Thursday, March 31, 2011

S.F.P.D.



Welcome to the city of the darkest, most sordid future, San Futuro, and the S.F.P.D. log of Marshal Law! During a land war in a South American jungle, the U.S. government finally manages to create actual super soldiers from out of old comic books. However, their minds are not so super as to withstand the horrors of war and the changes to their bodies, so they eventually return home broken men. One such individual was Joe Gilmore, who was filled with loathing of the "capes" that lured his generation into ruining their lives. Gilmore became the one "super hero" willing to turn against his own and police the mean streets of San Futuro as the city's sole authorized "cape crusher." Marshal Law has been published by more companies than virtually any other comic book character, and his next stop is DC Comics. If Watchmen was the Citizen Kane of comics, Marshal Law was the A Clockwork Orange by way of Full Metal Jacket. It is deeply, hilariously offensive, catharticly toxic, and not for younger readers. Stay a while to indulge in the spectacle, and then sample these other great blogs over the holiday weekend!

Firestorm Fan:

The Source for DC Comics' Nuclear Man

The Indigo Tribe:

Green Lantern Reviews & Commentary

Speed Force:

Following the Flash, the Fastest Man Alive

Boosterrific.com:

The Web's Number One Website of Booster Gold, the Corporate Crusader!

Power of the Atom:

Sometimes the Sword of a Tiny Titan, other times saluting the Quantum Captain.

Diana Prince as the New Wonder Woman:

Figuring the Amazing Amazon out one "Bold New Direction" at a time.

The Idol-Head of Diabolu:

A Blog for J'Onn J'Onzz, the Manhunter from Mars

Justice League Detroit:

Vibe! Vixen! Gypsy! Steel! Zatanna! Men Aquatic, Elongated & Batty!

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #6 (April, 1989)



Marshal Law had the airport staked out for Buck Caine, strip searching suspects at gunpoint at his own discretion. The Public Spirit was likely wounded in his fight with the Sleepman, reducing his flying ability. After catching a decoy, Law knew his prey was nearby, and gave chase through an airliner graveyard. The Public Spirit was "pumping ions," using his powers in ways that temporarily increased his offensive capabilities, and swelling his body.

Meanwhile, SHOCC had recovered and partially revived the Sleepman, though Marshal Law had watched the waters where he sank for hours to insure his passing. Father Hood and Doc SHOCC expected he would have further use, but "at first Danny will have ze mind of an infant und need a new mother... Bring zem forward. I tried zis experiment on chimpanzees: I remove ze baby from its' natural mother at birth, to see which surrogate it would respond to... Soft Mother who is gentle und loving... or Wire Mother who is hard und cold, but ze provider of food..."

Marshal Law thought back to his time with Lynn, and reference she had for a college paper. "The secret symbolism of the Public Spirit. How he's really the ultimate phallic symbol of male power." Exploration of this notion-- combat heroes as sexual metaphor-- continued over the present action. Law recalled the aggrandizing Public Spirit bubble gum cards, contrasted against "Zone Cards," an underground affair that depicted the grisly truth of what happened during America's dirty super hero war. Joe Gilmore's childhood favorite was Public Spirit, and one had led him to the other. "I was five when he left for the stars-- I remember I'd wanted to wear my Public Spirit costume to school-- twenty-nine when he returned. But he never grew old. He was like the heroes in the comic books. Forever young. Like all those who died in the Zone. Forever young."

Marshal Law felt the Public Spirit had betrayed the American dream and the super heroic ideal, leading young soldiers to the slaughter by his example. Caine turned the example around, pointing out Law's responsibility as a role model for his son. Danny knew Marshal Law could never return the love of a born super hero, so he resolved the conflict by becoming the Sleepman to please his birth mother and surrogate father. Physically beaten down, Marshal Law flew into an impotent rage at the accusation, as his former hero continued the assault. "You wimp! You fairy fighter! Anyone can tell from looking at you, you're a faggot! A pinko! A leather-clad tinker-bell! That's what's wrong with this country today... The feminists and the pinkos and the faggots are trying to take over... spreading subversion-- like AIDS! Spreading perversion!"

