DC This Week

Review – Batman/Superman Authority Special #1: Beware the Empire

Batman/Superman Authority Special #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman/Superman: Authority Special #1 – Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Writer; Trevor Hairsine/Jonathan Glapion/Scott Hanna, Ben Templesmith, Artists; Rain Beredo, Colorist

Ray – 9.5/10

Ray: Bridging the gap between Grant Morrison’s Superman and the Authority and the upcoming Warworld saga, this oversized one-shot seeks to fill us in a little more on the new Authority’s dynamic. However, the top-tier creative team elevates it well beyond what could have been a simple tie-in. Superman’s put his team together, and Batman wants to take them for a spin—both needing them for a high-risk mission, and wanting to get a handle on his friend’s new allies. The introduction segments are fun, especially the parts where Midnighter relentlessly tries to get a rise out of Batman. But there is a serious mission here—and it ties back to one of the most dangerous threats the DCU has ever faced, the Dark Multiverse. While Barbatos and The Batman Who Laughs are no more, the Dark Multiverse persists—and a powerful organization named the Empire of Shadows has designs on Earth-0.

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A realm of darkness. Via DC Comics.

The name may seem familiar, and that’s because it’s a take-off on the League of Shadows. This is a world where Ra’s Al Ghul won, and has created a society of followers to rule the world with an iron fist. They’ve cured most social ills—at the cost of free will. This book does a clever trick with the art, with Trevor Hairsine’s realist art capturing the Earth-0 segments, and the art shifting to Ben Templesmith’s haunting, surreal art as the heroes enter the Dark Multiverse. Complete with Bat-armored zombies and references to obscure DC characters like Tempus Fuginaut, Johnson packs a lot into this double-sized issue. While most of the Authority doesn’t get too much more fleshing out here, the story is compelling and also serves as a one final team-up for Batman and Superman before Superman leaves. But the ending cliffhanger promises there are maybe more twists coming for the Dark Multiverse. It hits on basically all cylinders and makes me hopeful Johnson will be coming back to this twisted world before long.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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This post was last modified on November 1, 2021 2:45 pm

Ray Goldfield

Ray Goldfield is a comics superfan going back almost thirty years. When he's not reading way too many comics a week, he is working on his own writing. The first installment in his young adult fantasy-adventure, "Alex Actonn, Son of Two Seas", is available in Amazon now.

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