At the end of the nine-issue Captain Atom: Armageddon, Void rebooted the WildStorm Universe. WildStorm used this as a chance to relaunch, in late 2006, its titles as part of an event dubbed “WorldStorm.” One of the new WildStorm’s flagship titles was to be a new Authority series with a top-list creative team, writer Grant Morrison and artist Gene Ha. Morrison looked to Warren Ellis’s run on the title for inspiration. WorldStorm also saw the debut of a solo series for Midnighter, with the initial team of writer Garth Ennis and artist Chris Sprouse, and a new Stormwatch series. Titled Stormwatch: P.H.D. (short for Post-Human Division), the title was initially written by Christos Gage and illustrated by Doug Mahnke.
Unfortunately, this bold initiative quickly lost steam. The new Authority series, originally slated to be bimonthly, lasted only two issues, the second of which was published some five months after the first. The delays were reportedly caused by Grant Morrison being busy co-writing the weekly mini-series 52, set in the DC Universe. Still, the new Authority series fared better than the new Wildcats title, also written by Morrison and launched as part of the WorldStorm event; that title lasted only a single issue. Months after WorldStorm debuted, its two flagship titles were on hiatus, their fate uncertain and their storylines left incomplete. In September 2007, Gene Ha expressed doubt that the series would continue and said he hadn’t seen a script for the third issue. In February 2008, WildStorm claimed that Morrison would return, but in April, WildStorm instead announced that Keith Giffen would be finishing Morrison’s story, using Morrison’s own plans for a 12-issue run. In an interview at this time, Morrison explained that, in addition to being busy, he’d seen the negative reviews of the first issue (which largely focused on how the Authority wasn’t featured enough) and “said fuck it.”
While WorldStorm was judged a failure, and reader enthusiasm certainly faltered for the event, some of the titles launched as part of the event received good reviews, even if they weren’t especially long-lived. Stormwatch: P.H.D. lasted 12 issues before it went on hiatus; it would return as part of World’s End, WildStorm’s next big event. Midnighter wound up being one of the more successful titles to come out of WorldStorm. The series was only expected to run six issues, but it survived the departure of its original team of Ennis and Sprouse; their work was not only critically favored but proved the viability of a solo Midnighter title. The series ultimately lasted 20 issues, and was cancelled just prior to the World’s End event.
While the Authority languished, the six-issue The Authority: Prime, published in 2007-2008, helped fill the gap. By Christos Gage and Darick Robertson, the mini-series featured a new version of Stormwatch Prime and saw the titular team investigate a hidden bunker left by Henry Bendix.
As The Authority: Prime was ending, WildStorm continued its Authority offerings with the six-issue Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor, a spiritual sequel to Mark Millar’s Jenny Sparks: The Secret History of the Authority. This mini-series was followed by the new ongoing Authority title, launched as part of World’s End.
Giffen’s continuation of Morrison’s aborted run wouldn’t debut until late 2009. By then, it would be published alongside the new Authority title. Thus, Giffen’s series would be titled The Authority: The Lost Years, although it would start with issue #3, continuing the numbering from Morrison’s series. It was completed with issue #12.