Part of Caine's theory was confirmed when Danny, at Doc SHOCC's urging, chose his mother... "Ma... Ma... Marshal Law..."

Law managed to hit Public Spirit with a fear-inducing neuro-toxin. "The realization he was all washed up made Public Spirit go 'soft'. He seemed to shrivel up in front of me... Now I'd never dream of hitting a man when he's down... That's true, you know... Well, all right... it's partly true... Okay, it's a lie." The Marshal worked Caine over good, and was prepared to haul him in, when a sniper rifle spilled Caine's brains from out of his head. Commissioner McGland thought Law would be pleased, but "I was looking forward to the trial of this piece of shit... So people can see the lie... So it can't happen again." Alas, that would have been too much of an embarrassment, and McGland already had a plane crash cover story to insure the Public Spirit's continued legacy...

Marshal Law visited the grave of his girlfriend, who had written of him before she died as Public Spirit's Dark Star Nemesis. She had questioned what kind of role model this fascistic, sadistic, but potentially masochistic figure would be. Regardless, the future of super heroics was his...

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill
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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #5 (December, 1988)


The Sleepman was lost in a personal reverie in anticipation of his first meeting with Martial Law since his secret identity was revealed.

Danny Mallon was raised by his mother to hide his super powers and hate super-heroes, though he often failed at both pursuits. Danny would drape a curtain off his shoulders, and mother would paddle his bottom and call him "dirty boy!" She was highly manipulative, psychologically destructive, and set on using her son to avenge her dignity.

Even as a toddler, Danny had powers. In his teens, they prevented him from having sex with humans, but not fantasizing about it. His enormous penis proved a source of embarrassment when a daydream caused it to lift his desk. Like a Ditko character, shouts of "elephant's trunk" and visions of tape measures were all the anxiety Danny needed to self actualize. Ramos, a constant irritant, was murdered by ray blast under a bridge around October 4, 2008. Danny was finally ready for mother to tell him his origin story.

On learning his father, Buck Caine, had tried to murder mother and himself while he was still in the womb, Danny wanted the rewards he deserved as the progeny of the Public Spirit. "I'm a super hero... Where's my mansion?" Caine's crime could never be reported because of the inevitable SHOCC cover-up and dissection of Danny, so the pair lay in wait to take what they most desired in the future.

Danny became a computer expert, hacking SHOCC files to learn more truths. Doctor "SHOCC" Mendel's "hot-house" methods helped him turn embryos into future super children, with the consent of all-too-willing mothers. "Newly conceived embryos were washed from the womb, genetically reprogrammed with super physical characteristics, then replanted. My mother and father were among the early results." As time went by, Caine grew up, and helped "sell" super heroes to the general public. This led to eager young volunteers to become supers and fight in the Zone.

"Meanwhile, South America had conducted its own experiments in human engineering... As far back as 1979, Venezuela 'hot-housed' its entire 14 million population-- raising their mental skills... Other South American countries followed, hoping their 'super children' would find the solution to the continent's poverty. But when they grew up, many saw Marxism as the solution. South America exploded... The Zone began."

"The Big One" provided Danny with an excuse to play cripple, so that he would be above reproach when his intended patricide came due. As a secret policeman, he kept tabs on his returned father, and close proximity to personal hero Marshal Law. Danny also lusted after his father's new girl Celeste, which infuriated the sexually frustrated Virago, who demanded "I want you to kill her!" Danny practiced as Sleepman before the big kill. Danny wanted to confess his crimes repeatedly, but the timing was never right.

"I've rehearsed in my mind again and again what I was going to say to you, Marshal. Once you, too, knew I was bacteria. Now that moment has arrived. I hope you'll be tolerant enough to listen and not consider it too much of an imposition. You were always a very good friend to me. I realize I've let you down. Especially with Lynn. So I'd like to start by saying how sorry I am for what I did to her. I can't have given you a very good impression of me. But I didn't know she was your girl."

