YMMV: The Authority
The comic book superhero team
- Complete Monster: Seth Cowie is a sadistic (implied) child rapist who calls himself the "Six Billion Dollar Bastard". Tired of the Authority's interference in their affairs and afraid of their influence on the world (particularly after the Doctor ruined two presidential candidates by causing them to make out in public), a coalition of interests decided to develop a living weapon capable of defeating the Authority. To this end, they either acquired or kidnapped Seth, an skinny, ignorant, and unambitious hillbilly with an apparent history of being sexually abused by his uncles, transformed him into a cybernetically-enhanced monstrosity, then set him loose inside the Carrier. Armed with over 1,000 post-human abilities, Seth very quickly neutralized all of the Authority, with the sole exception of the Midnighter and Jenny Quantum, who managed to steal a jet and crash it into the side of the Carrier. Despite this, Seth ripped the Carrier from its orbit and scuttled it in Antarctica. Convinced that Midnighter and Quantum were dead, the coalition allowed Seth to retire to a residence within the White House with a harem of prepubescent girls. The surviving Authority members, meanwhile, were all dumped into degrading new lives while the team was replaced by a new team approved by the seven richest governments on Earth. Unbeknownst to all at the time, Seth's scuttling of the Carrier tore a hole in the Bleed.
- Designated Hero: In the beginning, the Authority were hardline with their ideals and used violence reasonably. With Jack Hawksmoor as leader receiving the position after Jenny Sparks's death, the Authority became increasingly predisposed toward unyielding moral positions and merciless brutality as time went on, but the entry of another character, Jenny Quantum/Quarx, as a member of the team softened them somewhat. Now, their level of violence is about par for Wildstorm's post-apocalyptic world, so they're no better or worse than any other group.
- Right from the start, this was the case. Ellis has said on more than one occasion that he wrote the Authority as villains, just ones who happened to fight even bigger villains. The first story arc does end with Midnighter plowing a giant swathe through a populated city just to reach one person, after all. If that's not enough for you, one arc later the Authority stops an invasion from a parallel Earth by totally and indiscriminately destroying a whole country to eliminate enemy's infrastructure, even though by that point it is clear that the invaders are completely outmatched by them anyway. Starting from Miller's run, however, the comic increasingly turned into a vehicle for political Author Tracts, where the Authority were indeed designated to be heroes, although, obviously not all readers were convinced.
- In the "Utopian" arc, their actions kill off an entire alternate earth.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Midnighter. He even got his own series (a short lived one but still).
- Fanon: Artists have given Midnighter several different hair colours, probably because he keeps his cowl on so much that none of them know any better. Fans have used this to draw the conclusion that the otherwise Manly Gay Midnighter just loves to dye his hair.
- In a Stormwatch: Achilles comic, Midnighter admits that he's a natural redhead. He just likes to dye his hair.
The professional wrestling stable
- Arc Fatigue: The angle started at SummerSlam 2013, and lasted until Survivor Series 2014, meaning it lasted about fifteen months. And then after only a month of absence, they were instated thanks to Seth Rollins threatening Edge, meaning that the angle is still going and is now approaching the two-year mark.
- Peopple were calling for the angle to be torched after 2 months (perticularly the utter refund material that was every PPV between Summerslam 2013 and Mania XXX), and yet it's now been going for over 2 years. In fact, the only part of those over two years in which the WWE World Heavyweight Champion wasn't either an Authority hand-picked centerpiece or supported by them as a means to an end was the five-month time period between Mania XXX and SummerSlam '14.
- Creator's Pet: It's Hunter's world; we're just living in it. Like The Corporation before it, part of the reason why The Authority has lasted for so long in WWE is because of the McMahon family's creator status since their power is not only kayfabe, and the fact that Triple H and Stephanie enjoy being reality TV stars just as much as Vince and Shane did. The Big Show and Kane may be even more hated than Triple H and Stephanie are, especially given that they're viewed as far less intriguing characters. In fact the only member of the Authority that the IWC had a high opinion of was Seth Rollins — until he got injured and Sheamus took his place as the centerpiece, who's about as well-liked as anyone else in the group.
- The Authority is so hated that Roman Reigns, who spent time as arguably the biggest Creator's Pet on the main roster (aka the biggest Scrappy), couldn't get over with ten months of being booked as the second coming of John Cena, yet managed to get over in ten minutes after giving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Triple H. So Tropes Are Not Bad in this case, as it finally got one Creator's Pet over and made the fans happy.
