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    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, from the September-December 1999 issues, the vicious, warmongering leader of Sliding Albion, is one of the most singularly vile foes to grace the Authority's pitch-black Rogues Gallery. Upon being appointed to save his species, the Blues, from sterility and extinction, Regis opts first to use massively populated countries such as China as rape camps, butchering the males to use the females as breeding fodder. Regis eventually takes his efforts to Earth, attempting to massacre an entire city-—his own son Lorenzo included-—in violent protest of Lorenzo's wedding to Jenny Sparks, and eventually deigns to turn all of Earth into a rape camp. His evil not strictly grandiose, Regis once even tricks a man into slaughtering a party full of people, crushing the man's head before waltzing off to eat the man's children, all because of an offhanded insult the man had made.
  • 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 the 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 Dark Horse: 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.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: It's hard to describe how completely influential the series was, to the point that pretty much every event comic to follow for the next decade or so took inspiration. It was pretty much the formative work of the early 2000s, combining the grim tone of the 90s with the scale and creativity of classic Silver Age works and adding a sense of social consciousness and consequences - and that's before one discusses its "blockbuster"-style artwork. People who got into comics from things like Ultimate Marvel, though, which refined a lot of these elements even further, or the host of copycats since, might not find The Authority to be anything impressive. It doesn't help that much of the series's subject matter now seems less shocking and more tastelessly edgy.
  • 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, while not officially inducting him to the stable, supported Sheamus as a means to an end, as he'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), and couldn't get over with ten months of being booked as the second coming of John Cena, managed to get over in ten minutes after giving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Triple H. So Tropes Are Tools 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.
  • X-Pac Heat: The entire stable was hated for how long it remained on the roster, how many years the WWE championship remained in their possession, and how utterly invincible they were.

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