- Franchise: DC
- First Introduced: 1999
When DC Studios co-CEOs, James Gunn and Peter Safran, listed off the first number of DC projects, there were, admittedly, a couple of head-scratchers. That’s not to say that the head-scratchers are a bad thing, rather they are just not what many were expecting. One of these head-scratchers announced by Gunn and Safran is called The Authority and it will immediately sound very familiar.
THE AUTHORITY IS A NEW GROUP OF HEROES IN THE DC CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
If you are unfamiliar with The Authority, don’t be bothered by this, you may not be alone. According to Gunn in his Twitter announcement of the 10 new DC projects slated to roll out over the next 8-10 years, “The Authority is a passion project of mine. It’s based on the marvelous Wildstorm characters we are now bringing into the DCU and will interact with all of our primary DCU characters.” Okay, but who are they?
“The Authority,” Gunn continues, “are a group of superheroes who think the world is broken and they want to fix it by any means necessary. I think it’s a very different look at superheroes.”
Think of The Boys well before The Boys became relevant but instead of “fixing” broken superheroes, this group of ragtag heroes looks to work the different shades of gray as they attempt to rid the world of all evils.
One thing that is immediately interesting in what Gunn said about The Authority is that they “will interact with all of our primary DCU characters.” Unfortunately, Gunn did not list off which “primary DCU characters,” but the mind reels when thinking about a “versus story” with the possibility of some of the DC legends possibly battling against The Authority.
THE TEAM INCLUDES JENNY SPARKS, JACK HAWKSMOOR, APOLLO, THE MIDNIGHTER, AND OTHERS
As James Gunn has said, The Authority is going to be a “big movie.” What that means, at this point, we do not know. Will it be “big” in the sense that we will see many different DC characters? Will it be “big” in the sense that it will be long and involved?
Well, to get a sense of what fans have to look forward to, let’s take a look at some of the members of The Authority and see what they bring to the DCU.
One of the first members in The Authority’s original lineup is Jenny Sparks, aka The Spirit of the 20th Century. For comparison, think of Marvel’s Captain Britain, but with a more brutal nature … much more.
Jenny is from Britain, born in 1900, making her a very old superhero, though aging doesn’t seem to be in her DNA. Throughout her superhero early years, Jenny has interacted with many of history’s most famous, good and bad, figures.
A second member of the original Authority team is Jack Hawksmoor. When Jack was a child, futuristic beings experimented on him, and in those experiments, they connected Jack’s essence to the many urban environments around him.
What this means for Jack is that he can now ready a city’s energy and yes, he can also communicate with its buildings. This connection also means that Jack has been given some very strange powers, such as being able to move through concrete.
Because Jack is so in tune with city surroundings, he is unable to survive for long in rural areas, making him beholden to the city. Both he and Jenny Sparks have chosen to wear civilian clothing instead of the expected colorful superhero clothing.
Apollo, aka The Sun King, is one of the better-known members of The Authority and is probably the closest the team gets to a “Superman” character. His powers include superhuman strength, the ability to fly, and all-around immortality.
He gets his name, “The Sun King,” by being able to also shoot laser beams from his eyes. Prior to becoming one of the original Authority members, Apollo was part of “Stormwatch,” a group of heroes that were given their powers by scientist Henry Bendix through bioengineered implants. Apollo made a name for himself for one other reason – Midnighter.
Midnighter, or “Night’s Bringer of War,” was simply a normal human being until Bendix came into his life. The implants created Midnighter and (think the Flash) he was given super speed, super strength, and the most awesome ability to heal at a blistering pace, which makes him virtually invulnerable. What made him and Apollo even more talk-worthy is that the two are married.
Then there is Swift, aka “The Winged Huntress.” Swift was blessed with a genetic marker that activated when a meteor passed close to Earth. Although she was given the power to fly, it was limited at first. Stormwatch member, Christine Trelane, then helped Swift unleash her full potential. Once fully powered, Swift found her bird-like senses to go along with superhuman speed and the ability to understand how birds feel.
The Engineer, or The Maker, is another original member of The Authority. Actually, The Maker took place of The Engineer after their two bodies merged – his nano-technology fusing with her body through her home computer. With the nano-tech replacing her blood, The Maker has the ability to shapeshift and create objects from sheer willpower.
This power makes her one of the most powerful of The Authority, as she can self-duplicate, is a technopath, and has been given other power abilities such as radio-induced telepathy and a genius level of intellect.
Of course, throughout the years, members of The Authority have changed and from time to time they have even brought in famous DC heroes (such as Superman) to help them with their battles.
Although this is one of Gunn’s passion projects, it also represents a leap of faith for the vision he and Safran are trying to create, especially given the fact that this group of superheroes is a relatively unknown commodity.
THERE IS NO FORMAL RELEASE DATE FOR THE AUTHORITY
As part of the new DC slate, which Gunn and Safran announced will be called Chapter 1 of “Gods and Monsters,” not many dates were shared. In fact, the only date Gunn shared in his announcement was July 11, 2025, the date that the DCU will officially kick off when Superman Legacy flies into theaters.
The introduction to a new Superman (sorry Henry Cavill) is important moving forward for DC and supposedly will set up how The Authority makes their initial appearance as well.
With that being said, The Authority does not have a release date. We are sure as the co-CEOs further cement their “Gods and Monsters” plans, dates will follow.