YMMV / The Authority

    The comic book superhero team 
  • Acceptable Targets: While Mark Millar was writing the series, there were numerous potshots taken at Bill Clinton.
  • Complete Monster: Regis Slzfi, warmongering dictator of the alternate Earth named Sliding Albion, earns the distinctive honor, despite only appearing in 4 issues in 1999, of being one of the most astonishingly vile villains to ever fight against the Authority. A member of the Blue which colonized Sliding Albion centuries ago, Regis distinguishes himself from even the other Blues by virtue of his aggression and sadism, poisoning the entire planet through repeated campaigns of war and overuse of chemical weapons that lead to countless lives lost. When Regis is tasked to repopulate the dying Sicilian-Blues— poisoned by Regis's own insane conquest—Regis starts using entire countries as rape camps, invading highly populated countries like China and totally butchering the male populations to use the entirety of the females as rape fodder. Regis's pettiness and arrogance leads him to attempt to murder his own son Lorenzo and his wife when they wed, vowing to slaughter the entire city and decorate it with the skinned faces of its populace, and tricking a man into slaughtering an entire gathering of people before crushing the man's head and devouring his children due to an offhand insult the man makes. To complete his task of repopulation, Regis has his forces assault the main Earth with the intention to turn the entire planet into a rape camp, and roars to Midnighter whilst beating him into a bloody pulp that he's butchered and raped countless people over half a millennium. Egotistical and xenophobic among a laundry list of other traits and unconcerned even with the survival of his own people so long as he can glory in his own victories, Regis is one of the singularly most depraved villains to ever grace the Crapsack World he inhabits.
  • 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 Millar'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.
  • Dork Age: The Robbie Morrison era. Despite being moved to an imprint that would allow more swearing, violence, and even sexual themes, Morrison did almost nothing with this new freedom, having the team face off against bland villains and pointedly avoiding the kind of controversy that Mark Millar regularly courted.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Midnighter. He even got his own series (a short-lived one but still).
  • Fanon: Artists have given Midnighter several different hair colors, 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The "Brave New World" arc features the White House and New York City being suddenly attacked by a third-world army that suddenly gained access to advanced technology. Only a month or two after the four-part arc ended, September 11th, happened.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Whenever a political figure, journalist, or really anyone, tried calling the team on their excessive and often times, borderline fascist esque-vigilante activity. This was especially true during Mark Millar's run. When said strawman had a very legitimate reason to be concerned with the team over stepping their jurisdiction.

    The professional wrestling stable 

  • Arc Fatigue: The angle started at SummerSlam 2013, and didn't end until WrestleMania 32 in 2016. In fact, within those 2½ years were only SIX months in which the WWE World Heavyweight Champion wasn't either an Authority hand-picked centerpiece (Randy Orton and Seth Rollins) or supported by them as a means to an end (Brock Lesnar and Sheamus) the five-month time period between WrestleMania XXX and SummerSlam 2014, and the one month between the night after TLC 2015 and Royal Rumble 2016.
  • Creator's Pet: 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. They're 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: 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 eventually found a way to do that by trolling her (and on one time, throwing Vince McMahon at her).
  • 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: 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 and the McMahon-Helmsley Faction were both done nearly a decade and 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.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Going into WrestleMania 32, the X-Pac Heat for Roman Reigns was so great that Hunter and Steph were forced to bring their heel A-game if they were ever going to get Roman over as a face. Hunter went full on mega-heel, complete with corporate suit and entered a mini-feud with Dean Ambrose (by far and away the most over face on the full-time roster with Daniel Bryan's retirement) to get more heat. Stephanie upped her obnoxiousness to insane levels, actively meta-insulting the audience whenever she could and even introducing Hunter at the match by calling them "sheep" and claiming that "all hope is lost". Yet despite all these desperate attempts to make the audience hate them as much as possible, the audience proved unrelenting in their hatred of Reigns and remained largely apathetic to the couple when they weren't outright cheering Triple H's offense.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: After 2014 Royal Rumble, the group, specially Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were much better received by IWC, in part due to them escalating their heel character and their feud with Daniel Bryan & Shield which resulted in some of the best matches of the year.
    • But they sadly fell right back into the Heap in 2015: Not only was their seemingly crippling Survivor Series 2014 defeat just Diabolus ex Machina'd into pointlessness only a few weeks later, but they then proceeded to squash Sting (along with both the nWo and WCW in general) in his debut match at WrestleMania 31 as well. After all of that, the aforementioned Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy simply kicked back in full-force.