After Stormwatch disbanded, the three members of Stormwatch Black went on to become The Authority. The leader of this team was Jenny Sparks and it included Swift and Hawksmoor (SW: Black), Apollo and Midnighter (two creations of Henry Bendix rescued by Stormwatch), The Engineer and The Doctor (both of whom were people who had received the powers of Changers of the same name). The team had been gathered by Jenny who had also found The Carrier, the ship that would become their base of operations.
The Authority were created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch in 1999 for Wildstorm. After their initial 12 issue run, Mark Millar and Frank Quitely took over the book.
The team that would eventually become The Authority started out as the covert Stormwatch team, Stormwatch Black. The team consisted of Jenny Sparks, Jack Hawksmoor and Swift and was lead by Jenny with orders from The Weatherman. As a covert team, their missions involved fighting battles in areas where Stormwatch was not allowed (namely America). When Stormwatch had a confrontation with The Changers, Stormwatch Black was included in the attack and fought alongside their more publicly accepted teammates. The Changers were a group of SPBs led by The High. Their goal was to change the world into a paradise without the need for any form of authority. While Swift and Jack didn’t really do much fighting (Jenny Sparks however was engaged in battle with Henry Bendix), it was very important for the characters and their future team. First of all, two members of The Changers would eventually be reincarnated as members of The Authority. The idea behind the team - getting at the reasons behind crime, fixing those problems, and then handing the world back to the people – would also be carried on to The Authority, but in a much more violent way. At the time though, Henry Bendix escaped from Jenny Sparks and killed all of The Changers before doing so.
With Bendix out of the picture, a new Weatherman was needed. Jackson King took the position and kept Stormwatch Black on the team, but made them even more secret than they had been. Officially they were no longer on the team, but unofficially their jobs were the same. Because they couldn’t be seen with the team (and because Jack Hawksmoor couldn’t be on their space station for more than 15 minutes without getting sick) Stormwatch Black wasn’t on Skywatch when it was attacked by Xenomorphs. After the Alien attack on Stormwatch and the subsequent destruction of the main team, Stormwatch Black remained together. They felt that since there was no one left, it was up to them to save the world(and according to Jack, change it).
Major Story Arcs
The first threat The Authority had to deal with was Kaizen Gamorra, the evil dictator of a country named after himself. Gamorra sent hundreds of super powered soldiers to different cities on Earth with orders to destroy everything in sight which would allow Gamorra to leave his mark on the world. The Authority was the only team with a hope of doing anything to stop Gamorra's plans, so they did. During this first adventure (which included several battles in cities that The Children Of Kaizen Gamorra attacked and then a battle with Gamorra himself) the team was just getting together but they were already showing their ability to work well together. Midnighter (with the help of The Carrier) took out Gamorra while the others fought his children, and by the end of it, Gamorra was dead and his threat stopped. The unity of the team wasn't just in battle though, relationships were springing up and even Midnighter, who had never spoken to anyone but Apollo and Jenny, started to really latch onto the team aspect of what they were doing.
When Sliding Albion (invaders from another Earth and old friends of Jenny Sparks) attacked, The Authority was there to stop them as a team. Just stopping them wasn't enough though, and the team was forced to go to their universe and kill Regis, their leader. That job was left to Jack and Midnighter. Midnighter got beaten down but Jack was able to rip Regis apart. Meanwhile the others were causing some destruction and making sure the people of Sliding Albion never attacked their Earth again.
Earth faced another invasion in December of 1999, right at the end of the millennium (and the end of the 20th century, which had an affect on Jenny Sparks). This time
the invaders weren't from another world, they were the owners of the Earth. The Authority learned that the beings attacking Earth were heralds of something larger, something that had originally made Earth. It was sending things to attack it because over millions of years the Earth had changed and become uninhabitable for it (but perfect for humans), so it had to clear it of life and change it back. To prevent it from killing everything on the planet The Authority had to drive The Carrier into its body (the thing was enormous, much bigger than the moon) where Jenny could electrocute its brain. That killed the creature but also resulted in Jenny's death (which would have happened anyway since her century was coming to an end). With the death of the team's leader, Jack Hawksmoor stepped up and took control.
The Authority took a turn when Jack took over, and instead of fighting the bad guys only when they attacked first, they started dealing with the causes of the problems, namely, corrupt governments, rulers and the people behind the scenes. Jack revealed that Jenny had always wanted to do this and the team was glad to make it happen. They did whatever they could do to truly make the world a better place. They forcefully went in and stopped genocides, dethroned dictators and ended evil where it started. They also used The Carrier to provide political asylum for those who needed it and a safe place to live for entire cities. The Authority became much more public under Jack's leadership, doing tv interviews, being in magazines and basically becoming celebrities. There were those who disagreed with their heavy-handed approach, but they never apologized for saving human lives.
