What's this? Two reviews of new comics in one week? Surely not.
I haven't read any Authority in a long time. I loved the original Warren Ellis Authority, but by the time the second series started I could barely recognise the characters. When I saw Grant Morrison was having a bash, I thought I'd give it another try, but since they don't appear in the comic, it's hard to make a comparison.
I'm not sure what is so hard to understand, but I'll try to spell it out for any comic writers who are too clever for their own good: When I read issue #1 of Spider-Girl I expect to see Spider-Girl. When I read issue #1 of The Authority I expect to see The Authority. When I buy a superhero comic I expect to see a superhero doing superhero stuff. If I want a soap opera or a crime thriller I would not be reading a superhero comic*. I don't care if it's a big buildup to a story that is six issues long and will work great in the trade; if I buy a comic I expect more than a preview of the trade. And that goes x 10 for the first issue. Your first issue is your best chance to establish a readership. Producing a bad first issue is the fastest way to turn an ongoing into a miniseries. And having a first issue in which the title character(s) appear nowhere but the cover doesn't make for a spectacular start.
I'm sure a lot of people are going to say The Authority #1 is a great Grant Morrison comic, but personally I had been hoping for an Authority comic.
*Okay, you can do all kinds of genre stuff with superheroes in it. I just reckon that when there aren't any superheroes in it then it doesn't qualify as a superhero comic.