If you thought “The Boys” despised superheroes, check out “Marshal Law.” In 1987, British creators Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill brought a seething hatred of the superhero genre to comics long before it was fashionable to do so.
The series follows a former supersoldier who gleefully accepts a job as a leather-and-barbed-wire-clad super-cop in order to police his fellow super-veterans. His biggest case comes when he takes on Sleepman, a “hero” who’s raping and murdering women dressed like a certain superheroine. The good Marshal suspects the villain is really America’s greatest hero, the Public Spirit. Scathing in its commentary and ultra-political, “Marshal Law” may not be to everyone’s tastes. Still, it shares a lot in common with “Invincible” in its grit, bombast, and violence. It even takes the whole teenage superhero trope to task.
“Marshal Law” went through many publishers in its time. It began at Marvel’s Epic imprint, then bounced around several other companies, including Dark Horse and Image. Along the way, it crossed over with other comics properties, including “Hellraiser,” “Savage Dragon,” and “The Mask.” The last new adventures for the character were published at a now-defunct early internet comics website, Cool Beans World, in 2000. DC Comics published an omnibus edition of the series in 2013 — leaving out the crossovers with other companies’ characters, of course.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).