My weakness - should've let it go, Jog.

*This has to be fast.

The Authority: The Magnificent Kevin #5 (of 5)


Right. So basically, the purpose of this series was to illustrate the transformation of Kev’s character into a slightly more moral person, though still comfortably snapped into the Garth Ennis superkiller design. On that front it’s not been particularly successful, since writer Ennis doesn’t appear to have anything of particular uniqueness to say in between hitting the requisite 'redemption' beats. Indeed, the direction of this story doesn’t always seem to fit what we’ve seen of Kev thus far - I suppose we’re meant to take away from this that it was largely Kev’s sense of complacency that blinded him to the abuses of his superiors, since I can’t imagine how even a person as thick as our hero could traipse around the world killing people at random and only now discover government dirty secrets so shocking that they prompt a revolution of the self. I understand the transformation here - Kev now finally gets to act on his fantasies of destroying those who’d control him, who’d disrespect him, but the execution is painfully artificial, the copious flashbacks of earlier chapters were achingly familiar, and I’m convinced that we could have lost at least one full issue’s worth of material here without sacrificing anything of particular import.

There’s a few good jokes in this issue at least - better jokes than we’ve gotten in a few issues. The bit with Kev and Midnighter trying to disguise their profanities from the children, despite the former having just splattered a woman’s brains across the floor, has a nicely satiric bite, even after Ennis belabors the point by having Midnighter explain it in dialogue. Even the expected punch line - the kids are dirtier than them!! - is ok. But then the ‘filthy kids’ thing keeps getting pushed on and on. Even less successful is the retarded superheroes material, though at least Ennis has the sense to depict some of the soldiers getting genuine amusement out of their antics (a blow at some of the readership, Garth?). And I sort of liked the entirely ad hoc resolution to the crisis that began the whole farce in the first place. “The Death Star can suck its big fat cock.” That was good.

But even then, Ennis overplays his hand, quite ludicrously wrapping up loose ends in order to give Kev the opportunity to exact revenge on everyone who’s exploited him, hammering his transformation over and over, whilst Kev and Midnighter practically high-five one another in the process of destroying villainy. But then, of course, there’s dialogue demonstrating that these hardcore characters will never stoop to silly genre things like shaking hands after a successful team-up, oh no. Must keep up appearances, after all. Maybe there’s something interesting to be extracted from this raw material on the uncommunicative affection that can brow between hardened men - it’s certainly tough to find here, though, beneath all of the posturing and revenge-taking and the like.

I don’t know. Maybe I’d be more inclined to forgive if this was a bit funnier? Even issue #1 had some silly 'musical' numbers and rampant absurdity, but it got bogged down in frankly boring character work. Not that all character work with largely humorous figures is boring, mind you. It just sure as hell is here.