Sep 15, 2009

[Comics] The Authority Vol. 3 - Earth Inferno and Other Stories

The Authority: Earth Inferno and Other StoriesWhen you define your comic book characters to be the types that deal with threats to the planet on a multi-dimensional scale, are willing to go extremes to get the job done and are very strong-willed and defiant of authority, the pressure to create more and more epic villains and storylines fitting of the characters will always be there.

Such is the case with The Authority the longer the comic book went on. With the departure of Warren Ellis, now Mark Millar had the primary responsibility (and challenge) to bring The Authority to new heights, present appropriate adversaries and of course keeping the fun and humorous tone the team is also known for.

No tall order, eh?

The Authority: Earth Inferno and Other Stories is the third collection of the comic book series covering issues 17-20 and the Summer Special one-shot. The main story arc of interest here is the Earth Inferno story covering issues 17-18, which most of the other issues covering independent stories.

Earth Inferno involves a series of catastrophic incidents around the world that are all eventually linked to the planet itself, trying to lash out against humanity. Think of it as The Happening on steroids and then some. The Authority come into play trying to save as many people as possible while The Doctor, who has the most appropriate powers to deal with the planet's attack on such a scale, happens to be incapacitated due to an accidental drug overdose.

As this is happening, Midnighter tries to find out on his own what's going on and this brings him to cross paths with a former holder of the Doctor mantle. The only difference is that when this man took on the magical abilities of the Doctor, he proceed to kill off entire populations for no apparent reason.

The story was pretty interesting and I have to give credit to Millar for the kind of widespread destruction he planned for in this story. It's one thing for plants to subtle release pheromones to drive people nuts but to instead command massive weather shifts, tectonic upheavals and swarms of locusts and other insects, well, that's just darn cool.

Cover to #19. Art by Frank Quitely  Cover feat...Image via Wikipedia

The other stories were just okay - one involved the revived corpses of the same black ops Stormwatch team that Apollo and Midnighter were a part of. Others were just the usual one-shots that are done to push character development.

This volume of The Authority remains to be just okay for me but nothing spectacular. The storytelling here wasn't as epic despite the whole planet attacking humanity aspect and it just seemed to lack something. Millar does try to make up for things in the next volume, but that needs to be saved for another review.

The Authority: Earth Inferno and Other Stories gets 3 undead Stormwatch members out of 5.


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