[[quoteright:308:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheAuthority.jpg]]

->''"We're here to give you a second chance. To make a world worth living in.''\\
''We are The Authority. ''Behave.''"''
--> --'''Jenny Sparks'''

->''"Bugger this. I want a better world."''
--> --'''Jenny Sparks's''' [[FamousLastWords epitaph]]

Created by writer WarrenEllis and artist Bryan Hitch, ''The Authority'' took the standard superhero tropes and shook them up with a {{manga}}-influenced "widescreen" style that used splash pages and large panels to make the business of saving the world actually look impressive for once.

The original series appeared in May, 1999. The story continued on from the recently cancelled ''{{Stormwatch}}'', where most of the team members first appeared during Ellis's run. Ellis started ''The Authority'' by blowing up UsefulNotes/{{Moscow}} and continued in suitably bombastic fashion, threatening the Earth with an imperialistic army from an alternate universe and a battle with [[GodIsEvil God]] itself. Hitch's detailed but kinetic panels conveyed the action with aplomb and the series's style essentially spawned the trend for {{Decompressed Comic}}s.

Later writers took the team in a slightly different direction. Picking up on the idea that the team originally formed to ''improve'' the world, not just save it, they had them executing dictators, defusing international crises and even pulling a coup d'etat on the US Government itself. However, as StatusQuoIsGod, they have only rarely been able to effect any kind of serious change.

The team's original members were:
* '''Jenny Sparks''', "[[SuperheroSobriquets The Spirit of the 20th Century]]" (a woman who is reborn every 100 years, embodying that century's--or in past times, era's--central concept - in this case, [[ShockAndAwe electricity]]. She was the leader of Stormwatch's black-ops subteam, and assembled the Authority to continue their job on her terms.)
* '''Apollo''', "The Sun God" (a Franchise/{{Superman}} pastiche with [[FlyingBrick powers of flight, indestructibility and laser vision]], and the lover of the Midnighter. A SuperSoldier who became a PhlebotinumRebel from a Stormwatch splinter cell before reconciling with the main organization.)
* '''The Midnighter''', "Night's Bringer of War" (a Franchise/{{Batman}} pastiche who can work out how to win a fight in his head before it's even begun; he is also Apollo's lover and later husband. He shared an origin with his partner.)
* '''The Doctor''', "The Shaman" (the mightiest magic-user on Earth and the latest in a long line of shamans to defend the planet; also an ex-junkie.)
* '''The Engineer''', "The Maker" (a woman whose blood was replaced by [[{{Nanomachines}} nanotechnology]], making her a ChromeChampion GadgeteerGenius who can [[GreenLanternRing create her gadgets at will]].)
* '''Jack Hawksmoor''', "The King of Cities" (a man experimented on by aliens who were actually humans from the 70th century who has a symbiotic relationship with cities, granting SuperStrength and psychic abilities relating to a city and what happens within it. He was a member of Jenny's Stormwatch Black team.)
* '''Swift''', "The World's Greatest Huntress" (a woman with the ability to [[{{Animorphism}} grow wings and claws]], low-level FlyingBrick powers, and superhuman senses. Part of Jenny Sparks's Stormwatch team, and in fact the only character from pre-Ellis ''Stormwatch'' to survive into ''The Authority''.)

Both Jenny Sparks and The Doctor eventually died and [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute were replaced]] by {{Legacy Character}}s, Jenny's next incarnation (Jenny Quantum) and another Doctor, respectively. By 2007, the other members remained in the team, and other characters, such as '''Rose Tattoo''' (Another ex-Stormwatch member and the [[AnthropomorphicPersonification Spirit of Murder]], transformed by the current doctor into the Spirit of Life), joined.

As the series went on, the stories tended to get more and more outrageous, not to mention {{Anvilicious}}.

