Even amidst the chaos, the Major Spoilers Crew is gathering together in Stately Spoiler Manor to bring you a new episode of The Major Spoilers Podcast.  Amongst the rubble, the trio have managed to uncover The Authority.


In 1999, Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch introduced readers to the Authority, a team of superheroes who promised to get the job done by whatever means necessary. They were: Jenny Sparks, the Spirit of the 20th Century; Jack Hawksmoor, the king of cities; Swift, a Tibetan woman with wings and sharp talons; Apollo, a bio-engineered gay Superman pastiche; The Midnighter, a Batman pastiche who was the lover of Apollo and possessed the ability to foresee his opponents’ moves in combat; The Engineer, a scientist who replaced her blood with nine pints of nano-technology; and the Doctor, a Dutch junkie with the combined powers of hundreds of shamans who had come before him.

The Ellis/Hitch run of The Authority lasted 12 issues, divided in three story-arcs: The Circle, Shiftships, and The Outer Dark. They showed an increasingly dangerous enemy: an international terrorist (previously seen in Stormwatch), an invasion from an alternative Earth, and “God,” the hostile alien creator of the Solar system, with corresponding high scale violence and property destruction. The usage of a narrative tool called decompression, taken mainly from manga and novel in American super-hero comic-books, was distinctive: big, panoramic panels were used to examine action in deep detail, with a slower rhythm and lighter plotting per issue.

As always, the Major Spoilers Podcast is nothing without comments from great readers and listeners like you. You can use the comment section below, drop us a voice mail by calling (785) 727-1939, or record your comments and send it as an MP3 file in an email to podcast@majorspoilers.com.

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The Author

Robot Overlord

Robot Overlord

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to the Robot Overlord. Robot Overlord may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds. The Robot Overlord contains a liquid core, which if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. If Robot Overlord begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head. Do not taunt the Robot Overlord.

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  1. May 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm — Reply

    The Ellis/Hitch Authority era is one of my favorite comics/trades of all time. though i had barely any knowledge of Stormwatch prior to this, it didn’t really matter as the story didn’t make it hard for new readers. plunging the reader (and the cast) immediately into extinction event-level threats (and their talents were meant to deal with those anyway – or become one themselves), there was this sense of trepidation that the threats were believable. and the heroes we needed were up to the task. whether its the Midnighter ramming the Carrier into Kaizen Gamorra’s you-know-what*, Jack Hawksmoor ripping apart an alien war-mongering rapist from a parallel earth, or Jenny Sparks frying God, the Authority had the balls and moxie to stand up to these ruthless mega-villains, erasing the morality line that many times held back the good guys from achieving the needed results. this is not your daddy’s superheroes; this is The Authority.

    Mark Millar had also another stellar run (thoroughly enjoyed those Avengers-like villains), but then great parties also come to an end.

    * the resurrection of Kaizen, even though he’s an interesting recurring villain, seems BS to me, because that was a great, great ending/villain death.

  2. Astrodinosaurus
    May 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm — Reply

    This is one of those comics I’m afraid of commenting on because I would have a hard time stopping once I really get going. Its just good, like really REALLY good and in a variety of ways, lets just stick to that. Interestingly enough though the series is one that kept being good after its first run. And that’s despite the high standards being set by Warren Ellis.
    Millar, Morrison(Not that Morrison) and the other writers who have been on the series always seemed to make this series more than what most other comics ever even attempt to be. Oh and between God, poverty and Tom Cruise this series has the greatest villains ever.

    So yeah with this series, Planetary and Brubaker’s “Sleeper” Its seriously hard to steer wrong when reading a Wildstorm title…Which is nice.

  3. Slappy
    May 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm — Reply

    This series I often enjoyed for the fresh direction on tropes we have seen all too often. Unfortunately, one of the things I often found troubling was that some of the storytelling would wander and have pacing that did not properly fit the piece.
    The art was very enjoyable and the Batman/ Superman analogues were swell.
    Overall 3 servings of cold gravy with a hair in it.

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