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#293770 - 11/15/02 03:33 PM THE RETURN OF THE AUTHORITY: SPEAKING WITH EDITOR BEN ABERNATHY
Steve Conley Administrator Offline
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Registered: 11/27/98
Posts: 2490
Loc: Arlington, Virginia, USA
BY JENNIFER M. CONTINO


Past Authority covers

At DC Comics' recent retailer presentation, it was announced that The Authority was returning to a new monthly series this May. 2000 AD scribe Robbie Morrison will be chronicling the adventures of The Authority with Curse of Spawn artist Dwayne Turner handling the illustrations. THE PULSE caught up with editor Ben Abernathy to find out a bit about his authority with The Authority.

THE PULSE: Who are The Authority? What makes this group different from the typical superteam?

BEN ABERNATHY:
The Authority are a group of super-powered beings largely composed of former StormWatch members who decided it was really in their hands to make the world a better place. This hands-on attitude has yielded fairly incredible results in many ways. For one, why do you think there isn't a rogues gallery of villains out to destroy them, like just about every other superteam? They kill them, that's why!

THE PULSE: What is it about The Authority that attracts you as an editor to the title?

ABERNATHY:
Having followed the roots of The Authority dating back to StormWatch #37 as a fan, Id have to say its the characters that attract me as an editor. I feel that at times in the past the development of the characters were stunted in favor of mind-blowing widescreen action (which isn't a bad thing), so I'm looking for a balance between the two. I'm not saying this book is going to become a soap opera or anything, but look for some direction that might surprise some people...

THE PULSE: What makes now a good time for The Authority to return?

ABERNATHY:
Being a fan of the book, I think anytime is a good time for this book to return. The Authority has inspired many ideas and attitudes in several books on the market today and I think its time that we reminded everyone why this book is so ground-breaking.

THE PULSE: What's the status of little Jenny Quantum? What causes her aging to teen?

ABERNATHY:
Jenny aging was actually taken out of context, referring to a distant, possible scenario... Jenny is still a young child in the series, probably around three or four (slightly older than we last saw her in #29).

THE PULSE: What are the goals of The Authority? How have their world views changed - if any - since we last saw them?

ABERNATHY:
Their mission really remains the same as it has been -- to make a finer world. I think, despite what has preceded, the world, nay the universe, is still a pretty messed up place. And to quote the deceased Jenny Sparks "There has to be someone left to save the world." I think were going to see this concept expand a little bit...Probably the biggest change in their world is the more aggressive human response to SPBs. We saw a governmental attempt at unseating The Authority in the final arc and the advent of the nearly all human StormWatch: Team Achilles team by the UN, whose mission is to really corral and maintain a semblance of order in the super hero community. Shameless plug: Read StormWatch: Team Achilles #s4-6 to see just how these humans match up to The Authority...

THE PULSE: Why Robbie Morrison? What makes him suited to follow in the footsteps of Ellis and Millar? Those are pretty big shoes to fill.

ABERNATHY:
Robbie is an excellent writer, well known in the UK for his work on 2000AD. He's relative unknown quantity in the States, but I think he'll turn more than a few heads with his work on December's Scorched Earth. They are big shoes to fill, but isn't that what everyone said after Warren left the book? Robbie's going to be raising the bar on super hero books and by this time next year, probably be one of the most sought-after scribes in the biz...

THE PULSE: How do you regard each of the lead characters? What makes Apollo, Midnighter, Swift, Jack, Engineer, Jenny, and the Doctor tick? What keeps each involved with The Authority?

ABERNATHY:
I think what really keeps them together, despite the hardships they've endured, is their optimism about their purpose. They honestly want to make the world a better place.

THE PULSE: The Authority of the past has always faced larger than life threats. How hard is it to come up with a challenge that any one of them couldn't handle quite simply? When you get plots and concepts, how hard is it as an editor to point the writer in the right direction or offer suggestions of this might not work ... ?


Cover of Authority: Widescreen by Bryan Hitch and Andrew Currie


ABERNATHY:
So far, its not been terribly difficult. Robbie's an imaginative fellow and he's come up with some very interesting ideas, obviously some better than others. Were not sweating trying to top anything that has happened previously, were just trying to tell the most entertaining story possible.