Rather aggressively satirized in the Superman comic book ''What's So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?'' and its AnimatedAdaptation ''WesternAnimation/SupermanVsTheElite'', in which their [[{{Expy}} Expies]] beat up Superman, who was concerned about both their violent methods and the pointlessness of killing them when they appear to be a symptom of the times rather than the cause of it.

With the 2011 DC reboot, the Wildstorm characters have been absorbed into the larger DC Universe, and the rebooted Authority characters are now the core of a new Stormwatch.
----
!!Authority-related series
* "The Authority" vol. 1 (1999-2002). 29 issues.
* "The Authority Annual" (2000). 1 issue.
* "Jenny Sparks: The Secret History of the Authority" (2000-2001). 5 issues.
* "The Authority: Kev" (2002). A one-shot, popular enough to gain sequels.
* "The Authority" vol. 2 (2003-2004). 15 issues, numbering started with issue #0.
* "The Authority: More Kev" (2004). 4 issues.
* "The Authority: Revolution" (2004-2005). 12 issues.
* "The Authority: The Magnificent Kevin" (2005-2006). 5 issues.
* "The Authority" vol. 4 (2006-2007). 2 issues. Abortive attempt at relaunch. The project conflicted with the schedule of writer GrantMorrison and was abandoned.
* "A Man called Kev" (2006-2007). 5 issues.
* "Authority: Prime" (2007-2008). 6 issues.
* "The Authority" vol. 5 (2008-2011). 29 issues.
* "The Secret History of The Authority: Jack Hawksmoor" (2008). 6 issues.
* "The Authority: The Lost Year" (2010). 10 issues. Continuation of vol. 4, starting numbering with issue #3.

!!This series provides examples of:
* AChildShallLeadThem: Jenny Quantum. She looks about 14, really about 8. Either way, she does her name proud.
* AfterTheEnd: The current state of the Wildstorm universe.
* AlternateCompanyEquivalent: "The Elite" in ''Superman''; Nicola Zeitgeist, Nightfighter, etc in ''X-Man''.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: The Authority basically assumed they were the baddest asses in the Wildstorm universe, and everyone ''else'' in the Wildstorm universe thought that way too. And then they met a guy named CaptainAtom...
* AntiHero / NominalHero / VillainProtagonist: The team started out as extremely violent against potential world-ending threats, and was perfectly willing to kill thousands of invading superhuman terrorists, or cause extreme collateral damage in doing so. However, this is no different from the actions of regular soldiers, and could initially have been argued as type III, as they were extremely benevolent in other respects: such as helping to clear up the disaster zones after any conflict; feeding and hosting millions of war refugees, or victims of other disasters; protecting them from militias; freeing them from tyrannies through much less human casualties than a standard military could manage (through outgunning scare tactics); reforming supergenius criminals to help their research for cures to various diseases or life-improving technologies; and overall genuinely making the world into a better place. However, later writers who didn't like the themes arguably severely flanderised and tried to twist around the more idealistic notes that Ellis and Millar introduced, so among other things the team was tricked into "overthrowing the government of the US, and briefly taking over".
* [[AscendedFanboy Ascended Fangirl]]: Angie was a big superhero fan before becoming one herself.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Literally. When the Authority takes control of the United States of America, they still continue their normal crime-fighting while running the country.
* AwesomenessByAnalysis: Midnighter. "I've already played this fight in my head, a million times, from each and every angle."
* {{Badass}}: Midnighter
* BadFuture: Midnighter was shown a future where The Authority ruled the world in The Authority Revolution. He ended up becoming a brutal brain damaged dictator.
* BadassCrew
* BadassLongCoat: Midnighter
* BadassNormal: Averted rather sharply; unlike his inspiration, Midnighter is most definitely ''not'' a normal, but a cyborg SuperSoldier with a computerized brain and superhuman physical abilities.
* BadassAndBaby: Midnighter and baby Jenny Quantum.
