James Gunn’s decision to adapt Wildstorm comics characters is a solid one, as these under-the-radar superheroes deserve to have their own stories realized on the big screen. Seeing as the members of The Authority have never been rendered in live-action before, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce a fresh breed of superheroes who do not care how extreme their methods might be, but focus instead on realizing their desired outcome.
Created by Bryan Hitch and Warren Ellis (the latter of which has some serious allegations of sexual misconduct against him), The Authority made its first comic book appearance in 1999. You could fairly described The Authority as the Anti-Justice League, as its members brandish a brutally pragmatic stance and view the world through a cynical lens. Gunn went on to explain this stance in great detail:
“They are basically good-intentioned, but they think that the world is completely broken and the only way to fix it is to take things into their own hands. Whether that means killing people, destroying heads of state, changing governments […] whatever they want to do to make the world better, and we’ll see how that journey goes for them. But as I said earlier, there are morally gray characters, which these are.”
In the comics, the formation of The Authority itself was a means to deal with the dire state of the world. After the UN-sanctioned Stormwatch was decimated, Jenny Sparks took it upon herself to gather a group of renegades (both former Stormwatch members and new faces) to deal with enemies without any political strings attached. Members include Sparks, Jack Hawksmoor, Angie Spica, Jeroen Thorndike, and Shen Li-Men, among others.