Waiting For The Trade – The Authority: Rule Britannia

Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Pencillers: Brandon Badeaux, Simon Coleby, Drew Johnson, Mike S Miller
Inkers:Cliff Rathburn, Simon Coleby, Ray Snyder, Mike S Miller
Colourist: Carrie Strachan
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Collects: The Authority vol 5 #8-17

How do they do it? Everything DnA (as Abnett and Lanning are often known) touch seems to turn to gold. They are currently the masterminds behind the Marvel cosmic line, which contains nothing but top-class books. The Authority is the latest title to benefit from their direction.

For the uninitiated the Wildstorm universe, which The Authority inhabit, recently went through a truly cataclysmic event (see the Number of the Beast trade) and with an unusually novel approach Wildstorm have placed all of their Wildstorm U titles into this post-apocalyptic world. As we join them titular team have crash-landed their dimension-hopping Carrier into the remains of London and are barely eking out a living whilst trying to protect as much of the population at they can. The big guns are out of action and the team is struggling.

The Authority has had its ups and downs, in truth there’s been a lot more of the latter…not that the books were actively bad but they were following fantastic runs by the likes of Millar and Ellis and their mediocrity was like a slap in the face. But with this new setting the book is again kicking much arse, the tone is less whimsical but that makes sense as there’s less to laugh about in this new world.

I’m not sure of the provenance of the art team but they draw a London that looks like London, and when the action spreads out to other parts of Britain the settings are varied but still appropriate. A particular treat is the “Interlude” issue with what appears to be coloured pencils (rather than inked) pages touching back on the Sliding Albion storyline. Normally I don’t really go for un-inked pencils but these work really well and contrast nicely with the more traditional style seen in the rest of the book. It’s a shame that the way the issues are credited I can’t tell you who did them.

The story manages to do something new but has its roots firmly in the history of the team with some very cool cameos and the conclusions of battles reaching back volumes!

Reviewer: Dave Williams

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