Tag Archives: Keith Giffen

The Authority: The Lost Year #9 - Cover

The Authority: The Lost Year #9

The Authority: The Lost Year #9 - Cover“Punch Drunk”

Writers: Grant Morrison, Keith Giffen, & J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils: J.J. Kirby and Michael Lopez
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Gene Ha

I am truly shocked but I actually thought this issue was okay. Last issue really frustrated me to no end and I dreaded picking this one up. But there were several factors that were different about this issue that I think slightly improved it from the last one.

First off, we get J.J. Kirby as the artist this time. I didn’t think David Williams and Kelsey Shannon’s art from last issue was horrible at all. In fact I stated in my review for that issue that I thought it was perfect especially with some of the facial expression they did. But I think Kirby’s art suited the story just that much more. I remember first seeing J.J. Kirby’s work in the Backlash series. I didn’t care for it as much back then but when he returned and did The New Dynamix mini-series in 2008, I enjoyed his art. I think he’s improved even further in this issue. He’s got a cartoony style that definitely matches the tone of the story.

The Authority: The Lost Year #9 - Image 1The first part of this story last issue didn’t appeal to me because it was trying to be funny and I just didn’t find it to be. Here however, I think the overall humor worked better. Was it outstanding? No. But it was much better than last issue. It was almost like watching an episode of The Tick (or reading the comic). The characters from the alternate Earth were goofy enough to have been villains in The Tick.

I think something else that helped this issue is that it’s basically fighting through the majority of it. The dialogue does have fun with the situation but I think the action allowed for better visual jokes this time.

Does this issue redeem my feelings towards this series? Not really. But I’m glad to read an issue and not regret that I did. We’ve got 3 issues left so we’ll see if the team will end up anywhere else that’s interesting before all is said and done.

7 out of 10 (Above Average)

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!)