Tag Archives: Gene Ha

The Authority: The Lost Year #8 - Cover

The Authority: The Lost Year #8

“No Laughing Matter” (No Spoilers)

Writers: Grant Morrison, Keith Giffen, & J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils: David Williams & Kelsey Shannon
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Gene Ha

I have to admit, I’ve struggled a lot with The Authority: The Lost Year. It has really been hit and miss for me. I believe there have been some great ideas presented in this series but I’m not really enjoying the way they’re being presented. However, with J.M. DeMatteis helping with the story this time we do get some humor which is very unusual for an Authority comic.

In visiting parallel worlds, the team has encountered several doppelgangers of themselves, both here and in past Authority stories. But this time, we get a more comedic take on the parallel Authority team encountered here. When DeMatteis did his Justice League of America series in 1987, it was kind of tongue-in-cheek. It took place in DC continuity but it was definitely very light-hearted. Basically what we have here is a light-hearted version of The Authority. This of course leads to some pretty funny moments where the characters react to situations in a more “classic” superhero way.

The Authority of the parallel Earth act as if they were in a sitcom rather than a comic. You can almost hear the laugh track appropriately placed as you read. While it was funny, it wasn’t laugh out loud funny. It’s kind of like a big name comedian that’s very popular making a movie and it receives lukewarm ratings. That’s what I feel here. I get what they were trying to do but I didn’t find it that amusing.

However, I will say David Williams and Kelsey Shannon’s art was perfect for this story. This is especially true with some of the facial expressions of the characters. At times I felt like I was reading a Mad Magazine parody of The Authority and the pictures went along perfect with that idea as I read.

Fans of J.M. DeMatteis will appreciate his take on The Authority but I think the idea fell a little short. But we still have the second part of this next month so we’ll see how this is all resolved.

Rating: 6 out of 10 (Slightly above average)

The Authority: The Lost Year #7 - Cover

The Authority: The Lost Year #7

“Wildcats” (No Spoilers)

Writers: Grant Morrison & Keith Giffen
Pencils: Brian Stelfreeze & Joel Gomez
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb & Randy Mayor
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Gene Ha

I’m starting to think that this series is not giving itself enough time to develop. I was so pumped about the way last issue began because it was a new arc and Giffen had a chance to start fresh. We had a great set-up and a very cool alternate world introduced. But now we get it all resolved here in this issue! It definitely was not enough time to tell a story with this kind of set-up.

Let’s back-track a little. Issue 5 acted as sort of a prologue to this arc but not entirely. In reality it was more of a bridge between the first arc and this one. What happened in issue 5 was incredibly important to setting up what has happened in number 6 and 7. But now I feel like we didn’t need an entire issue to establish what happened in issue 5. Even if you consider that this will be the last issue in the first trade (just announced for June) it still would read very fast once you got past the first arc.

I guess I’m just disappointed that Giffen took the time to establish a very cool alternate reality Authority team and we barely get to enjoy them. I thought the alternate Earth Doctor was probably the most interesting of the group. Speaking of him, the motives for his actions against the alternate version of Swift are not clear. I would’ve liked a little more explanation as to why he did what he did.

Also, after I praised Brian Stelfreeze & Joel Gomez last issue for doing a great job with cooperating on the art, I feel like the quality went down a little bit in this issue. If I knew their distinctive styles well enough, I could probably pick out who did which panel. Last issue, I didn’t feel I could do that. There is still some great art in this issue but it felt a little uneven.

Now, there were some good parts in the issue. I loved the confrontation by the Wildstorm Earth Doctor & Midnighter against the alternate Doctor. There is also a very heart-felt scene between the alternate Midnighter and the Wildstorm Earth Jenny Quantum.

This is by no means a horrible issue. Overall, I do like the story. It just made me feel cheated because I wanted more. I just think these little 2-issue story arcs are not the way to go here. And from the solicitations it looks like that’s what we’re getting as we move into the second half of this mini-series. Hopefully, the next arc will come together in a better way without feeling so rushed.