THE PULSE: It seems in the past hands were a little tied in terms of what could or couldn't be portrayed in the comics. Will Morrison be showing Midnighter and Apollo's relationship or, for that matter, any of the bed hopping one assumes is going on in The Authority? How will Morrison be able to use the "mature title" label and show mature situations?

ABERNATHY:
I think the main question of what could or couldn't be portrayed in the comics with the previous incarnation was the level of violence. The Authority always balanced a little more reality in their fight scenes and the result was a higher level of graphic violence. Granted, the mature readers tag will allow us more leeway in the storytelling and situations, but it certainly wont be gratuitous. Bed-hopping is nothing new in The Authority and there will be mature situations, but showing scenes because we can I think defeats the point the mature readers tag implies.

THE PULSE: What guidelines was Robbie Morrison given in terms of what he can and cant portray?

ABERNATHY:
We don't have any real set of guidelines. Anything of a remotely questionable nature is dealt with when, and if, it arises (which it hasn't
THE PULSE: Who's going to be doing the art on this? When is the first issue scheduled to hit stands?

ABERNATHY:
The book is scheduled for May 2003 and the fabulous Dwayne Turner will be bringing these characters to vivid life!

THE PULSE: Why should people check out this new Authority?

ABERNATHY:
Even if you're not a fan of the book or have no idea who The Authority are, the reason to read this book will be simple: its going to be a great story with incredible art. Who could ask for anything more?


Terra Obscura
THE PULSE: What's coming up in 2003 for the other titles you're editing?

ABERNATHY:
I've got my hand in just about everything, I think. I'm working on a pair of mini-series written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Paul Gulacy and Cully Hamner, respectively. I'm editing an ABC mini-series called Terra Obscura that's being written by Alan Moore and Peter Hogan and drawn by Yanick Paquette and Karl Story. This series tells the story of the alternate Earth established in Tom Strong #11 and 12. This book looks SWEET! By this point, who DOESNT know about the return of Astro City ? This book is moving right along and I know the fans of the series are going to be well-rewarded for their patience! Also, I'm editing the Robotech franchise for us and this book is nothing short of spectacular (check out the Sourcebook on-sale in January!). Fans of both StormWatch: Team Achilles and Wildcats version 3.0 will NOT be disappointed with what's coming and anyone NOT reading these books are really missing out on two of the best books on the market. I'm also developing some projects with some of the industry's TOP creators, so stay tuned!


PULSE DC RRP COVERAGE:
SUPERMAN TITLES: DC'S SUPER YEAR BATMAN TITLES: DC'S RRP BAT SIGNALS
DC UNIVERSE: LIFE IN THE MAINSTREAM WILDSTORM, HOMAGE & ABC
VERTIGO: VERTIGO "CAN'T GET NO" IN 2003 TOYS AND MORE: LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE TOYS!

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#293771 - 11/15/02 04:05 PM Re: THE RETURN OF THE AUTHORITY: SPEAKING WITH EDITOR BEN ABERNATHY
gren99 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
i'm willing to give this a whirl. to be honest, this interview goes a long way of allaying some of the fears i had in regards to the re-launch (the whole jenny-quantum-as-a-teen angle really would have been kinda dumb).

i'm also encouraged by the authority appearances in the (mighty fabulous) point blank mini-series (the midnighter hanging out at a NYC gay bar? snort!) and 'team achilles' (i almost dropped that book after 2 issues. thank god i didn't. it's really starting to fire on all cylinders).

i'll give credit where credit is due: WS and vertigo are really establishing themselves as the sharp edge of DC's resurgence in the field. lots of really good books popping around from both imprints right now.

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#293772 - 11/15/02 04:38 PM Re: THE RETURN OF THE AUTHORITY: SPEAKING WITH EDITOR BEN ABERNATHY
Icewing_X Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/01
Posts: 171
DC seems like it's pulling out all the stops for 2003.

Like so many people, the Authority was one of my favorite books. So, bringing the series back and in apparently good hands is just music to my ears.

~Icewing, sounds good so far...
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#293773 - 11/15/02 08:22 PM Re: THE RETURN OF THE AUTHORITY: SPEAKING WITH EDITOR BEN ABERNATHY
The Marvel Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/02
Posts: 62
I'm ecstatic that THE AUTHORITY is getting back up and running, but I'm still leery of constraints that have damaged the book in the past.