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: The Engineer, post-Ellis, as she needed to use her nanotech to create a helmet and breathing apparatus during his run. Quite possibly Midnighter himself, as he claims to be able to survive in anaerobic environments.
** Midnighter is shown using a rebreather to [[spoiler: meet up with Apollo when he has to live over the cloud that blocks the sun]] in later issues. He did say he could ''briefly'' survive in such, so maybe it doesn't work for long term exposure.
** Averted in the most badass way possible when Apollo, when asked how he too can breathe in space, simply replies-- "I don't." "Just like that?" "Well, I'd look pretty silly if I tried, wouldn't I?"
* BewareTheNiceOnes: On a normal day, Apollo is easily the most [[TheCape pleasant and idealistic]] of the group; it's hard to make him truly furious. On the rare occasions it happens, though, his anger is a [[GameBreaker terrifying]], [[FlyingBrick city-wrecking]], [[KillItWithFire burninating]] sight to behold.
* BewareTheSuperman: Between {{Knight Templar}}ish, brutally violent superheroes and supervillains that kill millions ForTheEvulz, {{Muggle}}s of Wildstorm universe live their lives in constant fear. You know it is bad, when the first reflexive reaction of the people upon seeing a previously-unknown super is to beg for mercy.
* [[BlackandGrayMorality Black and Gray Morality]]: While the Authority tend to be violent and brutal, a lot of its villains are arguably orders of magnitude worse. Memorable examples include Kaizen Gamorra, who killed millions for fun, or Regis, who headed an empire on an alternate Earth that turned all of China into a ''rape camp''.
** It doesn't help that the leaders of the countries the Authority fight to protect have the habit of being revealed as morally bankrupt or outright stupid. Like when they created the G7 Authority and subjected the originals to horrific treatments. Or the US government who were easily manipulated into making a botched attempt to enter the Bleed, despite being warned this was a really bad idea, to try and exploit other worlds and killing the entire state of Florida.
* BloodyMurder: The Engineer can use the nanites in her blood to make just about anything.
* BondVillainStupidity: When the cabal of wealthy private citizens that secretly run the world decide that they have finally had enough of the Authority and their attempts to change the status quo they send Seth, their ''Super'' SuperSoldier, to take the team down. Seth easily defeats and disables every one of the Authority without even smallest amount of difficulty, [[KillItWithFire firing]], [[IAmAHumanitarian consuming]] and [[StuffBlowingUp blowing them all to pieces]]...and then he hands them over to his superiors who do ''not'' kill the Authority, but instead decide to imprison and torture them for months instead of just executing them. Swift in particular is kept as a SexSlave and servant to one of the Cabal without any sort of security or monitoring after being [[{{Brainwashed}} conditioned]], so once she hears enough to learn how to defeat Seth she just kills the entire cabal and [[PuttingTheBandBackTogether gets the rest of the team together]].
* CallingCard: Kaizen Gamorra in the original storyline, symbolically drawing his family's symbol (a circle with three knots) on the Earth, with UsefulNotes/{{Moscow}}, {{London}}, and UsefulNotes/LosAngeles as the knots.
* CanonDiscontinuity: Issues 23-26 of the original run (a Filler arc which starred the replacement Authority created after Seth dispatched the originals) were never referenced again, removed from collected volumes and featured ''very'' contradictory characterization.
* TheCape: An analysis at [[http://toobusythinkingboutcomics.blogspot.com/2010/06/challenge-of-super-friends-why-warren.html Too Busy Thinking About Comics]] points out that the heroes of the Authority under Ellis/Hitch, once the violence and counter culture are stripped from them, are closer to the oldest school superheroes, lacking even the sort of conflict introduced by Spider-Man or the Fantastic Four.
* ClarkKenting: Alluded to/averted.
* CloseOnTitle: Each issue of the mini-series ''The Secret History of the Authority: Jack Hawksmoor''.
* ClothingDamage: Apollo. And how!