Overall Rating: 7 out of 10 (Slightly Above Average)

The Authority: The Lost Year #6 - Cover

The Authority: The Lost Year #6

“Absolute Authority” (No Spoilers)

Writers: Grant Morrison & Keith Giffen
Pencils: Brian Stelfreeze & Joel Gomez
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb & Randy Mayor
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Gene Ha

I think this is the strongest issue of The Authority: The Lost Year yet. Last issue was more of a bridge between this arc and the previous. It gave closure to the first arc but set up how The Authority got to where they are now. For a first-time reader, there isn’t much missing info, so I think a person picking up this issue wouldn’t be lost.

I usually wait until the end of my reviews to talk about the art but this time, I really liked it from page one. I don’t have a way to confirm this, but judging by the way the two men are credited it looks like Brian Stelfreeze (Wednesday Comics, Shadow of the Bat) did the layouts and Joel Gomez (Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs, Iron and the Maiden) did the finishes. And what a strong pairing of artists! The amount of detail created by these two working together is nothing short of staggering.

This issue also has a great start as we get an action-packed introduction to this reality where The Authority has landed. The premise of Lost Year is that The Authority is lost in The Bleed and is jumping from reality to reality trying to get back to the Wildstorm Universe. They are caught up in the events of this Earth so quickly that they don’t even have time to lament the tragedy that befell them at the end of the last issue.

However The Authority is no strangers to dealing with alternate Earths. It’s a plot device that can get a little overused but thankfully, this one is interesting enough to keep the story moving. Honestly though, this is only the second reality they’ve been in since the series began. Returning to the art for a second, it seems that Stelfreeze and Gomez returning to close this arc in next month’s #7. While it is a little jarring to keep having artists change on the book, (we’ve had four in six issues), I can live with it if it only happens when they enter a new reality.

Again, this is by far the strongest issue of this series so far. It seems now-a-days many (not all) comics need at least a good six issue run to get you into the over-arcing story. Lost Year has been a unique case because of the behind the scenes happenings that have affected the book. But thankfully, the middle of the series seems to have finally hit a good stride. Next month’s #7 will let us know for sure.

Overall Rating: 8 out of 10 (On Its Way to Greatness!)

The Authority: The Lost Year #5 - Cover

The Authority: The Lost Year #5

“Blood Brothers” (No Spoilers)

Writers: Grant Morrison & Keith Giffen
Pencils: Jonathan Wayshak
Colors: Allen Passalqua
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Gene Ha & Alex Sinclair

A new story arc begins for The Authority and Keith Giffen is free to start fresh without Grant Morrison’s start on the series over-shadowing him, right? Well, not exactly. First off, this is still based on stories Morrison outlined and which Giffen is going to use through-out the rest of this mini-series. But that’s ok because we already knew that. The problem is we get a slight overflow of events from the last arc. This is not a big deal if you’ve followed since the beginning but it might throw new readers off who are jumping on this issue because it’s being toted as a new story arc.

One thing that is evident in this issue from the start is that this is definitely the pre-World’s End Authority. Before Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s World’s End run humbled the team and hopefully taught them a few things about being heroes, the Authority were basically powerful jerks. The funny thing is this was the appeal in the beginning for a lot of people. Warren Ellis (who created the team) was obviously using the team to poke fun at DC’s Justice League (which was ironic since DC had just purchased Wildstorm). It’s that same attitude that’s evident here as we see the unceremonious way they deal with the events of the last issue. There is also still that sense of arrogance as we see how they deal with the threat brought up in this issue.

The Carrier has always been a point of mystery in The Authority books. Ed Brubaker touched on its origins slightly in The Authority: Revolution. And as evidenced by last week’s World’s End title, The Authority #18, that mystery could potentially be answered soon. But we learn here that for as powerful as The Carrier has proven to be, it does have its weaknesses. It’s this weaknesses which presents a huge dilemma for the team by the issues’ end as we get a pretty harrowing cliffhanger.

With this new arc we also get a new artist in Jason Wayshak. I’ve never previously seen his art but I did find that he did work on two Wildstorm mini-series before: Ferryman and The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs. His art gets a little too cartoony sometimes for my tastes, especially with some of the facial expressions. But I did like his design for one of the creatures in the issue. It reminded me of something you’d see in Sam Keith’s series The Maxx.

Overall, a good issue that had a lot of action and very good cliffhanger but I think it could’ve been a tad more new-reader friendly.

Over All Rating 7 out of 10 (Slightly Above Average)