Monday, August 15, 2011

Blogathon 17: The Eternal Return Part Three

[Continuing my discussion of The Authority: Revolution.]

Henry Bendix was the Weatherman in the first volume of Stormwatch. That's the name of the leader, by the way. He was almost killed at the end when he revealed himself to be a control freak that was working actively against the group of superhumans trying to change the world. He wanted to change the world, too, but wanted it on his terms. Now, I never quite saw him as a proper villain as a result. He had a different view and went a bit too far, but it was mostly about two sides in a conflict with such different views of what was 'right' that, of course, they're going to be at odds. It was a political argument through superhero fights. Are Conservatives evil? Well...


Bendix was thought dead, his brain and body electrocuted by Jenny Sparks at the end of Stormwatch volume two. Since that point, a past version of the character was used in The Monarchy, basically acting as a justification for Bendix's heel turn where that was part of evolving, freeing himself up to work behind the scenes. Death is the first step and all of that.

Well, nope, because he's back and that other Bendix was just an alternate reality version. They exchanged places years back, because... uh... and the Carrier was the property of that Bendix. That's why it's been anchored to Earth. It's been waiting for him to come back. Worse, he's gone from 'different views, questionable methods' to 'takes pleasure in being evil.' The only real callback to the idea that he has humanity's best interests at heart despite misguided views is a rant he delivers as the Authority begins to regroup about how he's used capitalism to effect positive change. Tell companies to do something and they'll hate you; make it profitable for them to do something and they'll jump at the chance. Otherwise, it's mustache-twisting old school villainy from a character that was never that sort of villain.

The plan he employs to get rid of the Authority is a clever one: convince the Midnighter that the group must break up or he will eventually become a mad dictator, and, at the same time, engineer a revolution against the group, building up to a nuclear explosion that destroys Washington DC. From there, the group is done and Bendix is clear to control things from behind the scenes. It's accomplished in a pretty standard arc: the first half of the series is the fall of the group, the second half is the rebuilding.

In 30 minutes, I'll discuss further cliches employed in the book.

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