* ClothesMakeTheSuperman: The Engineer's nanites.
* ComicBookFantasyCasting: Jenny Sparks is visually based on the model Kate Moss.
* CorruptHick: One of ''The Authority'''s worst foes was a CorruptHick given [[SuperpowerLottery 1,024 different superpowers]] and set on them by the G7 leaders. When he's finally defeated, they punish him by [[BalefulPolymorph turning him into seven chickens]] and then [[BlackComedyRape bringing him home to his seven brothers]].
* CrapsackWorld: Why does ''anyone'' live in major cities anymore given the rate at which they're leveled in the series?
* CurbStompBattle: In ''CaptainAtom: Armageddon'', the team goes up against a guy who can swat them down like flies, and does so.
* DecompressedComic: TropeCodifier
* DeepSouth: Seth is possibly one of the most mean-spirited uses of this trope ever.
* DependingOnTheArtist: In the second volume of The Authority, halfway through there is a different artist, and everyone suddenly looks grittier, wrinkled, and pouty lipped. Jack Hawksmoore and Apollo are particularly victim to this in regards to making them look almost repugnant.
** Midnighter's hair color seemed to switch with every artist. Eventually a writer just had him say he likes dying his hair.
* DependingOnTheWriter: [[spoiler:Abnett and Lanning's 17-issue run showed the Authority in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, working closely with civilians to protect them from outside threats, risking their own lives when half of them had been BroughtDownToNormal, and generally being very human and relateable. Come January of 2010, and issue #18 by Bernardin and Freeman shows the Authority casually abandoning said civilians, including such gems as Midnighter wearing SpikesOfVillainy and beating up an old man who protests.]] MoodWhiplash ensues.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Both Swift and Jack Hawksmoor, due to the nature of their powers.
* ElectronicTelepathy: the radiotelepathy network the team uses.
* EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: Happens twice, the first time supposedly, because nothing really changes as a result and the whole event is quickly forgotten by writers, the second time for real, with Earth being reduced to a blasted wasteland, very laws of nature twisted, and most of the Authority depowered.
* EvilCounterpart: After defeat at the hands of Seth, the Authority was replaced by corporate versions of each member:
** The Colonel, a violent, misognyist British ex-footballer with electrical powers. (Jenny Sparks)
** Street, a black gangster with golems formed from pavement (Jack Hawksmoor)
** Rush, an inoffensive Canadian woman with wings (Swift)
** Teuton, a German, bi-curious, solar-powered heavy (Apollo)
** Last Call, a sadist, Italian, homophobic brawler (Midnighter)
** The Surgeon, a French alchemist, given control over the Doctor's powers
** Machine, a Japanese woman using the Engineer's stolen blood
* ExperimentedInCollege: The Engineer. In the "Green Inferno" arc, the renegade (and bluntly homophobic) ex-Doctor disdainfully challenges the team with the phrase "Poofs first." It's obviously aimed at Apollo and The Midnighter, but Angie steps forward first, with a cool:
--> '''Engineer:''' Does a brief lesbian fling in college count, Doctor?
* {{Expy}}: Apollo and Midnighter fill roughly the same roles on their team as Superman and Batman respectively, but actualy character-wise, Apollo is actually Wildstorm's version of The Ray, a rather obscure DC character.
** Actually, Apollo being shown as a ray analogue was only in "countdown Arena", and the writer specified that the events of that book didn't actually make Apollo a Ray analogue. "Because Majestic is more or less the Superman analogue from Wildstorm. Of all the Wildstorm characters, I wanted Apollo in the book and, with Superman spoken for, the best match we could come up with was The Ray due to the solar-powered connection. It doesn't necessarily mean Apollo is a Ray analogue, just that Monarch grouped him together with the other two." Later, Final Crisis #7 depicts both Apollo and Mister Majestic as being the Superman analogues for their Earth.