The Sleepman looked on as Public Spirit and Virago argued about old times on the beach. "Vi, have you forgotten how we were like brother and sister... before we were lovers. We grew up together... comforted each other when Doctor SHOCC was experimenting on us... I'd have never survived without you." Caine tried a bribe, but Virago wanted justice, with her son's help. "Bitch! Still trying to trap me! I'll shut you up for good this time!" The Sleepman only laughed, not lifting a finger as his father beat his mother to death.

Sleepman and Public Spirit traded ray blasts, until Caine fled when Marshal Law's Eagle craft appeared overhead. Law landed, and traded glares with Danny, who unmasked himself. "I was expecting an epic battle... A clash of titans..." Instead, Law calmly called him "bacteria," then gave him the "three star" treatment: a trinity of simultaneous shots of different types from his gun. "I was so surprised, I couldn't concentrate my electro-magnetic field to repel them all... And that was that. The end. Bit of a disappointment, really. But... you know best, Marshal. And, now I'm out of the way... you can go after father... Now he's finally killed mother, he can't escape justice... And I can sleep forever." Danny sank into the water, a wound through his left breast trailing blood, and lay at the ocean floor swaddled in his black cape...

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
1987 Marshal Law Promotional Sticker


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Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #4 (August 1988)


Celeste worried about the effects of her fiance Buck Caine's use of anabolic steroids-- his mood swings, depression, and other health concerns. All the other heroes are doing it, but she can't stand not to get to her peak on her own...

The California Bastards moved into Gangreen's territory, molesting civilians and extorting money. A rumble ensued, drawing the attention of Marshal Law, hovering above on the Eagle. Exchanging fire with the Bastards, the talons of the Eagle latched onto their car, and dropped most of them in the bay. One survived to climb toward Law, with his obscene muscles and claws protruding from his fists.

"The California Bastards were amputees who'd replaced limbs they lost in the war with weapons... and undergone extensive self-mutilation. I figured he was the leader. Following the mauling Gangreen had taken recently, it was inevitable they would stage a take-over." Law needed Gangrene to maintain a peaceable balance of power, so he mauled the Bastards to even things up.

As the violence ebbed, Law found Mrs. Mallon's corner store had been ransacked. She moaned, "I tell you, when I die, I won't go to Hell, because I've had my hell here with super-heroes... They're filth! Bacteria! The lowest form of life!" Danny was present as his mother ranted, and apologized for her histrionics while offering new information. "It's about the Public Spirit... He's taking anabolic steroids. It strikes me as totally ridiculous he should have so much attention and acclaim when he owes it all to a needle... I wonder if Father O'Brian found out. He's pulled out of the wedding now... That should be all you need to prove he's the Sleepman? You're going to arrest him at the wedding?"

Marshal Law visited Father O'Brian in his confessional, demanding to know why he'd pulled his services from Public Spirit and Celeste. "...We both know you're not as strong as Montgomery Clift. We both know about the times you yielded to temptation." It seemed the Father still had lust for the ladies in more than his heart. O'Brian said Caine admitted to killing the Siren Virago, who had tried to trap him into marriage with their unborn child. Caine had the matter brought to mind because he also suspected Virago had survived and given birth...

Celeste prepared for her big day: "They call me a star whore... a female icon who's set the cause of women's emancipation back thirty years... I call them a bunch of jealous dykes... They're trying to say I encouraged the Sleepman. You know the argument-- if you have a ten dollar bill hanging out of your pocket, expect to be robbed. Sorry-- but it's still stealing... Anyway, that's all over and done with now. I'm getting married to Buck and we'll live happily ever after... If that's being a 'star whore'... Guess who pulled the best trick in the world?"

Sleepman made an argument of his own, as he burst into Celeste's room...

Outside, Caine's estate was swarming with super-heroic guests and media. The Public Spirit had a perfectly canned greeting, but was visibly annoyed when one reporter asked, "So we can expect children, then? If it's a boy, he'd have both yours and Celeste's super powers. Surely that would make him the greatest super hero of all time...? Will you re-invest your dreams in your son? So he can reach even greater heights than you?" Commissioner McGland smirked as the Public Spirit excused himself.

