Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Marshal Law #6 (April, 1989)

Marshal Law #5 (December, 1988)

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

1 comment:

jimmy said...

an entertaining read - i am a massive marshal law fan , fear and loathing is probably my favourite of all time. 11yrs old when i discovered it in my local newsagent (from "strip" magazine)


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