In Grant Morrison and Mikel Janín’s Superman and the Authority, the Man of Steel taps Manchester Black to help him recruit a new Authority when it becomes clear he needs a team that’s willing to bend rules and work on the sly. It’s a decision that makes a lot of sense if you’re familiar with the Authority, but if you’re not…well, you’re likely scratching your head and wondering what’s going on. After all, the Authority hasn’t appeared in any of DC’s movies or TV shows and it’s barely appeared within the DC Universe. There are A LOT of rabid DC fans—including several here at DCComics.com—that know next to nothing about the Authority. So, if that’s you, we’ve put together a little primer on the team to help. Here’s everything you need to know about the Authority!
What is the Authority?
To put it simply, the Authority is a team of cynical, brutally pragmatic superheroes. The group first appeared in 1999’s The Authority, a title by writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch. Some of the team members and concepts originated during Ellis’s run on Stormwatch.
Wait, What was Stormwatch?
Stormwatch was a team book created by Jim Lee (maybe you’ve heard of him?) published for the WildStorm imprint. The title followed a superhero black-ops group funded by the United Nations. Consider it a prequel to the Authority.
How Did the Authority Form?
After the United Nations shut down Stormwatch, Jenny Sparks (more on her in a moment) gathered some of the group’s former members along with a few new faces to form a new team. Jenny realized that disbanding Stormwatch left the world vulnerable to attack and she wanted to stay one step ahead. However, unlike Stormwatch, this new team wouldn’t have to worry about the United Nations or any political implications as they dealt with enemy threats. In other words, they answer to their own authority.
Who are the Members?
Like most superhero teams, the Authority has a rotating roster of powerhouses. Here’s a brief rundown on their original lineup:
- Jenny Sparks
- The Engineer
- The Doctor
- Jack Hawksmoor
Are you a fan of The Authority? Let us know in the comments below!