Friday, February 25, 2011

Shortlist: In San Futuro, he is the Law!

On today's Shortlist, we have a character I don't have a lot of comics from, that isn't hugely popular or about to be made into a movie, and isn't appropriate for small children, the elderly, or the easily offended. But my god, he'd look cool on the action figure shelf: Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill's Marshal Law.

(Cue booming voice:) In a world...where genetic manipulation, cybernetic implants and anabolic steroids (lots and lots of anabolic steroids...) gives rise to super-soldiers. After the war, the soldiers return home, some becoming super-heroes--glory hound, cult of celebrity, perverted super-heroes--and others becoming straight-up gangsters. Marshal Law is the guy they call when they go bad, the licensed "cape-killer." And while he hates his employers, the capes, and himself; the Marshal loves his work.

Marshal Law shares a lot with Mill's other (co-)creation, Judge Dredd: it's a satire disguised as an action book, and like Dredd, Law is kind of unlikable most of the time, but is still usually in the right. Coupled with O'Neill's frenetic, insane art; Law would be the lone sane man in an insane world, except he's probably a bit nutty himself.

But that costume--basically bondage gear in primary colors with a few slogans on it--and the giant guns--almost always with a little graffiti on them, like 'phone this' for fighting E.T.'s--would be eye-catching even on a shelf full of superheroes. A removable hat would be a necessity as well, although I don't think he looks quite right without it. Odds of it happening? Um, like negative none. Even if DC Comics collects and reissues Marshal Law, I still don't see DC Direct hopping on that one.

Scans from Marshal Law #4 (Epic) and Marshal Law: Secret Tribunal #1, both written and co-created by Pat Mills, art and co-created by Kevin O'Neill. Man alive, if a Nemesis the Warlock figure wouldn't look cool as hell too...

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