Marshal Law stormed the compound, gun drawn, searching for Celeste. The revelry he took in en route shook his slightly. "If Hydroman, Aquanaut and H2O Lad want to hold a depilatory party... I guess it's none of my business."

Law found Celeste's body. "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Should have realized it was you all along-- only I wanted it to be him so badly... I was too eaten up with hate for the Public Spirit... The two of you used that hate... to wind me up... to set me up... I'm the patsy. The fall guy. The executioner. Like a siren, you seduced me... with your song of hate... He failed to kill you... so for twenty five years you 'slept'... waiting for him to return from the stars... Dreaming of a thousand ways to hurt, humiliate and destroy him... as he'd destroyed you. Using a disguise a thousand times more effective than all the masks, hoods and secret bases... a corner shop. Where you and Danny planned a punishment to fit his crime: Public Castration. And found someone stupid enough to do it for you."

Marshal Law burst into the chapel, and drew down on Public Spirit, voices in his head compelling him to "Blow his balls off! NOW!" Law fought off the telepathic suggestion, and tore the maid disguise off Mrs. Mallon. She continued to expose herself, revealing the Virago costume underneath her clothes...

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill.

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM


Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #3 (April 1988)


SHOCC PUBLICITY DEPARTMENT

TO ALL MEDIA

Under the Secret Powers Act no mention is to be made of the following:
1) The death of the Public Spirit's first fiancee, the Siren Virago, twenty five years ago in a drowning accident.
2) The false accusation of police auxiliary Marshal Law that she was murdered by the Public Spirit because she was pregnant.
3) His further accusation that her pregnancy would have prevented the
Public Spirit from going on his star mission.
4) SHOCC Policy that such astronauts must not have children, due to time dilation on ships traveling close to the speed of light.
5) Any connection between the Public Spirit and the Sleepman: the murderer and rapist of five women dressed like the Public Spirit's second fiancee, the Siren Celeste.
6) The rape and murder by the Sleepman of the student Lynn Evans who was dressed as Celeste during a feminist protest at the Superdome.

Marshal Law fought to contain the caped criminals' violent breakout at the Superdome, but broke off engagement when he spied the Sleepman flying overhead. The serial killer landed in Hero-Land, where he was found by a pair of boys playing at being super. "They, too, have been afflicted by this super hero disease. Fortunately, I can cure them. I could not bear for them to go through what I went through as a child..." The boys were soon no more among the living. "Now, be brave lad... Remember... you're a hero."

The Sleepman lay in wait for Marshal Law, firing energy blasts from his hands into Gilmore's chest. "You would not think he was an antibody. When you look at him... you see, at first, a brutal thug... But when you look closer, you see... a brutal thug. But look closer still-- behind the mask-- and you see... the face of justice. The face of ordinary humanity. Fighting back, with righteous anger, against those of us who act as if we were gods... who look down from our Olympian mansions on lesser mortals... I salute you with my beams, Marshal. I love you. I love the work you do." Law and the Sleepman continued to exchange fire and blows, until the filth humbled the Marshal long enough to escape.

Marshal Law hit his regular corner store on the way home, where he chatted with MILF proprietor Mrs. Mallon, and picked up a noticeably lighter order. "She's left you then? Oh, I'm sorry, Marshal. I know how you feel. I remember when Danny's father left us... I never thought I'd get over it-- but you do... in time..."

Joe Gilmore began rebuilding the wall that separated his apartment from that of his murdered girlfriend Lynn. Earlier, her majorly uptight parents had stopped by to collect her things. "How could they ever understand Lynn? They told me they'd tried. They told me about all the arguments. All the unhappiness she'd caused them. I should have told them not to worry, she wouldn't make them unhappy anymore... but I was choking at the time. As they left, he whispered, 'Did you see the needle marks on his arm? He's another one pressing the self-destruct button.' Before I met Lynn I thought I knew everything. Then I read her books. Listened to her ideas... She'd opened up my world. But her parents were right. I was on something all right. Pure hate."

