You may think Superman is heading to Warworld with his new motley crew after Superman and the Authority #4, but that’s not the case as this week Phillip Kennedy Johnson and five artists reveal a special mission before that mission can take place. It’s a mission that has Batman using Superman’s new team to save Earth from a threat that’s pure evil and nearly unimaginable. Plus, it features characters like Midnighter, Apollo, and Manchester Black. Nuff said!
If you’re looking for high stakes in one-shot superhero stories, you’ve come to the right place. This issue opens on another world rendered in a way that’s nightmarish and crazy thanks to Ben Templesmith’s art. Templesmith draws and colors all the Shadow Earth scenes, which have a dark and almost medieval vibe to them. The world as we know has fallen due to the machinations of the al Ghuls, and they now seek to find a way to the main Earth so as to conquer more worlds in the multiverse.
Outside of these nightmarish scenes — which suit a Halloween vibe if you’re into horror — much of the book is devoted to Batman getting this team up to speed on the mission. He doubts this team can get the job done given some of them are villains or aren’t the most reliable, but they do have the power set required. Fans of Midnighter will delight in what Johnson does with him here. Plus, we finally get to see a scene with Midnighter and Batman interacting!
Johnson does well to establish the stakes, from the end-of-world possibilities down to Superman wanting his team to show Batman they’re capable. The art can feel a bit jarring cutting between Templesmith and Trevor Hairsine, Jonathan Glapion, Scott Hanna, and Rain Beredo, but it’s strong enough in each respective scene.
Batman and Midnighter steal the show, for the most part, both coming off as headstrong and certain of themselves. Their play off each other feels natural and suits the characters never feeling inaccurate or made up to please fans.
This issue also does two things to set up stories for the future. That gives it a little extra purpose, as we know Superman is taking this team to Warworld, but also due to the threat that is introduced here. The heroes might win the day, but the war is still coming and it’ll be interesting to see if what Johnson sets up here is used in the future.
All told, Batman/Superman Authority Special is an exciting story that features some great character interactions and a heck of a high-stakes story. The many artists involved do make the work read a bit jarringly, but it’s an exciting adventure that uses Batman and Midnighter in really cool ways.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!