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The Authority : Relentless [Paperback]

Warren Ellis , Bryan Hitch , Paul Neary
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Jun 2000 Authority
The electric, no-nonsense Brit Jenny Sparks; the alien-designed King of Cities Jack Hawksmoor; the shamanic Doctor; the winged woman Shen Li-Min; the lithe cyborg Engineer; the leather-clad Midnighter and the sun-powered force of nature known as Apollo -- meet the Authority, standing ready to save the world from menaces on the vastest possible scale. Headquartered in an extraordinary fifty-mile-wide alien vessel existing outside of space and time, the Authority provides the ultimate defence to an unsuspecting world. From invasion from other realities to the advance of assassination squads trained to eliminate entire countries, they are the final authority: protecting billions who have no idea that the world has just gotten a whole lot more dangerous...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (23 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840231947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840231946
  • Product Dimensions: 25.6 x 16.8 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 313,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

"What If?" tales are commonplace in comics, but the idea of what would happen if superheroes accorded to themselves the rights of a "higher moral authority" is a corker. A potent cocktail of JLA-style super-heroics, Transmetropolitan's hard-edged cynicism and the visceral intensity of Preacher, rest assured that Warren Ellis's superlative The Authority: Relentless rocks. Hard. While The JLA strove to make the world a safer place, The Authority is a superhero group with an altogether harsher agenda. They will make the world a better place--whether you like it or not. Threats are dealt with with terminal prejudice as they pursue their perception of Utopia with a vengeful zeal and barely disguised fascistic undertones.

Headquartered in a 50-mile long, 35-mile high sentient spaceship existing between realities, the heroes of The Authority reflect the JLA's eclectic membership and sharp chemistry, with Ellis making no attempt to hide his re-stylings (Apollo and The Midnighter are clearly Superman and Batman). However, The Authority is about an attitude, expertly reflected in the group's sardonic British leader, the electricity-harnessing Jenny Sparks. Comprising the first eight issues, The Authority: Relentlesssquares off against a Fu-Manchu-like dictator whose army of superhuman clones are destroying cities and face an invasion from a Great Britain of an alternate Earth. The action, like the pace, is truly relentless, punctuated with vicious violence and an uncompromising attitude. Make no mistake though, this is bold, striking and confrontational, with Ellis taking superhero conventions and remoulding them with the verve and execution of Alan Moore, yet ramping up the expected action to frenzied levels. Hitch and Neary's art is breathtaking, no more so than when fleets of warships erupt from a parallel Earth. The Authority: Relentless is both clever and stunning--invigorating proof that superhero comics are nowhere near finished. --Danny Graydon


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My superhero comics collection stopped in 1988. Until, that is, enough people raved about The Authority on internet forums I visit and I bought this book, which collects the first 8 issues. The team of seven characters all have their own personalities and very different powers, and they set themselves the goal of making the world a better place no matter who gets in the way. One distinctive feature of the series is the power level - they work at a BIG scale (e.g. destroying a country to stamp out an... unpleasant regime), and the threats that they face are of similar scale. The destruction wrought by both sides is astonishing, and the nameless ordinary people like you and me die by hundreds and thousands. This is a very dangerous world to be living in (it's clearly not our own, as the technology is way ahead of what we have). There are occasional gory moments and adult themes, and I wouldn't give the book to a young child. The artwork is brilliant, using depth of colour and big panels (e.g. the Carrier floating through strange universes, or "400 flying b*****ds" over Los Angeles) for dramatic effect. Afterwards I just had to buy the four Stormwatch trade paperbacks to see where it all came from - and they're great too! The second authority collection is out now, and that continues the standard (though I don't really like Quitely's art.) My wallet is not happy - but I am.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast paced story of modern superheroes 5 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
From the ashes of "Stormwatch" comes The Authority. A cracking tale of cross dimensional wars and alternate world history,with wry humour and great artwork. This collects 1-8 of the monthly comic and really grabs you from the outset as Moscow is attacked by an army of flying men with laser eyes. The superhero team,The Authority,are soon on the case and each member is introduced,showcasing their particular skill. The story develops and you learn more about Jenny Sparks,the leader of the team in the second half of the book. Throughout the book, the story and artwork are excellent and if I've got one gripe,its only that I want to know more about the team and their history.Guess I'll have to get the Stormwatch graphic novels! If you like your superheroes funny,mysterious and violent then this is for you!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny 15 Nov 2001
Format:Paperback
I haven't enjoyed reading a graphic novel as much as I did this for some time.
Jaded a little by DC's regular output? The Authority will refresh you - good characters, strong plt, great art.
Thank you Mr Ellis!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warren Ellis Aint All That.... 5 Dec 2008
Format:Paperback
I dont usually buy comics as they come out as its a really expensive and demoralsing hobby. What i tend to do these days is wait for collected trade paperbacks/'graphic novels' to come out and let them do the work for me. Im always more interested in the more Autuer-ish work out there, and the prospect of talented writers bringing their feverish imaginations to the turgid pool of superhero-dom used to really appeal.

Warren Ellis clearly has a good imagination and grand vision for comics but is neither as original, subversive, deep or as 'cool' as he seems to think he is.

The Authority is a group of superheroes in the vein of the Justice League Of America, who tired of battling of piffling supervillians every month try take on the greater evils to try and right the wrongs of this world. Visually, this is handled very well, and Im sure Ellis had a good deal in the construction of this. The action scenes are really cleverly orchestrated too. The only problem is that it really wants to be JLA. In fact it wants to be Grant Morrison's JLA too much. And frankly, Ellis just isnt as good as Mr Morrison.

Possibly his biggest weakness is Ellis's characterisations (which is something that is a constant in his work). Basically all his cool charcters are his internal dialogue and everyone else is a foil, so this lends no depth or resonance to the people in the story. Most of the exchanges are FRIENDS-esque sarcastic comebacks, cod-subversive rhetoric and wooden exposition. There is also Ellis's liberal use of swearing, which tends to just seem gratuitous and adolescent and it never scans like 'real' swearing.
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