The Authority: Human On The Inside

October 4, 2004 | Comics


The Authority: Human On The Inside
John Ridley, Ben Oliver
Wildstorm/DC Comics
$37.95/$24.95 US (Hardcover)
*** 1/2 (out of five)

Human On The Inside is the best Authority story to come along in quite a while — but that was easy.
This original 96-page story by novelist and screenwriter John Ridley (Three Kings, Everybody Smokes In Hell) and up-and-coming artist Ben Oliver is a far cry better than the most-recent Authority monthly series that, frankly, stank.
But compared to creator Warren Ellis’ original series — a group of heroes banding together for the betterment of humankind as opposed to fighting the villain-du-jour, which was edgy, smart, funny and groundbreaking in it’s use of violence and real-world sensibilities — Human On The Inside is still a long ways off.
Ridley does have an original spin on The Authority — that their innate humanity can be a weakness that can be exploited. This makes for some interesting group tensions, which take the heroes’ eyes off their jobs and pushes reality to the brink of destruction.
But while this is certainly an entertaining story, it is not much more.
There is little of that dark sense of humour that made the early Authority stories so memorable (except for one scene that sees a manure bomb explode over Paris — ooh, la, la), and the use of openly gay characters, violence and swearing just isn’t the shocker it was five years ago.
The best way to describe Human On The Inside is “better”. And with the much-anticipated The Authority: Revolution #1 coming later this month, featuring writer Ed Brubaker (Sleeper, Queen & Country), the best may be yet to come.

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