- Catharsis Factor: See Arc Fatigue and Creator's Pet. The seething hatred/apathy the Authority has garnered has reached a point where the fans will happily support Roman Reigns if he can get rid of them. Even the smarks don't mind, figuring if they're going to stick around any longer, they might as well put Reigns over before they go. Just watching him beat down Hunter was glorious, and many express disappointment that the current PG rating and PC era of television means he can't humiliate Stephanie McMahon either. Though Reigns found a way to do that.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The Authority's main problem is one the New World Order fell into — they don't lose. Every loss they've suffered are ultimately minor setbacks at best, and the fans are sick of them. Unlike the nWo, they don't have the Popularity Power that can sustain and justify their long run at the top, and once it became clear that they weren't going to lose anytime soon, if ever, the fans started leaving in droves, as evidenced by RAW's declining ratings.
- Fridge Brilliance:
- The repeated mandate that WWE Management cannot place it's hands on WWE Talent is clear hypocrisy, considering this is exactly how the Authority got the WWE title on their preferred champion to kick-off the angle. It doesn't make any sense, until you realize the Board of Directors probably tore into Triple H over it & made the ruling because of it.
- The Authority wanting Randy Orton to win the World Heavyweight Championship ladder match and Seth Rollins to win the traditional Money in the Bank match. At first, you might wonder why the Authority would seemingly be setting their favorites against each other—since Rollins would have to cash in on Orton and thus cause tension and dissension between them—before you realize that they likely weren't going to let Rollins cash in at all had Orton won; they wanted Orton to win the title, and Rollins to win the contract to keep it out of the hands of the rest of the wrestlers to protect Orton from having an "undesirable" cash in on him and possibly take the title off him, and when somebody finally does beat Orton, Rollins can make that cash-in and bring the title right back to the Authority. Since Orton lost, however, Rollins has turned into the ace up their sleeves—while they continue to try to set things up for Orton to win, they can still position Rollins to win the title as a back-up plan when the moment is right and if Orton continues to disappoint, they can simply shift all their favor to Rollins.
- Long story short? That "shift all favor to Rollins" part is exactly what happened and then some.
- The Authority's irritation with John Cena winning the title when Cena is (by most people's estimation) a star manufactured by the company machine...
- Cena is notoriously hard to control. Only one man has managed it in several years, and that didn't last long. Not to mention that any attempt to do so, as hinted in the segment on the RAW immediately after Money In The Bank 2014, might snap him back to his early-to-mid-2000s self, which wouldn't be good for anybody involved. Thug!Cena had a mean streak a mile wide, even as a face. And for a bit more Fridge Brilliance, a return to that form, in the Authority's estimation, wouldn't be "best for business"explanation
- Cena is also notoriously hard to beat straight-up when he wins a title belt, so it's much more difficult to get a title off him than it is most other people.
- It's not good for Seth Rollins and the plans for him within the Authority, either. Let's put it this way: the last guy that tried to cash in a MITB contract on Cena... well, it didn't go so well.
- The whole "going against what the fans want is best for business" thing makes complete sense when you remember two things. One, that the company's dedication in recent years to restoring the clean-cut, family-friendly image that it had before the Attitude Era has largely been for both political reasons and to keep up rapport with corporate sponsors. Two, Vince McMahon's infamously-stated personal philosophy when it comes to what the fans want is that he'll tell them what they want (meaning WWE can get fans to accept just about anything and/or anyone if presented correctly, and even fans who the company is seemingly incapable of pleasing for one reason or another will usually stick around out of either masochism or hope for change). The Authority are the kayfabe exaggeration of the company's own view that the corporate sponsors are much more variable as a factor to their success than the fans are; as such, they don't care much at all about the fans' opinion because they don't think they have to.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: At the start of the angle, the Authority really hammered in that their actions were "Best for business". The first two pay per view events after the start of the angle were so poorly received that the WWE had to provide refunds to the paying audience.
- It's Been Done: Let's see, an authority-based stable that features a member of the family that owns the company at the top, ridiculous heel behavior, AND an unabashed attempt to screw over an insanely popular babyface? The comparisons between them and Vince McMahon's "Corporation" angle are frequent.
- It's the Fleeting Demographic Rule in full effect - the Corporation & McMahon-Helmsley Regime were both done nearly a decade & a half ago. Except unlike most instances of that rule, it pays full homage to continuity rather than pretending it doesn't exist, and can perhaps be appreciated more by those fans that were around in the late 90s-mid 2000s. Call it something of a Parental Bonus.
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: After 2014 Royal Rumble, the group, specially Triple H & Stephanie McMahon were much better received by IWC, in part due to them escalating their heel character & their feud with Daniel Bryan & Shield which resulted in some of the best matches of the year.
- Villain Sue: To more than a few. Combined with their aforementioned Arc Fatigue, they've Karma Houdini'd past each big threat to them (Daniel Bryan, The Shield, Team Cena, Sting, etc.). And with nearly each key member recently winning a title (the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for Seth Rollins, the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy for The Big Show, etc.), it's only worsened.