Regaining Authority: Giffen and Robertson Uncover The Authority's Lost Year

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In late 2006, the WildStorm Universe was undergoing a major relaunch. Its flagship titles were starting over with new creative teams, and among the launches that brought the biggest excitement was the announcement of writer Grant Morrison and artist Gene Ha on The Authority, a series previously made famous by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch. But it was not to be; only two issues were released, and eventually the WildStorm Universe moved on. Still, fans wondered; would they ever see the completion of Grant and Gene's story? Keith Giffen and Darick Robertson now have the answer. Broken Frontier spoke with the two about resurrecting the Morrison/Ha run in The Authority: The Lost Year.

BROKEB FRONTIER: Tell us a bit about about the background of The Authority: The Lost Year. Why wasn't Grant's run completed, and how did you guys get involved with resurrecting it?

KEITH GIFFEN: I have no idea why Grant's run wasn't completed.  That's not a tale for me to tell anyway.  As for my involvement, pretty much SOP.  I was asked if I'd be interested and, since I really like the Authority, jumped in with the condition that Grant have a say in it.  Grant had no problem with me picking up the story so here we are.

DARICK ROBERTSON: I was approached by Scott Peterson last spring. He said "Keith Giffen" and I said "I'm in".

BF: To what extent is Grant involved with the coming issues?

DR: I actually don't know! I've always wanted to work with Grant, and he's said the feeling's mutual, so this has been cool for me, even if I'm just rolling off his plot.

KG: I had a nice chat with Grant, specifically about where the first story was heading.  Other than that, it's me trying to follow Grant's basic premise of a lost Authority.

BF: What has your collaboration been like? Have you guys ever worked together before?

KG: 52 wasn't it?  From breakdowns?  Other than that, I don't think I've ever actually written anything for Darick.  It's not really all that big a collaboration.  I hand in the script, Darick makes me look good.

DR: The collaboration has been great. I have great respect for Keith, and Keith gave me the kindest compliment in that he not only didn't do visual breakdowns for this but let me choreograph fight scenes and just run with it. My first DC work ever was with Keith on Justice League, so I had learned a lot from those issues and working from his breakdowns back then. To have him pat me on the back and tell me I can do it myself feels like an honor. 
BF: Is there difficulty in picking up a storyline that has been dormant for almost 3 years?

KG: Not really.  Maybe if it were my story I was returning to there'd be some difficulty regaining the mindset, but seeing I was picking it up fresh... not a problem.

DR: It's a bit of a challenge in that I want to stay consistent as best I can with Gene Ha's excellent artwork. He had outfits and new characters and I'm trying to stay within that while bringing my own thing to the story.

BF: How does this run fit in with the current WildStorm continuity?

KG: I think it unspools right before DnA's begins.  Then again...

BF: Can you tell us a little bit about the kinds of universes The Authority will be visiting? Are any of them related to the current DC multiverse?

KG: Various and sundry with one in particular that the fans will find very familiar.  DCU?  Nah.

BF: How long will the arcs be?

KG: As long as the story requires.  I'm trying to limit the arcs to two issues max, but you never know.

DR: I'm only on for two issues, being inked and sometimes finished by the awesome Trevor Scott.

BF: You've both played in this universe before, with Keith's work on Midnighter and various The Authority specials, and Darick's work on Authority Prime. Is it very different this go-round?

KG: Not at all.  In a way, it's more fun because there aren't that many space restrictions.  I mean, a special is one issue and out and Midnighter, while fun, wasn't the Authority.

DR: I really like the freedom and collaborative aspect of working with Keith this go round. It balances that need to stick with Gene's art lead and frees me to play with the storytelling and layouts a bit.

BF: What is it about working on this series that most appeals to you?

KG: Love the characters. No. Really. That's it.

DR: Scott Peterson is a great editor to work with and makes everything seem possible. I also love these characters so I'm hoping this won't be the last time I get to draw them.

BF: What else are you guys working on these days?

DR: I'm writing and drawing a Conan one shot called "Conan and The Weight Of The Crown" for Dark Horse's 'One Shot Wonders' as well as the Female's origin story in the current issue of The Boys I'm drawing.

KG: Um... Doom Patrol, Magog and an upcoming project I'm not supposed to talk about yet.

The Authority: The Lost Year #4 is out this week from DC/WildStorm priced $2.99 with The Authority: The Lost Year Reader also currently available for those wishing to catch up on the Morrison/Ha material.

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  • Richard Boom

    Richard Boom Dec 18, 2009 at 1:19am

    darn...this makes me soooo anxious to get back with this series!!! I have the first run and everything inclusing Authority: Revolution and also 3 KEV-series...itching feelings now!

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