Returning to duty at his secret police cave, Marshal Law learned Scapegoat had been arrested from Danny. "He confessed to being the Sleepman. Wanted to know if he'd done enough to go to the chair." Danny then briefed Law on new evidence gathered that Public Spirit had the same rare blood type as the Sleepman. Kiloton added that he'd heard at a party from She-Beast that Buck Caine was furiously jealous over Celeste's sexploits as a Siren. Marshal Law presented these findings to a disinterested Commissioner McGland. "I was a SHOCC Officer in the Zone. Marshal Law served under me, so I know how to handle him. Especially as I'm a super hero myself. I'm a super liar." Appealing to his patriotism, promising action after Caine's nuptials, and noting Public Spirit's upcoming donation of a million dollars to the Midnight refuge for disabled heroes/veterans, McGland brought his dog to heel. "I save the best for last... I arrange for the Public Spirit to visit the Midnight to present the check... Marshal Law has to make a welcoming speech... It nearly kills him... I've put the lid back on the scandal and no... unpleasantness."

Buck Caine made with messianic posturing amongst the hobbled Midnight patients, while Sorry the Nearly Man tended to their needs without any sign of glory forthcoming. When the Public Spirit made his exit, he found Gangreen vandalizing his car. Caine blew Hot Head's cranium to pieces with an energy blast exactly like the one the Sleepman had launched earlier. Marshal Law jumped into the fray, bludgeoning Suicida and his gang with a sledgehammer. McGland was pleased that the San Futuro Police Department's own vigilante lawman, their "lunatic with barbed wire wrapped round his arm, who out-Ramboes Rambo," would continue to show the public they were on top of neighborhood crime at "a fraction of the price of really policing the inner city." Public Spirit was glad to be off Law's hook. Sorry proclaimed, "A team-up at last!" And Marshal Law himself...?

"Enjoy your freedom... Until your checks cleared. Until-- the wedding. Then I'm coming after you again... Buck. If you're the new messiah... I'm going to be the one to drive in the nails."

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #2 (February 1988)


"Before I became a secret policeman I had two other identities... I was a Screaming Eagle in the Zone... When we got home I became the vet and tried to sort out... I'm also trying to be a normal person... Joe Gilmore, unemployed blue collar worker living in the inner city... I'd met Lynn during the Big One when the wall between our apartments fell down. We'd been partying ever since." Lynn was asleep in their bed, having wasted the day instead of attending her Communication Studies lecture, "throwing away a chance I never had." Lynn was less concerned about her final year in college than her student activism, which tended to be directed against super heroes. "The idea of making it with a masked man revolts me." Feeling a bit self-conscious and defensive about his alter ego, Joe asked his girlfriend how she felt about Marshal Law. "That fascist pig? That's even worse! That's really sick! 'Sides, anyone who wears a costume like that's got to be gay. I prefer someone normal like you."

"The Superdome was an excuse by Super-Life Laboratories to show off the result of Doctor Shocc's genetic breakthrough... The possibilities were endless... and so were the mistakes, but they kept them hidden underground... I'm all for progress, but you have to draw the line somewhere. At Super-Life Laboratory they'd thrown away the ruler." The Superdome was like a state fair of super-heroics, with carnival rides, caped celebrities, Zone-themed play activities, and recruiting booths. There was also Father O'Brian, damning Celeste as a wanton woman, and calling for her lusty admirers to confess their impure thoughts to God. Mrs. Mallon was present, and disparaged Celeste in comparisons to Pod People and herself in younger years. She pushed her son Danny's wheelchair as he too took in the sight of Celeste, but his thoughts were more in line with those the padre was warning against. Marshal Law chatted with his grocer and co-worker, until Mrs. Mallon took her leave and the discussion shifted to a dark moment in Public Spirit's past. "Danny is my computer operator. He'd managed to hack into confidential SHOCC files."

