Comics Creators

Millarworld Book Club: The Authority (Vol. 2) #20


Who do super-people never go after the real bastards?


Time for the third incarnation of the Book Club. This time with a run from the chief itself: The Authority Vol. 2!
Why refer it in that way? Because the easiest method of getting your hands on this run is in the recent HC/TPB edition that labels it as such. And those are the contents that we will be following, although I’d like to her some thoughts on whether to include the guest issues.

Anyway, Millar’s run features balls to the wall storylines and artwork and I am really excited to get this going. Each issue will be up for discussion for a week before moving on.


First up:

The Authority #13: The Nativity (Part One of Four)


Lookit that ART! Yesssssss…


From some Wiki on the Authority:

Synopsis for "Nativity (Part I of IV)"
The Authority is in Southeast Asia taking down a president who ordered the slaughter of those who opposed him. The team leaves the president at the mercy of the locals he oppressed.
After the incident in Southeast Asia, The Authority becomes the center of media attention. The various members visit with the media to justify their actions.
Later, Jack Hawksmoor visits Jenny Sparks’ grave. The Doctor joins him and reveals that Jenny’s energy has been transferred to a newborn child who will grow up to be the Spirit of the Twenty-first century. He also makes Jack aware that The Authority is not the only group out looking for the child.
On The Carrier, the team is throwing another celebration party and various heroes are in attendance. Jack gets a call from the U.S. president warning The Authority not to interfere in United States affairs. Jack tells the president that The Authority protects the world, not just America and they pay allegiance to no one.
In a U.S. intangible military command center called The Hangar, two technicians sit at a large computer console. They inform a Dr. Krigstein that they have located the code-name: Jenny Quantum in Singapore.
At a hospital in Singapore, a group of S.P.B.'s arrive looking for the child, Jenny Quantum. One member called Tank Man kills all the babies in the maternity ward to see which one is Jenny. But none of the babies survive and they realize Jenny is gone.
The Doctor has Jenny cradled in his arms as he runs through the streets of Singapore desperately trying to summon a Door. The rest of the S.P.B.'s surround The Doctor and he’s trapped.

Originally, the capital stormed by the Authority at the opening of this issue was identified as Jakarta, and the leader being attacked was explicitly identified as Indonesia’s real-life president, President Habibe, who was at the time in the news for human rights violations. However, DC did not wish to appear to be endorsing the violent overthrow of a sovereign nation, and so the city and its leader are not identified in the final version of the issue.

The character Jacob Krigstein is based on legendary comic book creator Jack Kirby.


You can tell it was the 90’s as one of the celebs on the Carrier was Ali G. That sort of dates the issue imho.

Still… Hawksmoor in a standoff with the POTUS… and those Super powered beings searching for the baby looked awfully familiar after a while. I didn’t notice it at first but then…

It was a “watershed” issue showing a superhero team taking political action. They took no prisoners and it made the reader go “OH SH#T!” Of course it helped not to have the CCA approval so they could go like Tarantino and make it like an R rated movie.


#13 closes tomorrow night, when #14 discussion opens.


I know it is a slow time but come on people! It is the Authority.

Where is everybody? :slight_smile:


New Issue Discussion is open!

The Authority #14: The Nativity (Part Two of Four)


Synopsis for “Nativity (Part II of IV)”

The Doctor cradles the newborn Jenny Quantum as he comes face to face with the S.P.B. team known as The Americans. Even though The Doctor tries to explain to them why it would be a bad idea to kill the Spirit of the 21st Century, The Americans assure him that they know who Jenny is and are prepared to carry out their mission to kill her anyway.

The Americans explain that Titan is blocking The Doctor’s link to his powers and they offer to let him go if he’ll kill Jenny. He refuses and Titans grabs an airplane flying over head and proceeds to smash The Doctor and Jenny. Suddenly, Jenny begins to glow and a huge explosion of energy engulfs the city.
On The Carrier, Swift enjoys some private time with Gen 13’s Grunge. But it is cut short when Jack radios them all to rally because there’s trouble in Singapore.

