EW Staff
August 18, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Authority

Current Status
In Season
Mark Millar
Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Fiction

We gave it a B

Not just the most outrageous superhero comic being published today, The Authority knows it is and wallows in it. For starters, there’s Apollo and the Midnighter, stripped-down, slightly psychotic versions of Superman and Batman. They’re also gay and in love. Created by writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch, The Authority reimagines the archetypal superhero team as a group of fascist do-gooders hell-bent on saving the world, body count and moral repercussions be damned. The Ellis/Hitch stories, which began monthly publication in early 1999, were gorgeous spectacles that riffed on a formula conflict — menace threatens planet; Apollo & Co. repel it — but were distinguished by ever-escalating stakes and ever-broadening implications. New writer Mark Millar seems more interested in character development but more into shock value, too (issue 14 was not for the squeamish). An absence of conscience makes the comic a bold original, but The Authority may need more irony for some readers to stomach it. Exhilarating yet ruthless, this may be the final word on superheroes. B

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