Monday, October 13, 2008

Marshal Law #2 (February 1988)

Marshal Law #1 (October 1987)

"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

Marshal Law #3 (April 1988)

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