Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lesser Known Joe Casey Comics: The Authority Annual 2000

[Another one of the lesser known Joe Casey comics. As always, I will end my post by telling you if it should remain lesser known.]

I mentioned this in my post on the Wildcats 2000 annual that Casey also wrote, but this is part of the "Devil's Night" story that swept the four Wildstorm annuals released in October of 2000. Joe Casey wrote two and Ben Raab wrote two; Raab's two actually dealt with the plot of the crossover, while Casey's just kind of... featured some characters coming back from the dead as a result of said plot. In the case of the Wildcats annual, Casey continued his stellar work with those characters and used the annual as a means of exploring what being a former Wildcat means, and to comment on family/loyalty/etc. In the case of this book... Casey wrote a script and Cully Hamner drew a comic based on it and some people bought it and then totally forgot about it because it's not that good.

There are two stories here: the reactivation of Cold War superweapons, and the return of three of Apollo and Midnighter's former Stormwatch teammates who died on their first mission. Neither story is all that impressive.

In the first, zombie Soviets pilot a giant warship and are killed by the Authority. This reactivates Adam Bomb, a superhuman that blows up and can't stop doing it--he just wants to die. So, the Doctor deactivates his powers and Apollo burns his head off with heat vision.

In the second, those three former-black ops Stormwatch members show up on the Carrier--somehow. Swift, Apollo and Midnighter fight them and kill them again, because zombies break easily apparently.

I don't know what else to tell you. This is the post-Ellis Authority and it's edgy and contains explicit references to Apollo and Midnighter's sexuality in that heavy-handed way Ellis never really descended into. The Adam Bomb idea is interesting, but nothing much is done with it. This is a forgettable type of story and suits the annual format.

I do wonder why, at the end, they're amazed that Lamplighter's lamp looks old Stormwatch tech, though... he was one of Bendix's bastards... They wore Stormwatch logos on their uniforms... what the hell?

Should this remain a lesser known Joe Casey comics? Yeah. It's not bad or anything, and I'm sure some would get a thrill out of seeing Apollo and Midnighter fight some superzombies, after all, Marvel Zombies sells huge for that very reason. For me, there isn't much here. When you compare it to the Wildcats annual, it looks even worse. Cully Hamner's art is its typical greatness, though. If you see this in a quarter bin or something, check it out, but it's not exactly worth hunting for.