Colonel Buck Caine was engaged to Celeste. Celeste was a retired Siren, a SHOCC "sleeper" spy with super-sexual powers, that ply trade in exchange for secret information. A quarter century earlier, Public Spirit had been engaged to another Siren, Virago, whom Caine reported as having accidentally drowned shortly before his mission to the stars. "But the most interesting bits in the report were the missing bits in all that lying bullshit."

Public Spirit was making a personal appearance at the Superdome, to greet his fans and hold a question & answer session. While Caine remained young thanks to relative time at near-light speed during his space trip, all the P.Y.T.s that saw him off were now well worn middle-aged women. Marshal Law cut through the soccer moms and geeks lobbing Caine softballs, and began grilling the outwardly pious, unimpeachable Public Spirit. Law led Caine into a trap, discussing the various limitations of Public Spirit's powers before holding up a card and asking, "Well, can you read this?" He could. It read, "Do you go around with a bag over your head raping women?" Rattled, Marshal Law pressed the "hero" about Virago, and how if he had married her, wouldn't he have been refused as an astronaut due to her aging in his absence... especially if she were carrying his child? "Only her body was never found to check." Law openly accused Caine of murder, and was dragged off by SHOCC troopers.

At the order of Father Hood, Doctor Shocc's heir apparent, the troopers began to rough Law up. "Do you know what it would mean if your filthy allegations were true? Cane's the star of the space program for chrissakes! Don't you care about your country?" The Marshal gave better than he took, and walked away on is own feet. "It's because I care!"

Meanwhile, Lynn was outside the Superdome with two fellow protesters, all dressed as super heroes, but with pig masks over their faces. "Super hero costumes promote sexual stereotyping demeaning to women... and legitimize the result of hideous genetic experiments carried out in the name of 'progress'...Such as the Sirens, women specifically created as 'sex machines'..." Lynn tried to rally support for the cause... even amongst the other two guys protesting. Turned out the only reason they came was to see Lynn in a Celeste costume. She threw her pig mask at them and stormed off toward a deserted area around the Superdome. The Sleepman followed.

"This isn't happening. Bad things never happen to me. They always happen to other people. To 'that poor girl down the road.' Cases you read about in the papers. On T.V. Never to me. Never to me! I'm 'that poor girl down the road.' 'Did you hear what happened to her?' they'll say. 'Oh, it was shocking! Shocking!' Never to me. Never to meeeeeeeeeee! Nev..." She was raped. She was murdered. At her request, he didn't wear a bag over his head. Instead, it was a revolting gray mask sculpted to resemble the squiggly inner tubing of a body. His blue eyes stared into hers. His dripping tongue probed her mouth. His knives penetrated her body.

Guards spotted the Sleepman after the act, and were cut to ribbons. More followed, as the filth made his way into the bowels of Super-Life Laboratories, and released "mistakes" from their cells. "They, too, are super heroes. And should be punished. In my place. Hitler Hernandez... The Betrayer... Scapegoat... Slug Fest... Rimfire... GrimGram... Blue Murder... and other unspeakable creatures who should not have been brought into existence. But one is coming who will take them out... He will hunt us all down..."

Marshal Law found Lynn's body, mostly nude, slit down the middle, Sleepman's bag-mask covering her privates. He cradled his personal WiR, then set upon the escapees, who had begun to massacre the Superdome attendees.

"...He will not rest until he has found us. And given us... what we oh, so richly deserve... Some say punishment is not the answer... We should be shown sympathy and understanding... People should pray for us... He prays for us. He prays we all go to Hell."

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #1 (October 1987)


San Futuro, the former San Francisco, is a bombed out hell hole in a time after the Big One hits. Through its night time streets, a woman (barely) dressed in the costume of Celeste ran from a murderous stalker. She briefly encountered a pseudo-Shadow analogue.

"A masked man's following me! Can you tell me where the nearest police precinct is?"
"No."
"Please!"
"Sorry-- it's a secret."
"Do you know their phone number?"
"Sorry-- it's unlisted."
"Well, will you help me?"
"Sorry-- that's a job for the police."

