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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 87

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at an early moment from Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s Authority!


Okay, here are the basics to understand the coolness of this moment…

1. The Authority are no-nonsense superheroes who live on a giant inter-dimensional transport ship known as The Carrier.

2. Kaizen Gomorra is an evil bastard (but fairly stereotypical villain) who has genetically engineered a bunch of superpowered terrorists to destroy various major cities.

3. The Midnighter’s power is to know how to hit things to stop them.

4. Bryan Hitch is good at drawing “widescreen” action, and not a lot of comics had such action at the time.

5. The Authority is trying to attack Gomorra, but he is protected by a force field surrounding his island nation.

That’s about it.

Otherwise, enjoy!

For better or for worse, this was one of the most influential moments of the late 90s, as it influenced a great deal of other comic books after the Authority to try this style of widescreen action.


I have never read the Ellis Authority.

Or the Millar, for that matter.

Or anything before the aborted G-Mozz run.

I should get on that.

@ bill
me too.

Ellis’ Authority run kicked butts from here to Chattanooga.

love the look and evil grin on Midnighter’s face when he has sent the carrier crashing to break the shield and Gammora looking ticked off and saying he only wanted some fun when Midnighter was crashing into his building

Yeah, that’s probably my favorite call and response dialogue of all time.

I really shouldn’t find ‘The Authority’ so annoying, given that it is only a logical progression of the principles used in superhero books that I do like. I think it’s the facile way in which ridiculously largescale threats are routinely presented and then dealt with something even more over-the-top.

The above scene does still raise a smile though!

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 29, 2009 at 6:24 am

Gotta love the widescreen version.

The Ellis stuff is pretty good. The Millar stuff is a definite step down, but it’s got nice Quitely art.

That last page looks very Otomo. Come to think of it, the whole “widescreen” thing was sort of borrowed from Otomo.

Hitch has always had a knack for rendering tech in such a way that it looks as plausible in reality as possible. Not even the best CGI movie could make crashing a giant spacecraft in the shape of a dog’s nose into a commercial skyscraper look anything more than corny by contrast.

See also: the Engineer’s powers in action, the Ultimate Iron Man suit, the Chittauri war fleet, and the Ultimate Crimson Dynamo.

Ellis’s Authority was really something special. It’s everything Ultimates wishes it was.

i need to see bryan hitch do some creator owned stuff…


March 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm

I have never read the Ellis Authority.

But what were you reading at the time?

It was really the only game in town!

I’ve always found one of the most interesting aspects of the book to be that up to this point, Kaizen Gamorra was basically the Dr. Doom of the Wildstorm Universe. Then this issue happens and he is killed off as what amounts to a throwaway joke in the introductory arc of a new series. It really did redefine the direction of the WSU in general and comics as a whole. That was a big part of what I loved about Wildstorm was the sense of unpredictability, the sense that it was the only truly forward-thinking superhero imprint at the time.

Then eventually Christos Gage almost singlehandedly dragged the entire imprint into DC-level continuity porn and completely killed any potential it had, but that’s another rant for another time.

Yeah that big screen stuff was kind of impressive and Hitch’s art was gorgeous, but I was never that grabbed by Ellis’s Authority. To me it was just a big step down from Stormwatch. Millar’s run was much better for me.

mmmm, good!

” Then eventually Christos Gage almost singlehandedly dragged the entire imprint into DC-level continuity porn and completely killed any potential it had, but that’s another rant for another time. ”

I think the real death of the Wildstorm imprint was when DC chickened out post-9/11 and suspended release of both Bryan Hitch’s ” Widescreen ” one-shot and the conclusion to the Millar run. Christos Gage was working with a franchise that had long since lost any momentum it might have had.

I too preferred Millar/Frank Q.’s run. Ellis’ characters were elitist snobs and uninteresting jerks and it drove me away from the books. But I did go back to Ellis’ run later on after reading all the Millar (and Bru’!) issues and i enjoyed it more than the first time around.

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Ellis in general has a lot of tics that annoy me to no end. But like Brian said, for better or worse, this series was one of the most influential series of the 90s (not just the 90s, if you ask me). The moment for me if the actual destruction of the art – the Kaizen/Midnighter to me is typically annoying Ellis – but the Hitch stuff is awesome. This was when he stopped being an Alan Davis clone and came into his own.

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