As Batman finally goes on a team-up with Superman’s new Authority roster, he finally comes face-to-face with Midnighter for a tense meeting.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman/Superman: Authority Special #1, on sale now from DC Comics.
As the premier superhero team in the WildStorm Universe, the Authority has featured several prominent members that are facsimiles of archetypes found in the DC Universe, more commonly with the heroes on the Justice League. Just as Superman and Apollo have similar powers and prestige within their respective universes, both teams feature hard-hitting crimefighters that largely keep to the shadows in their vigilante activities with Batman and Midnighter. This parallel continues when Batman embarks on his first team-up with Superman’s new Authority team, and he finally comes face-to-face with Midnighter. this ends up resulting in some immediate friction and the birth of a new DCU rivalry.
Batman approaches Superman and the Authority to proactively strike at a world within the Dark Multiverse plotting to invade the main DCU after capitalizing on the power vacuum left by the Batman Who Laughs’ defeat during the recent crossover event Dark Nights: Death Metal. The Authority agrees, with the Dark Knight accompanying them on their secret mission, leading to Batman meeting Midnighter for the first time. Midnighter compliments Batman on how he raised and mentored Nightwing, having previously teamed up with Dick Grayson during the DC Rebirth era, but he is less than complimentary towards the Caped Crusader himself. And in Batman/Superman: Authority Special #1 — by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Trevor Hairsine, Ben Templesmith, Jonathan Glapion, Rain Beredo, Scott Hanna, and Tom Napolitano — this friendly rivalry is put to the test.
Midnighter feels Batman is growing a bit old for this line of superhero work and he’s not shy about sharing this sentiment directly with the Dark Knight. Midnighter is open to employing lethal force as part of his crime-fighting crusade so he feels Batman is relatively softer on their enemies than he should be. This leaves him largely remains unimpressed as the two heroes face off against the Empire of Shadows in the Dark Multiverse. Batman, for his part, remains stoic as ever, visibly not looking to change Midnighter’s opinion of him as he just looks to get the job done, earning Midnighter’s begrudging respect by the end of their time together in saving the multiverse from this shadowy menace.
Batman and Midnighter’s dynamic is a sharp contrast to the one seen between Superman and Midnighter, introduced in the comic book miniseries Superman and the Authority. Midnighter was surprised to learn that Apollo deeply admired the Man of Tomorrow and was inspired in his own superhero mission based on Superman’s example. Apollo was barely able to contain his inner fanboy when meeting with Superman for the first time. This has not affected Apollo’s conduct and effectiveness on the Authority with Superman at the helm, of course, with the team dispatching some of the most powerful supervillains in the DCU.
Batman and Midnighter have at least reached something of an understanding and didn’t let their burgeoning rivalry get in the way of them successfully defeating the Empire of Shadows. But, it is amusing to see how the two superheroes interact with one another. The two heroes have plenty of similarities on a more superficial level, but neither Batman nor Midnighter are particularly known for being able to play nice with others. And while Superman and Apollo complement each other well in the field, the similarities between the Dark Knight and Midnighter have caused a bit of a personality clash that may resurface should the two ever cross paths again.
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