Review: ‘Superman & The Authority’ #3 Is A Beautiful Mess

by Tony Thornley

The Man of Steel largely has his team assembled. ButSuperman & The Authority #3 shows that there’s a lot more to it than that.

A transition issue is one of the most difficult things for even the more skilled writers to pull off. Thankfully with a creative team as skilled as this, it’s still an exciting-as-hell issue. It comes from Grant Morrison, Mikel Janin, Travel Foreman, Jordie Bellaire, Alex Sinclair and Steve Wands.

Books like this are always hard to judge. The movement from act to act sometimes needs to have story told to make the transition. When you have a writer like Morrison, it’s engaging and interesting with ideas which could fill an entire book. But there is still plenty of positioning parts from point A to point B.

Given that this is Morrison though, we get some interesting character work. Lightray is already fascinating, and I care about Enchantress for the first time ever. It’s impressive how good they are at the character stuff, as the big ideas writers typically aren’t as solid with character-centered writing. It’s big action, creepy villains, and an engaging issue in which really nothing happens (obviously in service of everything happening next issue).

The art is still great. Foreman and Janin are two of the best line artists in comics right now, and Bellaire and Sinclair are amazing color artists. There are a few moments when Janin’s pencils are a little looser than normal, and where the detail slips. But overall, this is a great looking issue.

The thing the issue does most successfully, though, is demonstrate how much Superman inspires people. In the case of the villains, it’s to be more and do more to defeat him. He’s the Man of Steel and he’s the best humanity has to offer (even if he’s not human); to oppose him, they have to be worse. Meanwhile, his allies are inspired to be better, even just by being around him. In just three issues, Manchester Black has grown from a parody of the cynical 2000s British invasion to someone who’s starting to show sincerity through his cynicism.

This is what Superman is all about and Morrison knows it. They continue to write about the concept of Superman better than almost any other writer working. Others may write Superman the character better, but Morrison gets Superman the idea, the concept. And that always makes for great reading, even when it’s a transition in which not much happens.

Superman & The Authority #3 is available now from DC Comics.


Another solid issue of this miniseries. It looks good and it’s full of interesting characters and concepts. Really, the only strike against it is that it is largely set-up for everything to happen next issue.

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