Tag Archives: Tom Taylor

The Authority #29

“Change, Not Die” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Tom Taylor
Plot Assist: Adam Warren
Pencils: Al Barrionuevo & Kevin West
Colors: Eltaeb with Royer & Mayor
Letters: Wes Abbott
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Jim Chadwick
Cover: Jheremy Raapack, Richard Friend, & Wes Hartman

The end of the Wildstorm Universe is here and the first title to bow out in the imprint’s final month is one of its most popular and controversial titles: The Authority. My personal history with The Authority is bittersweet. I thought they were great when Warren Ellis first brought them on the scene but then I quickly lost my taste for them as they seemed to fall into a cycle of shock-value stories instead of stories that simply had some value. Then Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (affectionately known to fans as DnA) came along with the World’s End storyline and made me like The Authority again. In the end it was a short reunion but I’m glad I could enjoy this team once again before the end.

Writer Tom Taylor took the reins of this title earlier this year when the previous creative team left prematurely. Taylor quickly showed that he was going to have a lot of fun with this title. And have fun he did! Where DnA’s run was very somber and humbling for these heroes, Taylor took the lessons from DnA’s run and made sure The Authority did not forget them. I was worried that Taylor might not have gotten the news about Wildstorm’s closing until it was too late to change the end of his Authority run. But based on the way this issue was presented, it seems that he did. Taylor has the characters offer some great reflections on what it means to be a hero. This could have easily been something that could’ve turned out corny and preachy. But I think Taylor picked the perfect character to convey the message. It was a thoughtful commentary on the superhero genre in general and made excellent allusions to the end of Wildstorm itself. Even the title of the issue was highly appropriate and a brilliant callback to Ellis’ run where it all started.

The run has also had two amazing artists in Al Barrionuevo, who took the majority of the issues, and Mike Miller who took two of the issues. On top of that, we get a third artist helping finish off this final issue with Kevin West. I don’t know where he came from but I really enjoyed the few pages he got. He definitely got to illustrate one of the best moments in the issue (see Flint and Grifter). We even got an impressive spilt cover by artist Jheremy Raapack. But Barrionuevo ended this issue in style as he got to illustrate some epic pieces as well. Plus he got to provide a great cliffhanger! That’s right, it’s the final issue and it had a cliffhanger! How will this get resolved since the title was cancelled you ask? Well, it seems that Taylor coordinated with writer Adam Beechen over in Wildcats to have this Authority issue lead directly into the final issue of Wildcats (#30). This was also highly appropriate because both runs at the beginning of the year began together before they split into their different stories. So it’s nice to see them come back together for the finale.

Well, that’s one Wildstorm title buried. But I have to say as a final issue I enjoyed it very much. I felt like it wound down and resolved Taylor’s story nicely and did well to let itself be lead into the final issue of Wildcats. Although December will be a month of goodbyes to the heroes of the Wildstorm Universe, I’m glad that we’ve got a great group of creators that gave it their all in these last issues. Thanks for a great run guys!

The Authority #27

“Slaughter Moon” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Tom Taylor
Plot Assist: Adam Warren
Pencils: Al Barrionuevo
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Wes Abbott
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Jim Chadwick
Cover: Dave Gibbons & Kevin Nowlan
Variant Cover: Andy Park

The Authority really got back on track with this issue story-wise. Where I felt the last issue went by way too fast, I liked the pattern this one laid out. It did a good job of juggling the two groups of the heroes and kept the story moving along nicely.

I won’t spoil it but I will say we finally get the origin of The Carrier this issue. It’s an interesting concept but ultimately I wasn’t blow away by the revelation like I was hoping I was. I think it was mainly because the explanation surrounding the alien race was something I’ve heard in other stories. If it weren’t for that, I think I would’ve appreciated the origin story more. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not a bad origin at all. It’s just something I’ve seen before countless times in science fiction.

