Oh, wow. Where to begin?
You know, The Authority v1 is just one of those things in entertainment that floors you, the first time you experience it.
From the characters, to the wild creativity (The Bleed in particular), to the art, to the writing that enables the fact that The Authority is a team so wildly confident in how absolutely, unrelentingly badass they are and how they will, in no uncertain terms, win the day for the good guys, I just love the overall confidence and craft involved that served to unite a near-perfect union of writing, art and unbridled creativity.
The Authority is absolutely one of my top three favorite Wildstorm titles of all time, and one of my favorite team books ever. I treat it like one of my very favorite movies: Only to be experienced in full once in a while, so as to preserve it’s magic for as long as one possibly can.
As for why The Authority v1 is Midnighter and Apollo’s best title…it showcases each of them in the perfect light, and is the basis for all Apollo and Midnighter iterations to come.
As the series begins, and through Bryan Hitch’s pencils, we see Apollo shine under the sun as he offers a ray of hope to those in distress. He is the Superman of the Wildstorm Universe, and we, the reader, know we can trust in his power as he works to save us.
Conversely in The Authority, we come to know Midnighter as a Batman-level badass (apropos, given he’s the Batman of the Wildstorm Universe) that nobody with a functioning brain should be on the wrong side of. His ability to outthink his opponent(s) at every turn is always interesting, and provides set ups for all manner of intriguing scenarios.
Again, it goes back to the idea of The Authority being the book that would serve as the basis for both characters. Sure, Action Comics #1 isn’t the definitive, end-all, be-all of Superman tales, but that book was also crafted in a different time and under a different mindset.
The Authority v1 however, just dropped the characters into our minds, turned the key and hit the accelerator with reckless abandon in the best way. Midnighter and Apollo started out fully-polished in the series, and have only got better with age.