The first real problem the team had to handle without Jenny Sparks was her own reincarnated self. With the death of the Spirit of the 20th Century came the birth of the Spirit of the 21st. Unfortunately, Dr. Krigstein, an evil scientist working for the American government, was trying to find the child so he could control or destroy the 21st Century. He eventually got his hands on her and when The Authority tried to stop him he sent armies of SPBs (classified as "extinction level") out to face them in battles all over the world. The fighting only stopped when The Authority decided to have Krigstein work for them creating good things to make the world a better place instead of destroying it. He accepted the offer and handed over Jenny Quantum.
Things didn't get much better though and The Authority next had to deal with was the Earth revolting. It seems that after "god" tried to come back and remake Earth, the planet was very scared and reacted with extreme version of natural disasters. Tidal waves bigger than had ever been seen crashed through New York, tectonic plates ripped apart, volcanoes sprung from nowhere and spewed lava all over, swarms of bugs filled the sky, hurricanes and tornadoes just appeared, and that was just the beginning. The only person that knew why this was happening was the previous Doctor, a man so evil that once he had been stopped he had to be imprisoned in a facility 20 million years in the past. The Authority found him though and he claimed he could fix the Earth if his powers were given back to him for an hour. The current Doctor was suffering from many drug problems at the time and couldn't do anything himself so The Authority really didn't have a choice. They decided to do it but Jack took some precautions first. He spoke with an alternate version of himself (who was him in every way but she was female and pregnant) and had his Earth evacuated to Earths of other realities. Once that was done the other Doctor got his powers back and fixed the planet. But of course, there was more to it than that. The evil Doctor (who could have easily unmade reality or done any number of things) took pleasure in beating up The Authority. The fight was really one-sided and only ended when all of the Doctor's powers actually caught up to him and he started to empathize with every living creature in existence. At that moment when he was weak and vulnerable, Apollo killed him and The Engineer kicked his head off. With the Earth fixed and the renegade Doctor defeated, The Authority gathered up the planets inhabitants from where they had been sent and brought them back home.
The way Jack had been leading The Authority had never been popular with everyone, but things really got bad after their trouble with the planet and the other Doctor. First Jack got into a fight with Jackson King. King said that Jack's methods were frightening people and that he was in danger of doing real damage to the world. The fight went from verbal to physical but before anyone got really hurt, Jackson left. Things didn't get better though, and in a short time Jack was having similar conversations with reporters. They claimed he was becoming just as bad as the forces The Authority had once protected against. Jack maintained that what he was doing was saving millions of lives and when the American president came up in conversation, Jack expressed his negative feelings for him and the corporations that are really in charge.
Jack was right though and soon enough the people with the real money and power decided to do something about him and his team. The seven richest countries in the world got together and sent Seth to take down The Authority. He almost succeeded, capturing everyone but Midnighter (who rescued Jenny Quantum before he got away). The captured members of the team each suffered their own unique punishment while replacements handpicked and controlled by the same people who made Seth took over as the new Authority. The New Authority was a team of SPBs with powers based of those of the original group. Each one was from one of the G7 countries. The Midnighter's replacement was a homophobe called Last Call, Apollo was replaced by Teuton who was somewhat in the closet. Union Jack who had Jenny Sparks power set, he often slept with Sparks look a likes and was obsessed with her. Rush took Swifts place and was often abused by Union Jack. The Doctor's powers were removed and given to the Surgeon. Lastly Hawksmoor's replacement was a black man named Street. Each member was sadistic and violent and followed the orders of the respective governments. While on the Carrier the new team found that the Authority had been giving refuge to a group of people. The team decided to abandon them in a location known as Re Space. However the area gives the people there the power to change the world as they see fit. They used there new found power to alter the New Authority into the form of the originals. However due to Last Call homophobe he was unable to except being in love with Apollo and broke free and freed the rest of the team. They soon returned the everything to the way it was. It was revealed that each member of the group had been given loathsome new lives with out their powers. Midnighter however is able to gain access to the Carrier. He finds Apollo just as Teuton attempted to rape him killing Teuton. Together the two begin to kill the new group releasing each member as they go along who also kill impostors until only Seth is left. However Swift had gained the knowledge of Seth's power down phrase and Jenny spoke it removing his powers. The Doctor then turned him into a chicken allowing him to be raped by unknown men. Now free Midnighter and Apollo choose this chance to wed and the newly weds decided to take Jenny as their daughter becoming a family.
