It was hard to stand in the cathedrals of Europe, to stand in Paris and and in Rome, and not be lulled (just a tiny little bit) into the idea that there was indeed something grander than the world we know. Just looking at the raw splendor of such houses of worship as the Notre Dame, and imagining the wealth and the power it must have taken 1,000 somesuch years ago to produce these cathedrals and their interiors would do that. And if there might be something grander than this world, wouldn’t it be at least plausible that whatever network of power could produce such cathedrals as these, might very well be the agents of such otherworldly power? And by extension, wouldn’t we owe them some manner of fealty?
In its first phase, The Authority was always about the psychological manipulation of the masses through a show of raw power. Reading it for the first time, as the millennium came crashing in, you could clearly get the sense that this wasn’t the benevolent Justice League, but super-powered beings who simply installed themselves and made us all subject to a higher authority.
And while that idea doesn’t ring as true in Warren Ellis’ storytelling (high-stakes city-wide decimation and a thrill-a-minute rollercoaster pace distract somewhat from the high concept of a higher purpose), the concept is beautifully formed in Bryan Hitch’s artwork. This is the Bryan Hitch fighting through whatever ordinariness he needed to, to become the Bryan Hitch we know today. This is the Bryan Hitch taking those first steps, the Bryan Hitch who develops the idea of the widescreen storytelling format, even as you turn the very pages of the Authority’s first volume.
Please enjoy our exclusive preview of The Authority Vol. 1.
// Notes from the Road
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