Because We're Heroes
OMG! Ok stand back just a little, I've got to get this out of my system.
You didn't experience what happened in the two minutes between the previous line and this one, but trust me, I needed it. I liked this issue. A lot. I've liked what's been going on with The Authority since they've taken off, but this issue was great. I don't usually write reviews, don't think I'm very skilled at articulating what I like about things, but I liked this a lot so I feel like it's worth a try. Where to start where to start?
The beginning was excellent. It was nice seeing Angie back to herself (mostly) and I'm glad her character is still adjusting and Taylor hasn't left her as just a mouth for the Carrier, doing things to the others for no reason. It would have been a bad way for the Engineer character to go out. With her reasserting her will, her core personality seems to be not only preserved, but highlighted. D&A's run humanized her when they stripped her of her powers, and I was afraid that she'd lose some of that if she got repowered, that she might turn into just a girl that can do anything with tech, but I'm not worried about that anymore. Hope the story threads of her being worshiped on the Carrier get picked up again at some point though.
That scene with Grifter at the beginning was not only very funny, but also really worked to add an element of continuity by connecting it to the last issue in a fun way. It's not just random stuff happening on the Carrier. The Grifter/Flint...encounter also shows that a network of relationships (not just sexual) is building and by the end the Taylor has used this joke to add a strong element of community. There are natural friendships, but the lives of the people on the ship are going to be crisscrossing more and more. That's my impression anyway.
The moment with Hawksmoor and Christine was a little worrying for me. Hawksmoor's having his little power struggle with Christine and since he's not a particularly good leader or the nicest guy, I'm thinking that by the end of it she might be in charge. I was worried that Hawksmoor was being set up to fail. The issue of whether to rescue someone or not comes up and Hawksmoor says "yes" while Christine says "no". The thing is, you know the survivor is going to be bad news and I was worried Hawksmoor would get the blame and it would be another strike against him for leadership. The usage of The High was perfect though. It turned my thoughts from "Hawksmoor's being dumb, he's going down in flames" to "Wait? Is this Hawksmoor acting like an honest to goodness hero?!" The interactions right after that were great too.
Another scene worth mentioning involved Swift, and that's amazing in and of itself. Swift is not a power character. Her actual powers aren't that great when you look at her teammates, and while she definitely has a personality defined for her, it's not all that interesting and gets trampled over because of how the Authority are written (she's a pacifist on a team with Midnighter, not to mention the others). That said, in this issue she got a page that took what she is and has been shown as and, similar to what I said about The Engineer, refines it into something beautiful. It made me look back to the beginning of D&A's run because there was a good character moment for her there too.
Only one negative point (other than that I have to wait so long for the next issue). I love Team Achilles and Ben Santini is still alive somewhere. I understand Flint is alone in space and her thing with Grifter was purely physical, but I'm still feeling like it was a little weird.
This issue really shows that these characters have character, and I'm glad to see it. And even better is that the character development doesn't get in the way of telling a story that draws you in and is exciting. I'm so pumped for the next issue. I've stopped worrying about what might happen and I'm trusting this team to deliver a good story and a fun ride.
EDIT: I realized after writing the review that I didn't even mention the art or the cliffhanger. I don't want to be incomplete so lemme mention those.
The art was great. I didn't even know this was the artist's last issue. That's kind of sad, I like what he's doing. I can't describe the feel he's created, but I think it's well-matched to the story.
The cliffhanger was excellent. The enemies introduced are perfect for this team, a double-threat from outside and within. One that most of the team can rally against to hopefully show their dynamic (I'm interested in how it will play out since they've never fought together before) and a monstrous threat from outside for The High (and maybe the Carrier) to deal with because no one else could possibly have a chance. The scale of it is just amazing and the danger actually seems real on both fronts.