. The Authority asks us a lot of questions about power and responsibility and introduced us to the cinematic stylings of Bryan Hitch. It's reasonable to say that his work on the Authority brought about the whole perspective of Marvel's Ultimate Universe, super hero comi ...more
Apr 10, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing
Warren Ellis has a lot of misses but the Authority is one of his greatest creations. (And it should properly be seen as beginning with his run on Stormwatch, where most of these characters debued). I think Mark Millar is the only subsequent writer of the series who really got it. Under Brubaker and Morrison it did devolve into a regular superhero team book of the kind that Ellis set out to parody. Some of that was due to 9/11 causing Americans to lose their (already meague) sense of humour, prev ...more
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Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE and the “underground classic” novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN. The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013. His graphic novel GLOBAL FREQUENCY is in development at Jerry ...more
More about Warren Ellis...

Other Books in the Series

The Authority (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Authority, Vol. 2: Under New Management
  • The Authority, Vol. 3: Earth Inferno and Other Stories
  • The Authority, Vol. 4: Transfer of Power
  • The Authority, Vol. 5: Harsh Realities
  • The Authority, Vol. 6: Fractured Worlds
  • The Authority: Revolution, Vol. 1
  • The Authority: Revolution, Vol. 2
  • The Authority: The Lost Year, Vol. 1
  • The Authority: The Lost Year, Vol. 2
  • The Authority: Prime

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