Panelology is a weekly podcast about comics. We talk about current books, what we're looking forward to, and how to get into reading comics in the first place.

The Authority: The Nativity (Wildstorm, 1999; #13-16)

Authority 2.jpeg
  • With this arc, Mark Millar takes The Authority’s reins from Warren Ellis.
  • The team takes a new approach to keeping the world safe: instead of only taking on extraterrestrial threats, they start targeting oppressive dictators who commit human rights violations to maintain their power base.
  • At the same time, they go up against a shadowy military faction that wants to bend the newborn Spirit of the 21st Century to its own will.
  • Millar uses these two plots to comment on traditional superhero comics’ tropes and the brutality coming out of the EXTREME ‘90s—complete with evil, sadistic Avengers parodies.
  • Frank Quitely’s pages are more focused, personal, and grotesque than Bryan Hitch’s were, saving cinematic moments for fight scenes and other key moments.

The creative team shift on The Authority comes with a change in focus and style, but the characters feel consistent (if maybe a little quippier).  It’s a successful continuation of the series, and I look forward to reading more of it.

Collected in

  • The Authority, Vol. 2: Under New Management (#9-16)
  • The Authority, Vol. 2 (#13-29)

Credits

Writer: Mark Millar | Artist: Frank Quitely | Inker: Trevor Scott with Scott Williams & Mark Irwin (16) | Colorist: David Baron | Letterers: Ryan Cline (13-15), Bill O’Neil (16)

Atomic Robo: The Dogs of War (IDW, 2008; #1-5)

Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways (Marvel Comics, 2006; #1-4)