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FANGORIA: Do you think the Marshal is still relevant 25 years later, and are there any plans to put him back on the streets?

PAT MILLS: Probably more relevant now than back then, because we live in such a beaten down world today where there is little social change and idealism has been crushed. I’d love to see him back, but it feels problematic because Kevin’s on THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN and I’m on other things. But I do need the outlet to attack heroes, so I do a bit of potshotting at them in DEFOE (Mills’ current 2000AD steampunk zombie series) where there are the 17th century Vizards, smug establishment superhero bastards who Defoe–the last Leveller–wants to kick their heads in. See, it’s still in me!


Warning for Rape




10 pages of 30





















Date: 2017-02-15 08:06 pm (UTC)
commodus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] commodus
I really don't get this.
Is this meant to be sarcastic? It's hard to believe anyone could be so spitefully, willfully ignorant about superheroes. Am I missing something here? Is it all meant to be a joke?

Date: 2017-02-15 08:58 pm (UTC)
glimmung: (Default)
From: [personal profile] glimmung
Honestly, it has been a long time since I have read Marshal Law. It seems more an indictment of masculinity than of super heroes per se.

Date: 2017-02-15 09:18 pm (UTC)
commodus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] commodus
But it kind of goes the wrong way, don't you think? It praises the Anti-Hero trope, but denigrates the idea of a selfless, idealistic hero acting for the common good.
When we think of terms like "toxic masculinity", do we really think of Superman? Or characters like The Punisher? The "lone-wolf renegade maverick" who simply kills the bad guys and is somehow heroic for it?

I'd say that the idea of characters like that is far more contemptible than those like Wonder Woman or (a well-written) Batman, who show the attempts of humble people to make the world a better place.

It's just such a strange position for the comic to take.

Date: 2017-02-15 09:33 pm (UTC)
reveen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] reveen
I get the feeling that Pat Mills doesn't actually care about superheroes as a genre or as characters, but as symbol of mainstream American culture and the hypocrisies between the values preached by it's heroes and America's actual actions as a country.

The first two pages there presents the duality pretty clearly. Superheroes represent clear cut heroes who protect the innocent with ease, then people go to war with these cultural concepts in their heads and end up killing thousands of people.
Edited Date: 2017-02-15 10:04 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-15 10:42 pm (UTC)
mastiff: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mastiff
It's definitely a product of the 80s. The top movie heroes were ultra-violent gunfire orgies like Rambo, Commando, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Red Dawn... Reagan and Thatcher were both pushing right-wing militaristic growth as the only solution to society's problems, and anyone not on board was a "commie-pinko f****t". Thatcher ended up with the Falklands War, Reagan had the Contra scandal and propped up brutal dictators like Saddam Hussein.

In short, comics like this tended to be a reflection of the political and societal tension of the time, rather than a condemnation of comic book heroes. That's why all of the "superheroes" in this were created for a specific war, then left to rot while the architects of that war, like Kissinger, became media darlings. As Reagan and Thatcher revved up the war machine, forgotten Vietnam veterans started speaking out about the brutal costs of war, only to be shouted down as weak, un-American cowards.The movies I mentioned were a fantastic propaganda tool; Rambo and Red Dawn were reminders that American values were under siege, and only more guns and bloodshed could save it.

In any case, if there was a statement on comic book heroes, it was that Superman and Captain America were an embodiment of a "righteous" war in a bygone era. Marshal Law was a modern reflection of covert warfare that relied heavily on propaganda that created new enemies and obscured the brutal costs of war.

Amazing how some things never change, eh?
Edited Date: 2017-02-15 10:44 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-16 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
Rambo was about a soldier who was pretty much broken by his experience in war.

The Falklands war was started by Argentina

Date: 2017-02-16 04:50 pm (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
Well, "First Blood" was about a soldier broken by war. "Rambo: First Blood Part II" was all about the shooty-shoot. The sequel just capitalized on Rambo being a bad-ass without really absorbing the first movie's message at all...that it succeeded turned the character into a carcicature.

I read and bought this when it was new and...I did NOT like it back then. I'm actually a little baffled that the interviewer is presenting it as if it was a big hit back then or as if it was a major hit or even groundbreaking.

Hell, Rick Veitch's "The One" came out the year before and covered a lot of the same ground and iirc did it better than this.

Date: 2017-02-16 04:58 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
he was trying to rescue soldiers who'd been abandoned by the government

Date: 2017-02-15 09:00 pm (UTC)
reveen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] reveen
On one hand, the way it goes about it is pretty juvenile, on the other it is pretty on point for a inducement of toxic masculinity and it's effect on culture.

Date: 2017-02-15 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] samz93
Mr. Mills, you don't get to complain about "crushed idealism" when you just did a violent piss-take on genre defined by it's idealism.

God this is depressing. Can we have "positive influence of super-heroes week" or something

Date: 2017-02-16 12:39 am (UTC)
bradygirl_12: (superman (santa shield))
From: [personal profile] bradygirl_12
God this is depressing. Can we have "positive influence of super-heroes week" or something.

I vote for that!

Date: 2017-02-16 03:25 am (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
That hasn't existed since 1986.

Date: 2017-02-16 12:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
and frankly it kind of ignores the state of the world. As long as people are trying, idealism hasn't been crushed and if there hadn't been massive social change conservatives wouldn't be pushing back so hard

Date: 2017-02-16 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] samz93
To be fair, that interview was in 2006, I think
Edit: Turns out it was in 2013, so never mind.
Edited Date: 2017-02-16 08:35 pm (UTC)

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