Cowboy Cop / Comic Books

  • Harvey Bullock from the Batman comics is a Cowboy Cop at times. He often seems to be butting heads with Commissioner Jim Gordon over some aspect of police procedure. He could verge on being a Dirty Cop. He used to hate Batman in particular, but has since developed a sense of respect for him.
    • Depending on the Writer, Bullock goes back and forth on this. In some works, he's portrayed as being representative of the (often sizable) part of the GCPD that dislikes Batman because they think Batman tramples all over their authority. In others, he's almost as much of a maverick and outcast as Batman himself, and proud of the fact that he "steps on a lot of toes" and "doesn't play politics". And at least one work (Denny O'Neil's Knightfall novelization) states that he dislikes Batman because he thinks that Batman doesn't go far enough in hunting down criminals.
    • Deputy (later Sheriff) 'Shotgun' Steve Smith also fills the bills. Based on 'Popeye' Doyle from The French Connection, he was a classic cowboy cop who toted a Sawed-Off Shotgun as his personal sidearm.
  • Bookhunter: Detective Bay would get chewed out by Da Chief in any rational universe. But he doesn't. Ever. Apparently everyone in the Library Police has cowboy tendencies.
  • John Colby from Chew is gleefully willing to violate every bit of police protocol that gets in his way.
    • Thoroughly lampshaded:
    Colby: What can I say, Chu? I'm the unhinged, break-any-rule, loose-cannon cop. You're the by-the-book square that never met a departmental regulation that you didn't love. That's why we work so well together.
  • Green Lantern - Guy Gardner is the Cowboy Cop of the Green Lantern Corps. The degree to which he's a help or a hindrance to an investigation largely depends on the era: He was not a useful team member (to say the least) back in the '80s, but he's since had some Character Development and is now a top member of the Corps, not that that stops him from apprehending bad guys by hurling himself through their windows.
    • He might've backslid recently, as the newest spin-off book, Emerald Warriors, stars Guy as he cowboy cops around the galaxy, punching anyone who tries to tell him about any regulations he's breaking. There might be a reason for the sudden increase in violence though, as the same series shows he's mentally recovering from being possessed by a red ring.
    • Hal Jordan isn't exactly your model Green Lantern, and at times can be as much as a cowboy cop as Guy. Heck, the comic he's starring right now is called Green Lantern: Renegade.
  • Deconstructed with Detective Paul Budiansky from The Punisher MAX. He disobeys orders and kills a teen aged school shooter to save a gym full of kids but while the media loves it the department does their best to punish him for it, sending him to therapy where a condescending therapist implies that he sees himself as this trope, which he denies. He feels no remorse for what he did and wonders if that makes him similar to the Punisher. Near the end of the story his wife is grievously and he tries to take the law into his own hands, but rather than being a badass vigilante he is simply acting out of range and helplessness. In the end, a brief encounter with Frank proves to him that they are nothing alike.
  • John Hartigan from Sin City both invokes and averts this trope. It is invoked in the sense that he apparently skirts the rules here and there and his actions at the beginning of That Yellow Bastard would be considered police brutality. It's averted since he's the cleanest cop in the city to the point where people treat him as if he were a boyscout.
  • Superman villain Preus is a very dark take on the trope. As a member of Kandor's Citizen Patrol Corps, Preus frequently ignored procedure and acted on his own in order to secure criminals. Since he was an Absolute Xenophobe who essentially used the rules as an excuse to purify the city this was a bad thing, and even the rest of the CPC thought he was crazy.
  • Inspector Ginko from Diabolik is an interesting take on the trope: he usually plays by the rules, but that's only because he knows otherwise crooks and gangsters will be able to get away through a loophole, and is more than willing to commit break-ins and other crimes (including, if the situation calls for it, allying with Diabolik) to get evidence when playing by the rules fails. He has also thrown a mob boss in his own pool to vent some frustration, routinely used Diabolik gadgets confiscated after a caper or a raid on one of his hideouts, and, in one memorable occasion, staged the theft of Diabolik's confiscated gadgets to stage the theft of twenty gold statues to keep them safe from Diabolik while the museum prepared a Diabolik-proof room to expose them, and duped Diabolik into thinking the perpetrator was a mob boss that had cheated his way out of prison multiple times to make sure he wouldn't find out until too late.
  • Painkiller Jane invokes this trope with the title character from time to time.
  • Hank Doberman of Doberman is a prime example of this. He does things his own way and loves to drink beer.