The poor doomed girl was a strippergram in a stupid get-up who was going to be raped and murdered for no crime beyond a sartorial mistake; number five in a series. Her killer was far more guilty, including his one wardrobe choice: a skintight gray-black number, baring claws measured by the foot, and a brown sack with an eye hole tied over his head.

"I am bacteria. I am the lowest form of life. I am a super hero. My flagella are my hands. I see the world through my vacuole. I wear a bag over my head because I'm ashamed of what I am, and what I'm going to do. I am called the Sleepman. I am the pits."

Her body fell through the disabled trolleybus home of Sorry-- The Nearly Man, whose distasteful power/deformity proved no help to him in war or after. A pathetic fanboy perpetually garbed in an unwashed costume, he was assumed the murderer when the Ex-SHOCC troopers turned gangbangers Gangreen stumbled upon them. Led by Suicida, who'd taken to wearing a necklace of severed human ears while fighting in the Zone, the gang "tried" and lynched Sorry. The Nearly Man was saved by the timely arrival of Marshal Law, astride the Eagle, a sort of motorcycle/VTOL hybrid. Law began beating and killing his way through Gangreen, aided by a handgun that fired specialty rounds. The first shown, "dragnet," released spinning sensory lines that caused an explosion on contact. Suicida managed to snag the gun while being assaulted, and shot Law with a "hotline," which sent a debilitating signal to the brain faster than a super hero's "pain gate" could close it out. Law hid under a car until he could recover, then ran off Gangreen by chucking the vehicle at them.

Marshal Law went with his excited fan Sorry back to the trolley, so that belongings could be gathered before the Nearly Man would be dropped off at "The Midnight," a sort of VA for disabled super heroes. Law never suspected Sorry in the murder. "Doctor SHOCC gave us super powers to win the war. Worst of all, he gave us power over pain. If you can't receive pain, you want to inflict it. To see what you're missing. You become capable of anything... Maybe that's why I like vulnerable people... people with problems. People who aren't goddam perfect."

While conventional wisdom was that the Sleepman was a "surp'-- a surplus hero driven crazy by the Zone," Law set his sights a lot higher. "...Autopsies of the bodies-- blood and semen samples-- suggested he was a flyer... Their superhuman metabolism made a sexual relationship with an ordinary woman highly dangerous... Only a few super heroes, like the Public Spirit, could fly... That was the real reason he was engaged to Celeste... the Sirens were secret agents with super sexual powers... but maybe she still wasn't enough... There were stories..."

Marshal Law hit his regular corner store on the way to the station, where he picked up his usual, and chatted with MILF proprietor Mrs. Mallon and "The Midnight's" priest Father O'Brian. Mallon was full of hate for the super gangs and openly flirtatious with Law, who worked with her handicapped son as a fellow Cave-Cop... "That's what they call us when we work out of secret police precincts..." His was littered with masks and corpses of super heroes who should have left well enough alone.

Marshal Law held a teleconference with Commissioner McGland regarding the latest murder, though Law's suspicions about an "uptown" suspect were swiftly dismissed. Mrs. Mallon's boy Danny tended to Law's wounds, and alerted him when Gangreen was detected breaching one of the entrances to the precinct. Danny had several options available to wipe out the "vermin" en masse, but Law wasn't willing to see a turf break out in their sudden absence. Instead, Law and his massive sometime-partner Kiloton "greeted" Suicida's crew with heavy fire, sending them packing. "Let 'em go... They're just the symptoms... I'm after the disease!"

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law--Fear and Loathing Prologue (June 1990)


"I was five when I felt the magic... The whole Jesus League of America was assembled... Stigmata... Shroud... Virago... Sin-Gorger... Monstrance... Private Eye... Devil's Tool (later known as Rubber Johnny)... Black Abbot and his ward Red Riding Hood... Purgatory and Whipping Boy... and their leader: super hero supreme... Colonel Buck Caine... The Public Spirit.

