Outer Dark by Ellis, Hitch, Neary.
The Nativity by Millar, Quitely, and several inkers.
It’s December 29, 1999 and weird things start to come from outer space. The space shuttle Endeavor is hit and two crew members killed while space walking. Some sort of cocoons with tentacles and wormlike things launch from the Moon and hit Africa and Tokyo. The cocoon in Africa is starting to unterraform the Earth around it while the things landing in Tokyo are destroying the people. The Engineer feels strongly that something’s changed in the Earth’s atmosphere and the Doctor is briefed by the earlier Doctors: “We inherited this Earth. We do not own it.” And the owners want their property back.
This is possibly the strangest and most cinematic of the Ellis’ Authority stories with the team fighting on Earth, on the Moon, and in a surreal landscape. The intense action is interrupted by small humorous moments such as the Engineer getting to finally kick Jenny Sparks in the ass and moments of pure awe like Apollo and the Engineer landing on the Moon.
There are also intriguing clues about the Carrier. Apparently it’s alive. It was abandoned by someone and is waiting for its owners to come back. The Engineer and the Doctor found it but don’t know who built it or why.
Millar took the book into another direction in “the Nativity”; PR, media, and getting involved in the political sphere.
The box “Why do super-people never go after the real bastards?” starts the story. The Authority is trying their best to stomp on dictators. They depose one in Southeast Asia and soon the US president is warning them not to overstep their boundaries. Far from intimidated, Hawksmoor warns him right back to watch his own steps. But it’s clear that the politicians really dislike that “ham fisted super heroes” are charging into their turf.
Meanwhile, the Authority has apparently become one of the most known supers on the planet. They’re interviewed on magazines and TV, they party with celebrities and other supers.
However, the spirit of the twenty-first century has just been born and a lot of people are looking for her. Dr. Krigstein has sent a super team which is a match even for the Authority. They are defeated right in front of cameras.
Millar’s writing style is distinctive from Ellis’. His Authority deals with more down-to-earth situations such as the media. He also uses a lot of cursing in the dialogue. However, he does sneak in moments of humor much like Ellis did. Quitely’s art is also very different from Hitch’s so the difference it quite jarring.
There’s one rape scene in the story. It’s not quite on-camera but heavily implied in the artwork. I call this a complete waste of time and done only for the shock value but that’s quite often Millar’s style.
I enjoyed the new direction. Superheroes tend to just reinforce the status quo so this is a refreshing change. However, we don’t yet see a lot of repercussions from the governments but the seeds are there. People who have power don’t share it.