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The Authority: Kev

Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2002
By: Michael Deeley



Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Glen Fabry

Publisher: DC/Wildstorm

Plot:
A complete wanker of a government assassin kills the Authority. Unfortunately, they come back and prove to be useful.

Comments:
BHA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! Have you seen this? Their heads explode! This incredibly lucky bastard walks in and blows their friggin' heads off! I love it! The high -and-mighty, super-cool, "post-human" poster children for post-post-modern comics get shot in the head! I LOVE THIS!

Aaahhh, I wish it ended there. For you new readers, let me state clearly that I hate the Authority, and all they stand for. They are amoral, unethical, corrupt, undisciplined bastards who just happen to have the same ideals as aging hippies. But unlike the famous figures who've appeared in the book, (Einstein, Dr. King, Jesus), the Authority have no respect for human beings. Their power and their lack of faith in human beings to solve their own problems leads them to do whatever they deem necessary to make the world a better place. In their opinion, at least. I call them fascist hippies.

And yes, I did read the last issue where they let people stop the end of reality on their own. I found it an extreme application of "sink or swim". And they were still deciding what was best for people based on what they thought was best. In fact, their name, "The Authority", is an ironic joke. They do not officially rule the world or any nation, they derive no legal or political power from any people, and they themselves do not assume responsibility for anything in which they're not directly involved. People just accept them because they're afraid. The Authority rules by default. I believe, if the series had continued, it would have ended with the Authority being "overthrown" by a group of pro-human heroes. I believe every dictatorship, even a benevolent one, ends in revolution.

For a better explanation of why I hate the Authority, pick up the (mini-)series 'The Monarchy', by John McCrea and Doselle Young. 12 issues, plus 'Authority' #21. Or check out the Planetary/Authority crossover 'Ruling the World'. Both comics feature an alternate, evil Authority that threatens the world.

Having said that, this is a fun comic. Kev, our title character, is a guy with extremes of luck, both good and bad. The book opens with him escaping death on the toilet thanks to a bar of soap. (You have to see it for yourself.) It ends with him in bandages, also facing death, also with soap his only salvation. In between, he unwittingly puts the entire world in jeopardy. Kev remains very cool, until he messes up. He's a professional assassin, but he knows when he's screwed. Which is very often.

Ennis clearly had fun with this. You can tell he didn't take this seriously. For starters, (and I hope this doesn't ruin it for you), the Authority are killed with magic bullets. That's right. Magic bullets that can kill anything. It's a pedestrian, normal, almost bland way for these "tres hip", widescreen characters to die. And that's the point. Ennis seems to be taking a step back and saying, "Look, this is all bollocks. It's ridiculous. You think these guys are cool? Let's take them down a peg." It's the little things, like The Authority treating Kev like a lost retard, or the descriptions of the Carrier's locations as "The Arse of Reason in Time for Last Orders" and "Flubbity-Wub-Wub, Flubbity-Wub-Wub-Flub-Wub", that remind the reader this stuff gets pretty ridiculous.

As for Fabry's art, I can best describe it as "organic". Lots of curves, lots of little lines and patches everywhere. It doesn't look polished, but it doesn't look bad either. It's really a matter of personal taste. And it works well for the story.

One more thing: You can tell this was meant to be two issues of 'The Authority'. The story is exactly 44 pages long, and page 23 has a summary of what happened in the previous 22. Aside from that one page, the story reads smoothly. Had the series continued, "Kev" might've started a trend of stories where the Authority are not the main characters. I would've liked to have seen that.

Final Word:
If you only read one Authority comic in your life, read this one. I'm definitely buying the upcoming 'Authority vs. Kev' mini-series. Maybe they'll stay dead this time. Hey, a guy can hope, right?



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