Monday, November 10, 2008

Marshal Law #4 (August 1988)

Marshal Law #3 (April 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

Marshal Law #5 (December, 1988)

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