It's been 10 years since anyone has seen the Authority, but the return of the fan favorite turn-of-the-21st-century superhero team has been teased in a solicitation for April 27's Action Comics #1030.
As revealed in the just-released DC Comics April 2021 solicitations, the Midnighter back-up story running in Action Comics in March and April 2021 has the one-time Authority member working once again in the present-day after his return in this month's 'Future State' event. How they describe that story is the important part.
"Meanwhile, in the Midnighter backup story, the bad boy of the Authority has to figure out what Andrej Trojan is up to in the present if he ever wants to get back to Future State and swap places with the Midnighter of 2021, whom he left stranded on Warworld," reads the solicitation for Action Comics #1030's back-up story.
Don't let the time-travel and time-swapping take your eye off the ball - DC is here saying by name the Midnighter's affiliation with the Authority - a team which for the past decade has completely absent from DC books.
The Authority was created out of the ashes of the '90s WildStorm team StormWatch as a proverbial superheavyweight team of superheroes who proactively combated the largest scale threats anyone could dream up, from mad U.S. presidents to a rampaging God (yes, big 'G') having second thoughts about all he had created. The team's title ran from 1999 until 2011, fading out the original WildStorm universe was folded into the DC Universe with 2011's Flashpoint finale.
Members of the Authority such as Midnighter, Apollo, the Engineer, and Jack Hawksmoor have appeared in DC titles since then - but the team-up and name of 'The Authority' has been one thing DC's never touched in 10 years with the exception of an out-of-continuity short in WildStorm: A Celebration of 25 Years, until now.
But things have changed, recently. With the effects of January 5's Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 there's a new status quo in the DC Universe, where everything that ever happened in DC comics is in-continuity, and happened somehow - including the Authority, even if in one of the different universes.
Back in September 2020, DC publisher/chief creative officer (and WildStorm founder) Jim Lee said that there would be "more WildStorm integration" at DC in 2021 - and this sounds just that kind of thing.
DC isn't saying what this not-so-casual mention of 'The Authority' means going forward, but when Newsarama interviewed the writers of these new Midnighter back-up stories in December they seemed to hint at something bigger on the horizon.
"I'm not sure how much I can say about what the future holds for Midnighter, but when Becky [Cloonan] and I stepped into the Future State role as writers I was bouncing off the walls with excitement," co-writer Michael Conrad said. "I immediately knew what I wanted to do, and thought if we made a big enough mess in an undeniably cool way, we might create something that the folks with the green light might want to see more of."
The Midnighter's solo return begins in January 19's Future State: Superman: Worlds at War limited series, then continues with a back-up story in Action Comics beginning in March.
The Authority made Newsarama's list as one of the greatest Wildstorm characters of all time.