** The villains of the first arc of Mark Millar's run were Expies, mixed with TakeThat, of Marvel's ComicBook/TheAvengers and Jack Kirby. Reportedly, in an issue of ''Wizard Magazine'', Marvel ''wasn't'' happy about how these expies acted--[[PsychoForHire a bunch of baby-killing, raping, and depraved psychopaths]].
* {{Flanderization}}: The team became more and more sociopathic and homicidal as time passed, especially compared to Ellis's version. Usually justified by Jenny Sparks being a MoralityChain for the team.
** Outright lampshaded during Ed Brubaker's Revolution mini, where it's stated Jenny Sparks would be revolted by what the group has become. The story eventually ends with Jenny Q and the Engineer acknowledging that they're back where they started, which was - in a meta sense - the entire point of the story; To return the Authority to the Ellis days and to give the team a moral and emotional anchor in the form of a Jenny old enough to boss them around again. Subsequent stories naturally ignored this and had the Authority as amoral psychos once more.
* FriendToAllChildren: Kids ''love'' Midnighter, [[RuleOfCool probably because they can spot a badass a mile away]]. For his part, Midnighter's pretty fond of kids, especially [[HasTwoMommies Jenny Quantum]].
** [[PapaWolf He is especially brutal to those who harm children]], and given Midnighter's brutality on normal criminals, that's [[CruelAndUnusualDeath saying something.]]
** He also [[WouldntHurtAChild refuses to harm children,]] to the point of refusing to go back in time and kill ''Hitler'' while he was in his infancy. This was after his severe reluctance to kill the infant [[OmnicidalManiac Jenny Fractal]], no matter how necessary it was, so it may be the reason he's unwilling to cross that line again just to save his own life.
* GeniusLoci: All cities, as long as Jack's there to talk to them.
* GetBackInTheCloset: In a textbook example of this trope, a panel depicting Apollo and Midnighter kissing was censored, while apparently Apollo getting raped by another man is just fine, as long as it's not pictured.
* GooGooGodlike: Jenny Quantum's reality-bending powers manifest when she's about three days old, and she immediately starts using them to help the Authority.
* HasTwoMommies: Jenny Quantum is adopted by Apollo and Midnighter. [[{{Squee}} Aren't they cute]]?
* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: Swift can, uh, fly! And grow claws! But these powers are actually very effective since she is fast and strong enough to tear apart jet fighters from other dimensions and [[SuperSpeed Speedsters]].
** Especially true in the post Number of the Beast setting: Swift is now one of two Authority members (the other being Midnighter) whose powers still function reliably. [[spoiler: Jenny Quarx and the Doctor are missing or presumed dead.]] Consequently, she's now tied for the position of most effective member of the group.
* [[SociopathicHero Heroic Sociopath]]: Emphasizing the "Sociopath" more as time went on, see the Designated Hero entry above.
** ... but the emphasis on the "Sociopath" has ''always'' been true about the Midnighter. He's a killer all the way through, and he never pretends to be anything else.
*** In his own series, he crosses the [[MoralEventHorizon Horizon]] with a particularly [[ToThePain cringe-worthy torture session]], showing himself to be a villain who happens to fight villains.
* HeroInsurance: The Authority are one of the few superhero teams who acknowledge that the massive collateral damage from their battles can and probably has caused civilian casualties. The general understanding is that it's an unfortunate but necessary evil, since allowing their enemies to rampage unchecked would cause even more death and destruction. It's also worth noting that they try to limit the damage when possible, such as evacuating civilians and fencing in the combat zone, and are frequently on hand afterwards to help with the emergency services dealing with the aftermath.
* HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct: The first story arc of Midnighter's solo series.
* HitmanWithAHeart: Kev Hawkins.
* HolyHalo: Apollo, whose halo gets dimmer when weak and brighter after a good sunbath.
* HomeworldEvacuation: The Authority do this in one arc, evacuating the planet's entire population so as to cause less collateral damage when fighting a superpowered villain.