They were there to announce man's first mission to the stars... I didn't understand it all... especially the way girls made a fuss about him... but Buck seemed above that sort of thing... Soon after, he ascended into Heaven...

Years later, I tried to follow him... Instead... I descended... into Hell."

Joe Gilmore was an impressionable young lad who idolized the Superman-type that was the Public Spirit. Colonel Buck Caine saw it as God's will that he should join the astronauts Sherman and Lomas in their mission to reach Nemesis, our sun's dark companion star. "Travelling close to the speed of light, the round trip had taken two years... While, due to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, a quarter of a century went by on Earth." In the meantime, other artificially empowered beings were created by S.H.O.C.C., Super Hero Operational Command and Control, to fight in a Vietnam-style quagmire called the Zone. "Doctor SHoCC says... 'Thanks to my unique operation, you can go into combat without fear! When wounded, an electrical stimulator in your body will cause fat nerve fibers to generate fast impulses, closing a 'pain gate' at the spinal cord before slower pain signals from thin nerve fibers reach it. Result: No pain! Because no pain impulses can reach your brain!'"

Gilmore enlisted, joining the Screaming Eagles in a jungle nightmare, serving under McGland and alongside the future Suicida. "While back home... the long-awaited 'Big One'... the mega-quake... arrived. Nothing... would ever be the same again. Downtown became a no-go area... controlled by warring gangs. The new times... called for new solutions. New ways of dealing with law-breakers."

"After the Big One destroyed San Francisco... after the war in the Zone ended in stalemate... after the super heroes came home... It was time for... Marshal Law."

The utterly, irreparably devastated San Francisco was re-dubbed "San Futuro." The utterly, irreparably devastated Joe Gilmore was re-dubbed "Marshal Law." In his own words, "I'm a hero hunter... I hunt heroes... Haven't found any yet... Bad old days... Bad new days... We'd come full circle... Only now the outlaws were called super heroes... Lot of people say I hate super heroes... That's not true, you know... Well, all right... it's partly true... Okay, it's true. I hate the way they look... I hate what they were ordered to do. I hate what they turned us into. 'Cos God help me, I'm one. Only one who wanted the job of doing it to his own."

An eight page prologue to the 1987 "Marshal Law" mini-series from Epic Comics was created by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill for the 1990 trade paperback collection "Fear and Loathing." While rather decompressed when compared to the dense original story, the introduction was so seamless that it led directly into the cover reproduction of the first issue, a virgin offering that appeared as though it were a silent story page. The piece is filled with in-jokes and references to future volumes, and is the sort of extra I miss in the perfunctory collections of modern times. Trades were still an extravagance back then, you see, and having read most of the story in that volume, I can't separate the "extra" in my mind from the whole (especially a callback to a couple of gag panels in the second issue.)

Comments: 0
Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

2 comments:

The Irredeemable Shag said...

The Marshal Law comics were so ahead of their time! And Kevin O'Neill's artwork was totally insane (but insane in a good way!). When I worked in a comic book store I tried to promote this book as much as possible to readers of alternative comics. It wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but the enlightened ones absolutely LOVED it!

Great stuff! I'm glad I found your blog!

The Irredeemable Shag

Diabolu said...

I bought Marshal Law #3 in 1989, as I was in my mullethead teenage iconoclast phase, and all my favorites were antiheroes. From the fetishistic authoritarianism to the vulgar sexuality to the FTW attitude, it was quite the eye-opener. I've always been dismissive of Watchmen because Marshal Law got to me first and hit so many times harder than Stan Lee's Charlton Comics as viewed through the lens of Hollywood Babylon. Plus it had an ending.

Collecting the book was an adventure in itself. It was a high to dig up the Apocalypse tabloid of "Kingdom of the Blind" in the garage of a failed comic shop/garage, or finding that promotional sticker. How about the times (yes plural) a book like "Law in Hell" shipped so late the shop I pre-ordered it out went out of business, no others had it, and I had to hit the convention circuit to find a copy? Before the internet, expedition was such a thrill.