Earth is soon invaded by a group called the Viceworld. It was revealed the whole invasion force was created for the person just to see if the Authority could stop it so people could bet on their success of failure and of course they did succeed. Later the Chicago is being attacked by a group of suicide bombers. They came from an alternate reality and due to one changing his mind they find that they were sent by Reality Incorporated. They are a group of people who take interest in 36 alter planes of existence. They have the planets in these dimensions processed into fuel and sell it as profit and they either exterminate or enslave the people of these world and earth is next of their list. They group battles the Company, but as their fleet makes it's way to earth the suicide bomber gives up his life to destroy the fleet.
A new enemy appears by the name of Godhead. His true name is John Clay and he has the power to spread a strange type of psychic disease. Those infected worship as a God and the more followers he has the more of their energies him can siphon to increase his strength and durability. He is able to capture, Jenny, Midnighter, Jack and the Doctor. However the Doctor uses his Garden to break free from Godhead's control and Midnighter is able to fight the disease. He then uses his own powers to alter Godhead's psychic control removing his power. He then grows to great size and finishes Godhead by eating him claiming he is the only one of them who can be seen as a God. He even forms a religion for those freed from Godhead's control, but unable to coup with current ones. The new religion is know as the Church of the Shaman.
Soon the group would be able to fulfill their goal of making the world a better place or starting with America. The intellectual villain
Tao had hatched a plan to bring down the American government. He secretly gave them a engine that they found had the power to go through the space between dimensions known as the Bleed. However the black hole from which the device drew power caused damage to the Bleed and a ship even later than the Carrier was destroyed in the chaos. the beings were known as the Vigli and with the destruction of their ship the rec landed on Florida destroying ( not before the Authority teleported everyone away). It was explained that the Vigil had begun exploring the Bleed first, taking data and stockpiling it. The destroyed ship carried thousands of years of data and they may even go to war for its destruction. The group found out the truth of the cause and Jack felt it was time the team remove the old guard and let the Authority take over.
Although they did in fact take over America with ease, the team's true task would be to maintain all that power. Many groups and powers wanted to fight them for it mainly the U.S president who said he would send other powerful super beings against them and Stormwatch:Team Achilles also did not approve of their actions and after Midnighter and Apollo failed to stop them on their own the entire group felt ready to fight them, but the fight ended with them wining, but Achilles was still able to flee.
The Wildcats member Grifter tried to place a powerful explosive on the Carrier, but Hadrian instead went to talk to Jack and the Authority seeing as how they both wanted to change the world just at different paces. However Hadrian was unable to convince the team and left.
Soon it became apparent that no force could stop the Authority as even the governments armies and SPB's were vanquished, however the Vigil were still war hungry and tried to start their war. However the group was able to stop the attack and make them leave when Jack Hawksmoor killed the U.S president. Their control was now assured. However as these things go the trouble had only begun. Holes in the Bleed began to form as if reality were ready to be destroyed and Jenny Quantum's mother had been revealed to be alive wanting her daughter. However her mother was actually her sister Jenny Fractal who was unnoticed by Krigstein in his attack. Her government groomed her into a weapon and she wanted to kill her sister along with anyone else. She was able to kill her sister and was the cause of the problems with the Bleed. However the Doctor kept her soul from moving on and allowed Midnighter to travel back in time to their birth and kill Fractal as she was being born before all this happened. He did causing current Fractal to just die and the Doctor gave Quantum he body.
