YMMV / The Authority

    The comic book superhero team 
  • Acceptable Targets: Mark Millar absolutely despises Bill Clinton. So it should come as no surprise that while Millar was writing the series, there were many, many, many, potshots taken at Clinton's expense. At one point he has Swift remark about the time she kicked Clinton in the nads for attempting to make sexual advances on her while in the bathroom. And if that wasn't enough, he takes his hatred of Clinton even further in the Jenny Sparks mini-series. Where one of the issues even goes so far as to implicitly compare Clinton to Adolf Hitler.
  • 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 overstepping 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.
  • 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.