* HostileTerraforming: The Authority battles God ("The Outer Dark," issues 9-12). Earth's creator is a moon-sized alien being that created the planet as a retirement home. Since Earth's creation, changes to its orbit and ecosystem led to the rise of life as we know it, instead of somewhere its creator would be comfortable. God immediately sets about "fixing" that.
* HumongousMecha: Jack Hawksmoor can turn ''entire cities'' into this.
* {{Jobber}}: There was a period where the Authority didn't have their own ongoing series, yet were still supposed to be the most powerful superhero team of their Earth. This led to the team only being used so that they could be jerks to the protagonists of other series, then swatted down to show off how cool those other heroes were. Examples include ''Stormwatch: Team Achilles'', and GailSimone's ''{{Gen13}}'' (where they substitute "[[HeelRealization realize what jerks they're being]]" for "swatted down"). Notably ''not'' the case in ''[[CaptainAtom Captain Atom: Armageddon]]'', where they were portrayed as the {{Badass}}es they are... it's just they were up against [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter a bigger Badass than they were]].
* KnightInSourArmor: Jenny Sparks.
* KnightTemplar: The heroes kill or threaten to kill anyone who opposes them.
* LegacyCharacter: Quite a few. Angie's the second Engineer, a new Doctor is made every time the old one dies, and a different Jenny is born to every age of mankind.
* LegCling: Kev receives one from Midnighter and his evil boss on one of the Kev covers. He does not look in the slightest bit pleased.
* LightningBruiser: At least half the team. Jenny Sparks was choosy.
* MadeOfPlasticine: Most anyone Midnighter gets his hands on. In one case he ''rips a guy's skull and spine right out''.
** Actually seems to be even more pronounced with Jack Hawksmoor, at least in the earlier series when it was a more ensemble book, not so much Midnighter and Friends. Midnighter, brutal as he is, does use finesse; Jack just wails away with his superstrength. He kicks guys' spines out on ''several'' occasions.
* ManInTheMachine
* ManlyGay: Apollo and Midnighter, especially the latter.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Jeroen. Every other Doctor as well. In fact, the only Doctor who is explicitly confirmed to have actually been a doctor(he was a heart surgeon) was an OmnicidalManiac who had the position of The Doctor revoked.
* MostCommonSuperpower: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]]. Swift makes no secret of her "twenty-grand boob job."
* MotherNatureFatherScience: Inverted. The Doctor is in tune with the whole universe and deeply tied to nature, and is AlwaysMale; Jenny, reborn to every age of mankind, embodies that age's dominating technological advancement, and is AlwaysFemale.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In the above-mentioned IntercontinuityCrossover. [[spoiler: Nice job blowing up the universe and causing the cosmic reboot, The Authority.]]
** Also Jenny Sparks in her mini solo series.[[spoiler: Apparently during her brief time in Austria she felt sympathetic for a young artist trying to sell self-made postcards to passers-by. She decided to tell the poor lad he had absolutely no talent for art and should just stop trying. She thought he DID have a talent for rhetoric and therefore advised him to try politics. The said artist's [[AdolfHitler name]]?...[[OhCrap Yeah]]]].
* OffModel: Some of the panels showing Jenny Quantum when she was a baby can make the viewer wonder if the artist has ever actually seen a human baby.
* OhCrap: ''Don't'' cross Midnighter (or worse, hurt Apollo), or you ''will'' wear this expression. For either two seconds or until your face rots off.
** A prime example is when [[spoiler: Apollo is subdued and then raped by a member of a government-sponsored superteam given the directive to neutralize The Authority. In a later confrontation this same super is paralyzed from the waist down by Apollo and the last we see of him is a look of horror on his face as The Midnighter stands over him with an evil grin, holding a rusty, but operational jackhammer.]] [[FreudWasRight Make whichever Dr. Horrible references you deem appropriate.]]
