YMMV / Marshal Law

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Marshal Law really a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk, or a man still struggling to be the superhero he dreams himself to be, despite his obvious PTSD and other glaring, self-acknowledged emotional flaws?
  • Anvilicious: Since the series is driven by hatred for superhero comics rather than, in Alan Moore's case, a sophisticated appreciation for its virtues in his past with slight nostalgia added on top, its repeated hitting on the same "Superheroes suck" concept can be tiresome after a while.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The over-the-top art and storytelling constantly crosses many lines.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: You could probably replace the narration with "Everyone sucks but me! (And I'm not that great myself.)"
    • Kevin O'Neill noted that one Batman writer felt offended by the series' piss-take of Batman in The Kingdom of the Blind noting that he and Pat Mills had parodied the character without putting anything in its place. O'Neill said that this was an Intended Audience Reaction because to them the concept of The Hero was Deader Than Disco and there weren't any more stories to tell in that genre and Mills and O'Neill were frustrated that the genre's Dead Horse Trope keeps being recycled and updated.
  • Growing the Beard: An inversion. Fear and Loathing is a good deal more sober and traditional than the later parts, the story wasn't entirely a superhero parody and it had actual characters. The stories that came afterwards were one-shots that were largely piss-takes and ratcheted up the Gorn and Satire to ridiculous levels with Marshal Law becoming more of a caricature.
  • Sequelitis: Fear and Loathing is considered very good, and Takes Manhattan and Kingdom of the Blind are on about the same level. However, The Hateful Dead/Super Babylon suffered heavily from Pacing Problems and Schedule Slip due to its magazine's Troubled Production and O'Neill being unused to a weekly series, and also went after significantly lower-hanging fruit than the earlier parts (trying to make the big point that stories written in the 40s for children are stupid, decades after most of those characters had dropped to C-List Fodder at best). Every single following installment was either a crossover or an attempt at one, and very few of them had any coherent point. By that point, Mills's fatigue with the character and world was quite obvious - that, as one blogger put it, "...after the death of the superhero, the autopsy, the brass-band funeral and the Danse Macabre with their bones, the fucking things are still the only thing that sell."
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • It can be seen as one for Harvey Kurtzman's Superduperman, his MAD magazine spoof. Like Kurtzman, Mills hates superheroes and heaps scorn on it, and where Kurztman made fun of classic heroes for being pathetic adolescent fantasies, Mills updates it in general to all other superheroes that came since The '50s, including vigilantes, revisionist heroes and teenage heroes.
    • Marshal Law can also be seen as one for Ben Edlund's The Tick, since both are satirical parodies of the superhero genre. However unlike The Tick, which is more of a silly and light hearted spoof of said genre, Marshal Law is meant to be a dark and cynical parody of the genre.
    • Garth Ennis' The Boys is one for Marshal Law. Where Mills played his superhero satire for laughs, Ennis plays it, generally for drama with characters like the Butcher and Hughie being more than the caricatures like Joe Gilmore, and tackling the corporate structure behind superhero stories and fandoms.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Of course it is. Part of the title's purpose is to directly attack Reagan's foreign policy of the 1980's, as that part of the protagonist's origin is pretty obvious. As noted by Marshal Law in the Batman parody:
    ''The only reason a billionaire becomes a vigilante is to protect his money."

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