The Authority's next great challenge came when a group of old super heroes loyal to america reemerged. The group are known as the Son of Liberty and they were joined by Americans who didn't approve of the Authority taking america and they wanted to fight back. This new movement is also being shadowed by an unknown figure who has some how got their hands on a Carrier and an entire alien army. Meanwhile Midnighter gets a terrifying visit from an Apollo of the future he has come to worn him that Midnighter will become a tyrant and that he needs to disband the Authority in order to keep this future from ever coming to pass. The group is called out by the leader of the Sons of Liberty known as Paul Revere. Both groups do battle at the White House, but things go terribly wrong when one of the Sons of Liberty with nuclear powers causes a massive explosion. The damage caused by the destruction prompts the Authority to give up its control and each member goes their separate ways. It is revealed that Henry Bendix is the shadow figure wanting the Authority gone so he could take america for himself. After three long years the members of the group have been living their lives differently. Hawksmoor and Engineer use the Carrier to just adventure through the Bleed. Apollo stays at home to care for Jenny as his husband fights crime on every part of the globe. Swift has been living her life in a monastery in Tibet and Thorndike has died due to an overdose of heroin. Jenny Quantum now eight goes to visit Thorndike by traveling to the Garden of Ancestral Memory, but is shocked to find he is not there. Jenny soon comes in contact with an older version of herself. The two journey to the Infinite City which is a reality were the Jennies before go after their own deaths much like the Garden. There Quantum meets Jenny Sparks and they discover that Henry Bendix is the cause for the teams problems. Quantum then returns home and after increasing her age to 14 she begins to put the Authority back together to remove Bendix from power. Bendix is now in league with a new Rose Tattoo and tell her of his plan to gain control over the U.S. It is revealed she killed Jeron, by giving him an overdose of drugs during sex through her skin. After his deaths he captured his soul and with it found the next Doctor a suicide bomber from Palestine named Habib Ben Hassan. He was kidnapped by Bendix and kept in a special room that blocked out his connection to his full powers. However Jenny discovers this and she frees both of the Doctors allowing Thornedike to move on and Habib to join the team. Bendix, Rose and his aliens attack the Carrier and both forces do battle. Soon he reveals he had infected Midnighter with nanobots and uses them to take control of his mind. He does battle with the group exploiting the weakness even uses tech left over from Kirgstein. It wasn't until Jenny and Engineer came up with a plan to remove the nanites did he stop. Once he was freed he ripped Bendix's head of and the team took his Carrier as theirs had been destroyed earlier.
Captain Atom had recently been accidentally transported from the DC universe to the Wildstorm universe unstable due to his trip and soon ready to explode. After being beaten and unaided by Mr .Majestic he went in search of other heroes who could send him home before he destroyed the universe. He found the Authority in that quest despite being told not to trust them. The group attempted to get him home via the Bleed however that ended in failure. After a talk with Majestic Engineer tried altering Atom on a subatomic level and it seemed to do the trick. However he became unstable again after seeing the Void. Engineer tried to kill him, but she lost her powers in the battle. Jack told Apollo and Midnighter to go and kill Atom to try and stop the destruction and even killed Grifter who tried to help Atom. Majestic found that even if he was killed the universe would still be destroyed. He tried to tell Jack, but the Doctor froze him in time. Apollo and Midnighter were ready to try and kill Atom, but he began to destroy this dimension. His very touch killed the two as well as Jenny Quantum and the Doctor freed Majestic to get help but he couldn't do anything soon Void came and removed a piece of herself that was inside Atom and sent him back to his universe and reset the Wildstorm one.
The team is currently trapped in a universe with no heroes. The Carrier is found by a British man named Ken who was searching for a Norwegian Sub when he discovered the Carrier. The team discovers the fact that this universe has no super humans or energy sources and the Carrier is dying do to it's wounds suffered in the crash. Midnighter appears having earlier killed the terrorist hijackers of the sub. Soon Ken's group is transported inside the Carrier by a door and introduced to Swift. Jack and Habib go to Manhattan and find that in this world they are comic book characters. The fact that they are here posses a problem for the Doctor who explains that this worlds laws of nature are different from their own and may cause problems since they shouldn't be able to exist there. Midnighter is also upset as he is eager to right the wrongs of this world and fight its evils. He soon goes in search for Apollo who had been shot down in Afghanistan recharging his solar power. Midnighter finds him and is ready to fight the U.S forces that brought Apollo down.
Midnighter is able to rescue his husband and returns him to the Carrier. Meanwhile The Authority are trying to figure out how they reached this new dimension and what damages they may cause by being there. To try and answer these question The Doctor decides to go into Ken's mind. He refuses but Engineer knocks him out and Habib travels into his mind seeing some of his inner thoughts and after merging with him discovers that the planet is infected with a creature that is feeding off of the populace. Doctor uses Ken's mind to kill the infection but the side-effect causes every creature from that world to perish and they are forced to leave.
