I didn’t much care for “The Authority: The Lost Year” #3 and, sadly, nothing changes with issue four, except for an ending that gives a glimmer of hope and promise for what’s to come in the remaining eight issues. But, that’s just the final few pages of this comic, which are prefaced by a rather mediocre issue otherwise as the Authority, trapped in a low energy universe much like ours, has discovered that a giant, Lovecraftian jellyfish-looking creature is tapped into the collective subconscious of humanity, and they may have woken it up accidentally.
Faced with the unknown danger presented by the creature’s possible awakening, the team wants to get out of this universe before it causes more damage, but the caged baby universe that used to power the Carrier is gone, so they lack the power to get out. Their fears are made real when the slight stirrings of the creature causes violence and insanity worldwide, leaving them with few options, the best being using one of the native humans, Ken, as a conductor for them to siphon enough energy from the creature to power the Carrier. Of course, that’s only if Ken is willing to allow himself to be used like a pair of jumper cables.
The basic idea of this issue isn’t bad, but the execution is dull and haphazard as Giffen and Robertson cycle through a variety of scenes showing what’s happening in the world and how the Authority is reacting, but lacking any emotional impact. It’s all just going through the motions toward that end point where the setting can change and new adventures are to be had. Even the moral implications of the Authority’s actions are dealt with in a manner where the minimum amount of discussion is given before moving on. But, as I said, the end of this issue is done so well that it’s hard to blame them for wanting to just get there.
As with last issue, Darick Robertson’s art is butchered by the sketchy, rough, heavyhanded, ugly inks of Trevor Scott. The shark on the first page of the issue is, sadly, the best-looking drawing in the entire comic as even the basic compositions of most characters and scenes look rushed by Robertson. That incomplete look of the art matches the writing well since it means that everything about this comic screams wanting to just get this story done with, which is a shame, because this was a story with lots of potential. At least, it had potential when Grant Morrison and Gene Ha left it at the end of issue two. Maybe now that the initial story arc is done, Giffen can further escape Morrison’s shadow and influence and tell the stories he wants to.