Review: Superman and the Authority #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Grant Morrison
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Steve Wands
Artist: Mikel Janin
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Superman and the Authority #1 – 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.
This new limited series helps launch an all-new Superman status quo, setting up story elements that reverberate across both Action Comics and Superman: Son of Kal-El in the months to come.
And not only is Superman putting together a superstar team, but it takes superstars to tell the tale: Grant Morrison (The Green Lantern, All-Star Superman) and Mikel Janín (Batman, Future State: Superman: Worlds of War)!
Grant Morrison provides a story that gives a different tint to the Man of Steel. For the longest time, we expect the Big Blue Boy Scout in everything he does. However, desperate times calls for desperate measures and apparently, he has learned a thing or two from Bruce Wayne in that Clark is forming his own team.
Morrison immediately gives us a bullet beginning (no pun or insult intended here) in the relationship between Clark and JFK. DC is taking one of its oddest anti-heroes off the shelf to be a sort of Professor X to this team Superman wants to assemble – Manchester Black.
Manchester Black has a hatred for people with “high moral concepts” who feel they are better than people like Black. Thus an immediate rub with Superman is evident. His rantings are both tongue in cheek and reminiscent of a Ryan Reynolds or Vince Vaughn movie.
Morrison also paints a picture of a Superman whose powers are failing. The timeline for me was not evident in this comic, but it intrigues me as it appears that Clark is now Bruce from Batman Beyond. The work must go on to preserve and like some sort of futuristic Oakland A’s, Superman wants people who have powers similar to his to for an amalgamated team…many parts equaling Superman!
Again, this time line has Superman arguably a historical figure that fought alongside King Arthur and his Knights. I guess if Wonder Woman can be a part of this type of history, so can Superman. This reinvention by Grant Morrison is pretty special. Clark indicates there is a failure with the Justice League type of mentality…. I didn’t see this coming.
Art wise – we jump from different time eras seamlessly as well as a freakish Phantom Zone battle. That shade of RED is something to behold! That last frame of the comic….you have to buy it to see it, but what a commentary. This book is going to be great!
I have been reading comics since the 1970s. I have collected a lot of comics with Superman in the title and thought I had seen everything. The four Supermen trying to replace him after his death…the red and blue versions… kryptonite laden adventures.
Grant Morrison…no negatives here as he has reinvented Clark in a bizarre way to compliment the Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond.
Buy this book. So many Easter Eggs and nuances that point to Jonathan assuming the mantle of Superman, but also of a weakened Clark who needs this team as much as they need him. Here’s to a long run for The Authority!