Even in this very interview, when Abernathy is asked about "guidelines" for the book he gives vague answers that really just avoid the question.

My guess is that the Apollo/Midnighter relationship and the "bed-hopping" will be conspicuously absent from the book, and that Morrison will just get fed up with bull$#!% constraints and leave just like Millar did.

Then he'll probably end up on an ULTIMATE book...
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#293774 - 11/16/02 05:54 AM Re: THE RETURN OF THE AUTHORITY: SPEAKING WITH EDITOR BEN ABERNATHY
Chris Irvine Offline
Member

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1243
Loc: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Why this editor interview? I mean, it`s not like Ellis or Millar`s Authority had any editors directly involved in the stories, with guideline and such. I think there`s an agenda here pushed to the writer. It doesn`t mean the stories won`t be good, but this "i`m looking for a balance between the two"... :rolleyes:

Not that it wasn`t appropriate for the Pulse to the interview of course! It`s cool that we know more about the new Authority, good job to Steve. smile
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I never was a Space Ranger
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...circus showing and as he watches the 12 year old on the trapeze, turns to his date and says "Yea, I've had my eye on him for awhile." eww

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#293775 - 11/17/02 09:15 AM Re: THE RETURN OF THE AUTHORITY: SPEAKING WITH EDITOR BEN ABERNATHY
Jonas_Vesterlund Offline
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Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 111
Loc: A Swede in Virginia
StormWatch: Team Achilles and Wildcats version 3.0 are DEFINETLY two of the best books around.!!!

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#293776 - 11/17/02 09:01 PM Re: THE RETURN OF THE AUTHORITY: SPEAKING WITH EDITOR BEN ABERNATHY
Jennifer M. Contino Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 22928
Loc: PA
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Irvine:
Why this editor interview? I mean, it`s not like Ellis or Millar`s Authority had any editors directly involved in the stories, with guideline and such. I think there`s an agenda here pushed to the writer. It doesn`t mean the stories won`t be good, but this "i`m looking for a balance between the two"... :rolleyes:

Not that it wasn`t appropriate for the Pulse to the interview of course! It`s cool that we know more about the new Authority, good job to Steve. smile



Hey Chris smile

I did the interview because Ben is a cool guy and I thought people would be interested in learning about The Authority.

I'd interview all the comics editors, if I had time smile I think the editors are very underappreciated in the biz.

SO look for more editor interviews in the coming weeks smile I have some questions out to Marvel editors, DC editors, and lots of other neat peeps smile

Jen

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#293777 - 11/18/02 08:56 AM Re: THE RETURN OF THE AUTHORITY: SPEAKING WITH EDITOR BEN ABERNATHY
NightwingDAM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/02
Posts: 2
Loc: Fostoria, OH
I'm so glad that The Authority is coming back! It was a title I looked forward to every month. When it was on time, at least. I haven't picked up the mini or one shot. Were they worth checking out?
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"Yeah."
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#293778 - 11/19/02 02:31 AM Re: THE RETURN OF THE AUTHORITY: SPEAKING WITH EDITOR BEN ABERNATHY
Chris Irvine Offline
Member

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1243
Loc: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Hello Jennifer lol wink

I don`t know why, i saw Steve`s name and i thought he did the interview, like when Newsarama posters used to confuse the moderators (Mickeal and Matt) with Mike Santiago(is that the name?) who was the one writing the article.

About the editors, i would be very interested to read about that, if you may. smile At a time where Marvel decided to give their creators more freedom to creat, it would be interesting to know what`s going there. Especialy after a few episodes like Gail and Agent X :rolleyes: . Some say someone like Bob Shreck was responsible for Frank Miller and Matt Wagner working for his employer again. It`s unusal for me to learn that for a guy like Miller who`s all about creators`right, an editor would be so important to him.

Anyway, enough of my rants here, good work. smile
_________________________
I never was a Space Ranger
--------------------------
...circus showing and as he watches the 12 year old on the trapeze, turns to his date and says "Yea, I've had my eye on him for awhile." eww

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#293779 - 11/19/02 09:54 AM Re: THE RETURN OF THE AUTHORITY: SPEAKING WITH EDITOR BEN ABERNATHY
Jennifer M. Contino Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 22928
Loc: PA
Chris,

I've got lots of fun stuff in mind smile So keep checking PULSE wink

mwhahaha
jen

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