** And many more, such as Kaizen Gamorra watching as the Midnighter pilots the Carrier on a collision course with his skyscraper fortress in the first arc.
** This was the look on ''Midnighter's'' face, right before CaptainAtom tosses an unconscious Apollo at him in ''Captain Atom: Armageddon''.
* OtherMeAnnoysMe: Alternate universe Authority versions.
* OutsideContextVillain: most of the major arc opponents are these. They come upon the Authority unprepared and hand them their own asses, then the Authority work out how to deal with them, and return the favour.
* OvershadowedByAwesome: Swift is frequently this compared to her teammates, despite having powers roughly equivalent to Hawkgirl, who frequently holds her own amongst the rest of the JLA.
* PaidForFamily: In a decidedly creepy variation, in one story that has The Authority replaced by Heroic Sociopath Captain Ersatz-es, the Engineer has all her nanomachines removed and is brainwashed, then placed in a "family" of evil children and an abusive husband (all actors), [[HappinessInSlavery that she will be conditioned to never leave or go against despite the abuse they heap on her]].
* PortalDoor
* PowerCreepPowerSeep: While the Authority have always been heavy hitters, they all had reasonable limitations when written by Ellis, such as Angie's limited supply of nanoblood to use as weaponry and Jack's inability to survive outside of a city. Millar ignored this entirely when he took over and gave several characters new powers to boot, and almost all later writers have kept them at their new power level or higher.
* PropheticNames: Jenny Sparks, Jenny Quantum.
* ProportionatelyPonderousParasites: Inside the god-like pyramid creature. . . which has developed into a full civilization!
* RabbleRouser: In one iteration, the team fought against a group of patriotic heroes who were essentially expies of DC's Freedom Fighters. Among these was the Uncle Sam expy Paul Revere, whose powers included the ability to rile up crowds.
* RapeAndRevenge: [[spoiler: As mentioned below, the Commander raped Apollo. The last we see of him, it's implied that Midnighter intends to return the favor--with a jackhammer.]]
* RapeAsDrama: The Commander, an {{Expy}}/TakeThat against Captain America does this to a couple of nurses during a mission to find [[spoiler: the infant Jenny Quantum]] and then [[spoiler: Apollo after Thor expy Storm-God knocked him down and drains some of his solar charge via [[ShockAndAwe a lightning strike]]]]. This results in Midnighter being pissed and the aforementioned OhCrap example and it's implied that Midnighter's going to return the favor and [[spoiler: use the jackhammer to rape Commander back.]]
* RedemptionEarnsLife
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Lampshaded and averted. The Engineer, in particular, spends a lot of time making multiple copies of herself and spreading them around the world so she can simultaneously build wind farms, address the UN, research cures for diseases, etc., and Habib's first act upon becoming [[spoiler:the Doctor]] was to create peace in the Middle East.
* ReluctantWarrior: When Jenny formed the Authority, Jack and Shen had to adjust to the fact that it would often be necessary to kill their enemies. The former was extremely reluctant to kill and was disgusted by the two times he had to do so during his time in Stormwatch, while the latter was highly spiritual and preferred to avoid violent solutions whenever there was any other option. This... didn't last that long, mainly due to ItGetsEasier and different writers.
* SapientShip: The Carrier a spaceship that, while being made of metal, is fully sapient. However, it has only once spoken directly to anyone (and then it was only to tell hapless assassin Kev Hawkins what a prick he is).
* SlasherSmile: The Midnighter.
* ShockAndAwe: Jenny Sparks.
* ShoutOut: "This some kind of [[JakAndDaxter green eco]] thing, isn't it?" [[spoiler: No.]]
* SimpleStaff: Midnighter's collapsible metal staff... which he can swing fast enough to ''[[SubvertedTrope decapitate people]]''.
* SpinOff[=/=]SpiritualSuccessor: ''The Authority'' features many of the characters, plot elements, and themes from Ellis's revamp of ''Stormwatch''.
