ADULT SUPERHERO SERIES ARE STILL AFFECTIONATE HOMAGE TO THE GENRE

Then there’s

Marshal Law

No affection

No homage

Biting the hand that feeds him.

Marshal Law

Giving a boot up the genre  on 30th April.   From DC Comics

Deluxe hard cover collected edition, 480 pages.

I’ll be signing copies of Marshal Law with Kevin O’Neill at Gosh! in London on Saturday 20th April, 2-4pm.

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BEHIND THE MASK…

Secrets.

Secret identities.

Secret lusts.

Secret hates.

The dark and sordid world of Superheroes.

Pull down the trunks.

You won’t like what you see.

When supermen go rogue, you call on the Court of Last Resort.

 

MARSHAL LAW

The government have commissioned living weapons of mass destruction to wage war on terror.  

The survivors return home broken, bitter, insane.

Some form gangs.

Some go psycho.

Some turn into ‘A’ list celebrities with ‘A’ bomb fists.

The city is now a war zone.

San Futuro needs a Super Cop to enforce summary justice.

His eyes will reflect the rocket’s red glare.

He is Twilight’s Last Gleaming.

MARSHAL LAW

A bad choice is better than no choice.

Deluxe hard cover collected edition.  DC Comics Late April

MARSHAL LAW: THE DELUXE EDITION HARD COVER (DC COMICS)

Delighted to confirm that Marshal Law is due out in the UK at the end of April, and to show you all the new cover that Kevin O’Neill has specially created for this deluxe edition.

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The sadistically crafted, classic barbed wire-wrapped adventures of Marshal Law will be collected for the first time in a single hardcover edition. Featuring over 450 pages of cape-crushing action, this deluxe volume also includes an appreciative introduction from British TV personality and longtime Law fan Jonathan Ross as well as a new afterword from me and a special gallery section from Kevin.

Hatched from classified military labs to fight in America’s vicious secret wars, genetically modified “heroes” roam San Futuro’s broken streets in super-powered gangs, tripping each other’s hair-trigger reflexes in a never-ending binge of adrenaline-laced fury.

One of these discarded veterans, however, has made it his personal mission to bring law and order back to this urban battlescape. He feels no pain. He shows no remorse. His burning hatred for superheroes is all that keeps him warm. He is San Futuro’s finest. His name is Marshal Law.

“I’m a hero hunter. I hunt heroes. Haven’t found any yet.”

BREAKFAST OF THE VANITIES – Brats Bizarre recalled in Comic Heroes

The other night I had an e-mail from an American comic journalist asking me for British fanzine information about Jack Kirby.  I was baffled why he should contact me of all people.  My comic Gods are Tardi, Druillet, Caza, Ledroit, Bilal, Gal and similar European artists, and I know little about the origins of modern day superheroes.  So I gently explained this to him, but he insisted that maybe I could get in touch with my friends who, he was sure, would have the information on Jack Kirby he was after.  Of course I knew they wouldn’t – superheroes are not a subject often discussed in my social circle, unless it’s a negative view of them as in Marshal Law or Brats Bizarre.

Maybe because of this e-mail exchange, or maybe because I’ve been proofreading the deluxe collected edition of Marshal Law (due out next April from DC Comics), but I had the most extraordinary nightmare that night.  In it, a group of superheroes, splendidly cloaked and jazzled, were rushing down to breakfast, running on one leg towards me, in full “Crisis” mode, with mandatory gritted teeth and clenched fists.  Crying out “Aiee!” as they leapt through the air to seize a packet of cornflakes, desperately diving for the fridge to grab the milk, heroically helping themselves to toast, and then hurling themselves at the cooker to scramble eggs.

Mercifully, that’s all I can remember; I woke up with a start and couldn’t understand why I found this dream so disturbing.     Then I realised it was because someone was missing: a cereal killer.  Marshal Law.  He would have shoved those heroes’ heads in toasters, fried their asses and turned this Breakfast of the Vanities into a Bonfire of the Vanities.  Now that would have made for a most satisfying dream.

