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Is There A Comic Book Property Better Suited To Zack Snyder Than Justice League?

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Ever since the credits rolled on Man of Steel, it was pretty evident that Zack Snyder’s vision of Superman was a lot darker and harder edged than we are used to. Now, darker interpretations of popular heroes are nothing new, but with Superman it felt horribly out of place, especially when DC Comics’ most enduring symbol of hope, a character humanity should aspire to emulate, killed thousands of people in his battle with his own similarly powered people. Yes, yes, the argument can be made that it was his first day on the job as it were, but it’s all about context. We see Kal-El snap Zod’s neck, scream ‘no!!!!’ to the skies, then what? A comedy scene where he destroys U.S. property, and a bit character says he’s hot. Sure, time has passed obviously, but it didn’t help the audiences feel like Superman gave a shit about his actions. Batman v Superman furthered paved the way for Snyder’s darker vision of the DC Comics universe, which he continues with next year’s Justice League. I don’t know about you, but the prospect of happy go lucky characters like The Flash and Cyborg turning dark isn’t something I’m totally down with, no matter how bad ass Snyder’s Wonder Woman promises to be. But what if there was already a darker breed of super team already waiting in the wings that would suit Snyder’s vision down to the ground? Step forward, The Authority.



Part of DC Comics’ Windstorm imprint, The Authority began life in the pages of Stormwatch, a UN funded team which protects Earth from various threats, both terrestrial and extra terrestrial, as deep cover black ops unit, Stormwatch Black. When Stormwatch was destroyed in a battle with the Aliens (THOSE Aliens), Stormwatch Black graduated to their own book, dubbing themselves The Authority. Made up of the electricity powered Spirit of the Twentieth Century Jenny Sparks, the winged Swift, Batman and Superman pastiches The Midnighter and Apollo, (who just so happened to be gay lovers), the nanotech powered Engineer, reality manipulating The Doctor, and Jack Hawksmoor, whose super powers are linked to Earth’s cities. They operated out of the Carrier, a gigantic, dimension hopping space ship which they used to spread their own brand of justice across various realities.

Created by writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch, they were envisioned as a contrast to other, more strait-laced superheroes, willing to do anything in their power to make the world a better place and keep it that way. If it meant destroying an entire island nation or neutering an entire alien empire, so be it. Of course, this put them into conflict with Earth’s governments, and further we got into the series, they ended up taking over America when it was clear the current leaders weren’t doing a good job. If this isn’t similar to Superman’s problems with Congress in Dawn of Justice, then I don’t know what is. The Authority suit Snyder's exploration of how to wield power and humanity’s reaction to a god like creature a lot better than the Justice League, so much so that you could swap The Midnight, Apollo, and Jenny Sparks out for Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in Dawn of Justice, and you would have pretty much the same narrative. They also lend themselves to much darker storytelling (one arc saw them trapped in a dimension very similar to our own, which they ended up destroying as they made their way home) that won’t leave a bad taste in fan’s mouths.


As for the action packed narratives Snyder enjoys, there is no shortage there. Hitch and Ellis’ three issue arc on the series saw them face increasingly dangerous enemies from an army of super powered clones sent to destroy major cities across the globe, an alternate British empire that interbred with war like aliens in the 1500’s, and 'God', here envisioned as hostile alien organism who created the Solar System. Thanks to Hitch’s wide screen style, these stories came across as action blockbusters on the printed page. After they left, Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar took over, creating more of an arc than the first three thinly connected storylines, as The Authority’s efforts to make the world a better place, including re-housing thousands of refugees, raised the ire of an fictional, evil G7, who replaced them with a more compliant, easily controlled version. Further volumes saw everything from a dimension spanning corporation intent on terraforming lesser planets to an old team of heroes who didn’t agree with their way of doing things.

So, do you agree? Is there a super team better suited to Snyder’s darker vision of heroes? Sound off in the comments below.



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The Movie Bit: Is There A Comic Book Property Better Suited To Zack Snyder Than Justice League?
Is There A Comic Book Property Better Suited To Zack Snyder Than Justice League?
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