* SplashPanel
* {{Stripperiffic}}: The Engineer's aforementioned skintight nanosuit is ''very'' skintight.
* StrongAsTheyNeedToBe: As a result of power creep in the series, what The Doctor can do is limited solely by whatever the plot requires at the moment. Authors often try to portray him as a GlassCannon to counter his effective omnipotence and invincibility, but come on, when you are explicitly stated and shown to have enough mojo to ''create and destroy universes'', concocting some sort of personal shield shouldn't be particularly hard.
** It was explicitly [[LudicrousGibs and graphically]] confirmed that complete dismemberment isn't enough to kill a Doctor, seen when the Renegade Doctor temporarily regained the powers. He'll just pull himself back together like nothing happened, so any frailty that a Doctor shows is entirely their own failing and not a real weakness.
*** This is what originally kept Jeroen from overshadowing the rest of the team. He tended to be either wacked out on heroin or suffering from severe lack of confidence, plus a requirement for his reality shifts to be largely nature-based. Unfortunately later writers got rid of those flaws.
* SuperpowerLottery: Jenny Quantum and The Doctor.
** Although best embodied by the villain Three-Willy Seth: a government conspiracy spent billions of dollars cramming every enhancement they could come up with into him. He has powers numbering in the ''quadruple digits.'' Some of them are hard to even conceive of- his mention of "nuclear poop vision" was ''probably'' a joke...
*** 1,204 powers, to be exact, although he exaggerates that to 2,012.
* ThouShaltNotKill: Averted with extreme prejudice.
* TrophyWife: When a group of {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s kidnap and brainwash the Authority, this is the fate of Swift, who is creepily "given" to one of the men behind the scheme. [[WhatAnIdiot It turns out that keeping one of their victims nearby and alive in this way isn't such a good idea]] once the brainwashing is inevitably undone.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen.
* VillainousBSOD: The previous Doctor, after regaining his powers.
* WeaksauceWeakness: Jack Hawksmoor becomes catastrophically ill if he spends too long outside a sufficiently large city; one of his powers allows him to travel between cities without assistance. Fortunately, the Carrier is large enough to count as a city; unfortunately, Stormwatch's old satellite base wasn't.
** Seth's powers can all be disabled by saying a four-word phrase [[spoiler:which is never actually used to defeat him; Jenny just rewrites history so he never had his powers.]]
* WeaponsGradeVocabulary: There was an issue where Apollo and Midnighter were trying to stop the deaths caused by a killer word: anyone who heard it would kill themselves, but not before whispering the word to someone else, repeating the process.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: All of The Authority, really, but the Midnighter and Jack Hawksmoor tend to stand out as the most hardcore about their ideals and the most brutal.
* WingedHumanoid: Swift
* WolverinePublicity
** PlotTumor - There was a two-page joke scene of Swift sleeping with ''{{Gen13}}'''s Grunge in "The Nativity." Later, Adam Warren escalated it into an ongoing affair, mostly because of the effect of the reveal on Grunge's [[TheWoobie Woobie]] girlfriend.
* WriterOnBoard: The writer of the day tending to using the comics to ram their beliefs about politics and superhero comics at the reader; particularly obvious during Grant Morrison's run.
** And also Mark Millar's. And pretty much every other author's run except the original Warren Ellis. And even him, though to a lesser extent.
* YaoiGuys: Apollo and Midnighter.
* YourDaysAreNumbered: As a century baby, Jenny Sparks knew that she would die along with century on the stroke on the last moment of December 31st 1999 along with the 20th century, to be reincarnated as Jenny Quantum, spirit f the 21st century.
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->''"'Think for yourself and question authority.'''\\
''And if you'' can '' think for yourself, what do you need'' authority ''for?"''
->'''[[CaptainErsatz The High]]''', ''Stormwatch #48''

->''To make a world worth living in.''\\
'''Jenny Sparks'''
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