Okay, it’s easy to criticise, but how would I interpret superheroes if an editor foolishly let me loose on the genre?  Brats Bizarre – which appeared in Toxic!, brilliantly illustrated by Duke Mighten and co-written with Tony Skinner – gives you some idea.  Living in a sentient house run by their dubious butler Bates, they indulged in every imaginable teenage excess.  I’ve written about them in a recent issue of Comic Heroes and the images here show their very different attitude to their superpowers.  More recently, Channel 4’s excellent Misfits did it bigger and better and shows the Young Ones potential in telling it like it is, but I still think Brats has something pertinent – and certainly offensive – to say, to challenge the world of fantasy currently on offer.

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Marvel ran a limited series of Brats Bizarre in Epic Comics

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The new Brats Bizarre line-up.

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Life in the Brats Bizarre mansion, 2001.

THE LAST SUPPER CLUB – Celebrating The End Of The World

Marshal Law artist Kevin O’Neill said to me yesterday, “My Mayan advent calendar is a bit of a downer…today’s window shows Earth as a blasted wasteland.”  I, too, took the Mayan prophecies seriously, so last week my wife Lisa and I went to the Last Supper Club, a pop-up restaurant in East London where we had a fantastic Mayan-style meal to celebrate the forthcoming end of the world.  The pop-up ran for three weeks, with a different theme each week (The Salvation Menu, The Mayan Prophets Feast, The Doom’s Day Diner).  The cocktails were top notch: mine involved tequila, horchata and grated dark chocolate.

lastsupperclub menu

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Feast of the Jaguar: grilled market fish

But before dinner, two very friendly young priests had set up a confessional box, where diners could confess their sins before enjoying their last supper and preparing for The End.  Naturally, Lisa and I went to confession and I regaled the priest with the most lurid sin I could recall committing.  I think he was impressed, or possibly depressed, because he wanted to take our photos, perhaps to pass onto the police. But he used the most ancient, massive and funky-looking circa 1980s Polaroid camera I have ever seen which needed five minutes to warm up properly (!) and clearly had a dodgy viewfinder, so the results were thankfully rather ‘off-centre’.

Preparing to take confession.

Preparing to take confession.

Secrets of the confessional

Secrets of the confessional!

The mobile confessional.  All sinners welcome.

The mobile confessional. All sinners welcome.

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Happy after confessing my sins!

But I loved the idea of their mobile confessional. The reverends revealed that they regularly de-sin clients at gigs like the Last Supper Club and festivals.  So do look out for them if you feel the need to confess.  I thoroughly recommend them and confession is a lot cheaper than therapy. Check out some of their pictures at uberschnap.tumbir.com

I explained to the holy fathers that Kevin and I had also come up with the idea of a mobile confessional in our hero-hunting graphic novel series Marshal Law.  The priest would drive through the red light district of San Futuro, California, imploring sinners to “Stop Me and Confess”.  Like they used to do with ice-cream.  I thought it was an excellent religious idea.  A sinner could commit the most unspeakable sins, have them instantly forgiven, and then step outside and do it all over again.

Below are some images from Marshal Law featuring our mobile confessional to put all this in context. You’ll see our priest is also promoting Armageddon, spreading a message of fear to bring the punters back.  And I have to say it works.  I recall meeting a priest at a christening and asking him how work was going?  Like you do.  “Sadly,” he said, with a pious smile, “it takes a disaster like 9/11 to bring people to their senses (or their knees?) and fill the churches once again.”  I’m just no good at faking it, he must have seen the expression on my face, because when he left early to “visit the sick” he deliberately avoided my outstretched hand.

This has probably been a good week for him.

ML confessional1

ML confessional2

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The collected Marshal Law de luxe edition from DC Comics is available in April 2013.  It comprises all our Law stories, apart from the cross-overs. More news on Marshal Law soon.