“Absolute Authority” (No Spoilers)
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.
“A Runt’s Eye View” (No Spoilers)
During the past month, the Wildstorm Universe has been thrown into chaos throughout all the World’s End titles. And it has been a great read! The Authority #18 set up the dilemma: The Carrier is leaving Earth. Which heroes are going and which are staying? Wildcats #19 showed the war being waged by the heroes who stayed on Earth against the lost Kheran force known as The Red Blade. This issue acts as an addendum to Wildcats #19 as we see the same battle but from the perspective of Runt from Gen 14.
Gen 14, you ask? No, it’s not a typo. If you haven’t been following World’s End then you don’t know about Wildstorm’s newest Gen group. But where Gen 13 were created to serve the purposes of the secret organization Tabula Rasa (introduced in Gail Simone’s run), Gen 14 were created as breeding stock for Gen 13.
“Destination Unknown” (No Spoilers)
Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman continue the adrenaline rush from last issue as this one opens up. But they soon slow things down enough to give the reader (and the characters) a chance to catch their breath. For now, The Authority consists of a smaller cast of characters than what we saw in the latest issue of Wildcats (#19). This allows for some really good characters moments in this issue. But fear not, because we do still get some action here.
One of the first great character interactions is Christine Trelane and Jack Hawksmoor. With Jenny Quantum gone for some time now, Jack has stepped up and taken leadership of The Authority.
“Red Blade 1 of 3: Red Dawn” (No Spoilers)
I have to say I was blown-away with this issue! Marc Bernardin & Al Barrionuevo did a great job introducing this situation in The Authority #18, but Adam Beechen & Tim Seeley have perfected it here. The story is fast-paced, the characterization is spot-on, and on top of that, it’s new-reader friendly!
First off, we get probably the best “Status Report” yet as the opening page catches us up on what’s been going on not only in Wildcats, but also The Authority and the recently cancelled Stormwatch PHD (#24 being the last issue). It is important to note that usually when a title is cancelled, their storylines are dropped. However, in the case of Stormwatch PHD, the final storylines are carried over into The Authority and Wildcats.