Graphic Novel/Comics Review

The Authority: The Magnificent Kevin

(2006) Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra, Titan Books, 8.99, trdpbk, 112pp, ISBN 1-845-76283-5


This is another outing for the hilarious Authority spin-off character, Kev Hawkins, late of the SAS and now sometime operative for the British, Authority-liaison, intelligence service. Originally published as a five-issue mini-series, this tale opens with another of Kev's fantasies about his female boss while having a hand-shandy, while Republican and Loyalist paramilitary groups converge to cause his demise. Meanwhile, aboard the Authority's carrier, a genie-like creature easily overpowers most of the group with custard pies that put them into comas, while screaming, "I'm a vagina!" Only the Midnighter (the gay Batman character and lover of Apollo, the gay Superman) makes it off of the carrier, and Kev is called in to pick him up and give him safe passage back to Brit intelligence HQ. There are tons of flashbacks to Kev's SAS days and his time in Northern Ireland, all of which serves to flesh out the character, if not make him more sympathetic (just pathetic). With loads of hilarious violence and an overload of bad language, this book satirically examines the use of violence by 'security services' and asks Kev (and the reader) where the line is to be drawn, if at all. It turns out that the Authority's assailant is part of a British programme to create super-powered beings which, more often than not, creates brain-damaged idiots and Kev discovers that the intelligence services intend to use children in their next phase of operation. What will he do when asked to kill minors in the service of his government?

Ennis has drafted another superbly funny tale of the ex-SAS man everyone loves to hate, and 2000AD alumnus Carlos Ezquerra takes over the art chores from Glenn Fabry (who, with Tony Luke, contributes cover art). Ezquerra previously teamed-up with Ennis on the equally satirical Bloody Mary as well as the Preacher spin-off one-shot, The Good Old Boys, and he is certainly in fine form here. Not for the easily shocked or offended, but otherwise highly recommended.

Tony Chester

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