Back in Singapore, Titan’s legs have been blown off by the blast from Jenny Quantum. But The Americans receive orders that they are now supposed to bring Jenny back alive, which means they’re allowed to kill The Doctor. But The Doctor makes them aware that Titan’s injuries have granted him his powers back and the rest of The Authority (Earth-50) arrives. Midnighter smashes one of The American’s head’s in while Apollo flies through the giant Titan’s head.

At the secret location called The Hangar, Dr. Krigstein watches and decides that capturing Jenny will allow him to shape the 21st century how he sees fit.

Storm-God zaps Apollo with a lightning bolt while another of The Americans tries to take down The Engineer. But Angie flies him out into space and he explodes. Jack tells The Doctor to escape with Jenny and he does so by heading into the Dreamtime dimension. But he encounters another member of The Americans who is able to enter Dreamtime as well.

Shortly afterward, The Americans are recalled to base. The Doctor reappears to telling the team that Jenny has been taken.


Originally the Commander was drawn with a shield like a certain hero but the powers that be said that it looked way too familiar so the shield was nixed. Also later on in the story the Commander had Apollo in compromising fashion and originally was drawn unbuckling his belt implying sodomy but again the powers that be said no.

It was a very brutal fight the kind you don’t see in a CCA comic. Apollo plowing through the head of Titan, Engineer making the blob like character explode in space, Midnighter smashing in someone’s head and using psychology to convert Tank was good.

In a way I miss this type of storytelling, but I can also see it not lasting long. The title had it’s brief shelf life and made its statement.

that being said, I want to order the trade soon. :smile:


If I recall, we were some mighty militaristic Americans not long before, out in the real world. One thing Mark does well is sense where a trend is going, and when he pointed out increased violence he was right; and pity it is that the violence curve kept going up for so long.

And nobody does it like Quitely.


Vol. 1 Authority by Ellis and Hitchy is $12.99 at Comixology.
Vol. 2 Authority by Millar and Quitely is $25.99.
Or $1.99 the issue.



#14 discussion closes tonight!


The Authority #15: The Nativity (Part Three of Four)
is now open!


I’m going to buy a digital copy and get to it soon. Have no idea where my trade might be. Storage, I hope!


I’ve always questioned the appropriateness of basing the character of Krigstein on Jack Kirby. Aside from Kirby’s talent in creating Marvel’s stable of characters, I don’t see any connection with Krigstein’s soulless and amoral characterization.


You’re right, and in all honesty it just comes down to rounding out the Marvel analogues to face off against then something with an intent message. Part of this “surface before the fold” style of this run is why this entertains me so, but it does come off weirder when delved into more.


I think it was said in the original Blade Runner something about the flame that burns twice as bright burning half as long. This type of “Oh s#it” storytelling couldn’t really be sustained in a long run partly because it shocked and most of the Authority villains never survived to return. :smile:

The title was copied in Superman and in Marvel’s “X-man” at the time. The Authority was white hot but in the end it burned itself out.


Yeah, but I believe it was Highlander that said something along the lines of burning out being better than fading away. Haha. You’re right, of course, there’s an expiration date on the shock/surface of these plots. But there’s something admirable about going:

“Alright, there’s a redneck with a cyborg monster body”
“Is that it?”


This was a highly influential book for me when I first read it - I’ve re-read all the Ellis/Millar trades more times than I can imagine…which makes it so weird for me to struggle to find words to put into this book club. I do enjoy reading everyone’s responses, though!


Issue #15 had some good character moments like the Midnighter and Apollo page and the Doctor and Engineer invading the govt. bunker…


I’ll get into this more when the arc is done, but I think “action movie” Millar books have always excelled in first lines. There’s just something instantly grabbing about his sense of cynical wryness in opener lines.