But like I stated earlier, I did enjoy the pacing of the issue a lot more this time. If I had any quips about the issue it’s a gag they do with River where he gets a full page that I just thought was ok. I know it was supposed to be funny but it felt a little forced. Other than that, I loved the interaction with the characters and I’ve still enjoying Al Barrionuevo’s art.

I will give Tom Taylor credit for a very intriguing cliffhanger. As with the other WSU titles, as we begin the countdown to December I hope a lot of these plotlines get resolved. I’m anxious to see how this all concludes.

7 out of 10 (Above Average)

The Authority #26

“Genociety” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Tom Taylor
Plot Assist: Adam Warren
Pencils: Al Barrionuevo
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb with Darlene Royer
Letters: Wes Abbott
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Jim Chadwick
Cover: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, & Randy Mayor

The Authority continues their space odyssey which turns into a space nightmare in this issue. Tom Taylor has taken us through some great science fiction during his run and he throws in a little science horror now.

I can tell artist Al Barrionuevo had a lot of fun designing some of the alien creatures we see in this issue. I especially like the fact that none of them are humanoid. The team has traveled so far out in space now these things should not even know what a human is (or should they?). That’s another great thing about the story that’s unfolding here is Taylor keeps piling on the mysteries (including a very interesting one with Swift) even as we get some answers.

The comic really switches to the classic “widescreen” feel that made The Authority so popular when they first appeared. This works for and against them though in this issue. Don’t worry, it’s just a nitpick but I feel the issue went by way too fast. This is mainly because we’re getting huge widescreen shots which are highly appropriate with what’s happening here. But at the same time I feel cheated because I want to see more by this creative team. And when the creative team is cheating me of more of themselves, well I can’t help but complain a little. 🙂

All in all, a great issue even if it was a quick one. Anyone who’s big into science fiction like me should be enjoying the heck out of this title. These are places I never thought I’d see The Authority go but I’m so glad they did (even if The Authority themselves are not).

7 out of 10 (Above Average)

The Authority #25

“This is Gonna Suck” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Tom Taylor
Plot Assist: Adam Warren
Pencils: Al Barrionuevo
Colors: Eltaeb & Mayor
Letters: Wes Abbott
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Jim Chadwick
Cover: Howard Porter & Allen Martinez

Don’t let the title of the issue fool you. It does everything BUT suck! But rest assured, Tom Taylor finds a clever way to present the title too. I personally thought it was hilarious how he did it.

After the events of the last few issues I figured things would show down a bit here and I was partially right. Taylor does take the first half to the issue to fill us in on the mystery of Jack’s secret weapon. There is also time to get genuine reactions from the other team members concerning Jack’s weapon. Each of their reactions makes perfect sense and you’re either going to feel really sorry for Jack at the end or hate him for being such a jerk. I personally felt sorry for him.

I liked how even characters like Freefall and Rainmaker stood for what they believed in during this issue. Since they’re obviously the youngest of the team, it seems as if they’ve just been doing what they’re told. But of course that required some trust on their part that those in authority (no pun intended) were trustworthy. But after recent events, they have every right to question that and I loved that about them in this issue.

Taylor also continues to interject great science fiction into run, even mixed with a little science fact (well, hypothetical fact but certainly not straight up fiction). Barrionuevo gets to draw some incredible widescreen shots that have made for some breath-taking moments in this run. Just when I think Barrionuevo’s art is getting a little too dark for my tastes, he reminds me that he’s just setting the mood for the interior shots. Because when we see exterior shots of The Carrier and all the bright vibrant colors of the things they’re discovering, you’ll see the strength of Barrionuevo’s artwork in full force.

But the creative team’s not done with us yet. As the solicits reads “The Carrier appears to finally be approaching its ultimate destination”. Taylor not only gives us a cool little twist at the end but also leaves us with a great cliffhanger!

We’re rolling the down the second half of this creative team’s run. It’ll be a race to see who has the bigger finish in December, The Authority or Wildcats. Regardless, I can tell you it’s going to be one hell of a race!

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)