After the destruction of the world the Authority has maybe handle some of the greatest troubles to themselves as a whole. After the events the baby universe of the Carrier has died and it crashed into London and died. The destruction of London has caused it to be renamed Unlondon. Swift operates as the closes thing to any type of long distance communication as she is the only one who can travel long distances. She seems to be carefully observing all the destruction that has been caused. Midnighter has the task of finding refugees and taking them back to the Carrier as it is the closest thing to a safe location. A new super human diseases has been spreading amongst the survivors called Warhol Fever and makes them Incubites. It gives people large deformed bodies incredible
rage and superhuman strength. However its effects are only short term and carriers die shortly after being infected. Even the Midnighter can't survive the disease and can barely handle the Incubites on his own. Apollo is forced to remain in the planets photosphere as a poisonous smog cloud covers the planet keeping sun light from reaching and his body begin to wither with in a few seconds of being under the cloud and only Swift can reach him which in itself is even difficult due to breath the higher she gets due to the poisonous gas. It has dampened his and Midnighters relationship as they have to spend long amounts of time away from each other and only a few seconds together. EMP pulses have made all electronic devices useless even Engineers nanoliquids living her powerless. As she has no powers he seems to use her intellect to manage the care of the survivors and tell Swift and Midnighter when they need food and meds. Jack may have been hit worst of all. His body doesn't seem to be working and his technological organs and body has become deformed and he only usually sits out a window depressed at whats happened in the world and to himself.
One of their greatest new challenges is fighting against the Eidolon. Due to the massive deaths after the End of the World he has become insane and know has an army of insane minds likes his. The team is steadily trying to stop him and keep people alive. Engineer is able to regain some of her powers during a battle with Eidolon but only for short periods of time.
After making deals with Stormwatch to combat the threat of Eidolon the team discovers the threat of Meantime. A SPB who has created a pocket dimension that will damage reality. With help from the Golden they are able to kill Meantime. Meanwhile Jack has regained some but not all of his powers and Apollo becomes infected with the Warhol virus. He attempts to cure himself by going into the sun that actually brings the disease to life inside him. He attacks the team and they are forced to freeze him to later find a way to cure him.
Eventually the teams old enemy Kaizen Gamorra returns along with his entire city that is now a giant ship as well. He attempts to steal what technology the Authority has to add it to his own. During the battle with him Swift and Engineer are kidnapped by Lorenzo Jenny Sparks ex-husband. He has an active Door and wants their help in keeping it stable.
He forces Swift into the Bleed to bribe Engineer to help him. She makes contact the the baby universe making the Door and in return for helping it she is restored to full power. She later frees Swift who also discovered the Golden's missing sibling. Lorenzo tries to escape through the door but Swifts closes on him as he goes through to the Sliding Albion.
Kaizen captures Jack and brings him to his flying city but the city heals Jack fully and he is able to battle Kaizens children with ease now. Swift and Engineer arrive to assist and even release Apollo to increase the damage who later kills Kaizen. They drop the city into the ocean to freeze Apollo once again.
Midnighter who has gone on a type of vision quest has discovered the Doctor no derange calling himself the Green Man. He has imprisoned a Century Baby named Gaia and the team is forced to fight him off. In return for their help Gaia gives Midnighter an apple which he feeds to Apollo curing him of his infection.
From deep Space a strange energy comes to earth and fully heals the Carrier. Realizing it plans to leave the now dead earth the Authority gather all the other heroes and refugees as they decide who wants to leave with the ship.
Unlike other super teams the Authority do not just exist to save the world as is they exist to better that world no matter what the cost. Although this plan did not fully take effect until Jack Hawksmoor ran the team it was Jenny's idea from the begging. They will do any and all things they feel necessary to achieving this goal. Each member of the team has no problem killing anyone who they feel is causing the world any problems. The team has gone as fair as to take over the United States of American to stop and interdimensional war and Jack Hawksmoor even killed the President himself. However the difference between any regular dictator and the team is the fact that many of the members have a connection to the world that others don't. When Jenny Sparks was alive she had been a hero for a hundred years and had fought crime and seen the evil and mistakes made by people for years. Hawksmoor was physically and psychically connected to everyone in all the cities. He can learn all the wrongs people do and learn from them. The Doctor can travel to a dimension known as the Garden Ancestral Memory where he can learn from all past Doctors and is empathically connected to the people on Earth and even the earth itself. Jenny Quantum herself created a dimension very similar known as the Infinite City where past Jennies live and she too can even learn from them. It is these combinations of powers that give the team the right to fix the worlds problems one way or another.
However after the World was attacked by the High clones known as the Reapers things changed drastically. With the worlds resources almost gone and the population of humans in terror and the number of super powered beings higher than ever the Authority had to re task there efforts. They still do all they can to do the right thing but the now instead of just fighting the bad guys they have to now provide safety to the remaining humans and keep them safe from any super humans that may take advantage of the weakened humans.