This volume of issues 13-29 of the original comic is my first exposure to the "Authority" series and I'm definitely going to have to go back and locate the first collection. (Although the backstory is nicely conveyed, too.) The superheroes who make up the Authority are "manufactured" rather than being aliens or supernatural beings, and they're often not very nice, and the Good Guys are perfectly willing to use cattle-prods to get information from captured Bad Guys. They've also decided they're allowed to make the law better than any corrupt government. Unlike the "WHAM! POW!" style of the Golden and Silver Ages, there's a good deal more blood and forthright pain on the page. On the other hand, there's no doubt who the *real* Bad Guys are here -- they're the international conglomerates who control mere national governments so they can more easily strip the earth of its natural resources and enhance the bottom line. The members of the Authority aren't patriotic, nationalist flag-wavers and take pleasure in overthrowing the dictatorships they come across. In the first of the three stories in this collection, they deal both with an Evil Genius (eventually co-opted) and with political refugees while coming to grips with the replacement of their late leader -- the "spirit of the 20th century," a neat concept. In the second story, the earth-destroying force they have to fight turns out to be the Earth itself -- another interesting and original idea. The third story involves the replacement of the Authority by the G-8 nations by a bunch of creeps they con control. In other ways, this comic is very much a 21st century product, with an openly gay couple, domestic violence themes, and a drug-addicted "world shaman." Physically, it's a very nice book, too, with a slipcase and built-in-bookmark.