Superman And The Authority #1 hits shelves today and I have been very excited for this one to release. Not only is it Grant Morrison’s return to writing Superman, but it also has a stellar art team and the concept pieces we have seen the past few weeks have been phenomenal.
But before we get into the issue itself, let’s take a look at the covers. The standard cover is by interior artist Mikel Janín and though I’ve seen it many times before, it never ceases to impress me. It shows a very tactical looking Superman as he watches over CCTV. First of all I love this new look for Superman, the detail and thought that Janín has put into it is incredible, and I feel that the whole concept of this cover perfectly captures the tone and contents of the issue and series as a whole.
The first variant cover is by Bryan Hitch with colours by Alex Sinclair and it is such a contrast to the standard cover I have to say. It’s bold, vibrant and showcases a new line-up for The Authority as they soar into action. I love this cover, the detail on each and every single character is excellent, as is their postures and it also gives us a little hint as to who might be joining Superman on his new mission.
The second variant cover is by Jen Bartel and man I love this cover, I’m a big fan of Jen Bartel anyway and her take on Superman is always stunning. This is one of three of her sketch variants for the upcoming Superman titles and I love it. Though it is a sketch, the detail is great and it’s safe to say she draws a mean spit curl! She has truly nailed the standout features of Superman in this profile of him and I can’t wait to own this cover.
Superman And The Authority #1 sees Superman seek help from Manchester Black to finally make the world a finer place. There are several mentions of him being asked to take a step back by high authoritarian figures when it came to saving humanity in the past, but now is the time to take action, and Superman isn’t in the best position to do it alone.
I will say that I did really enjoy the inclusion and expansion of real historic events, for example the mention of JFK’s assassination, King Arthur, Martin Luthor King, The Beatles striking it big etc. For me it goes a really long way to make a storyline like this feel a little real, which I really appreciated.
Writer, Grant Morrison has done an excellent job of easing us into this exciting storyline and this new take on Superman, which I absolutely adore. Though it isn’t his usual persona or look, this Superman still has those key characteristics that make him Superman – hope, faith and tenacity – despite his situation. Superman is losing his powers, which really levels the playing fields when it comes to the foes he may face, and this acts as a perfect explanation as to why he calling upon Manchester Black for help.
Grant Morrison handles the characteristics and personalities of those featured in this issue perfectly. Manchester Black is sometimes an awkward character to get right in terms of his arrogance and cockiness, but I really enjoyed Morrison’s take on the character. Manchester Black added a lot of laughs in this issue, Grant’s dialogue suited him perfectly and really added a great counter argument when it came to the plans that Superman has and wants to put in place.
Towards the end of the issue we see Superman really put Manchester Black to the test as he asks him to help with a breech in the Phantom Zone. As this weakened Superman cannot take these super-beings alone, he really puts his trust into Manchester Black, and as a reader we really do not expect him to come through, well at least I didn’t.
Not only that but we get a tiny glimpse at another threat at hand, who I am assuming is the big villain of this mini-series. Whoever it is, it is clear that he has a history with Superman, and is not alone when it comes to back up. It is unclear so far how the villain knows about Superman’s weakness, or whether Superman knows of this threat, but it does give us an explanation as to where this series stands within current continuity.
The artwork is by Mikel Janín with colours by Jordie Bellaire and I have to say I adore the artwork. As mentioned before I have been enjoying seeing the preview pages teased by Janín on social media, but seeing it in all of it’s glory in this issue was excellent. The pair work extremely well together and I love Superman’s new look. Janín draws a fantastic Superman and I will never tire of seeing his portrayal and take on the character, he is truly one of the best in my opinion.
I love how even in the shadows Superman’s ‘Kingdom Come’ style emblem still shines bright, that is the perfect testament to the kind of character he is – a beacon of hope. The pages showing the breach in the Phantom Zone were excellent too, the use of red was so effective in showcasing the danger that Superman was in and how high the stakes were for him due to his weakened power set.
Superman & The Authority #1 is an excellent issue that instantly draws you in. It goes a long way to set up what’s to come, and though it’s rather light on action, we are drip fed information which perfectly sets the scene and the stakes. I cannot wait to see what this stellar creative team have in store for us going forwards.
Haven’t picked up Superman And The Authority #1 yet? You can get the standard cover by Mikel Janín here (UK), or here (US). If you prefer the variant cover by Bryan Hitch, you can get that here. Or if you prefer the variant cover by Jen Bartel, you can get that here (UK).
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