Marshal Law
Fear Asylum

Author: Pat Mills
Artist: Kevin O'Neill
Titan Books
RRP: £14.99
ISBN 1 84023 699 X
Available now

An asylum for mentally disturbed heroes, an orbiting space station heaving with bone-sucking aliens and a madman in a mask all make an appearance in the latest Marshal Law graphic novel. San Futuro's hero-hunter cuts deep into the diseased tissue of superhero society...

Fear Asylum contains three cracking Marshal Law stories: Marshal Law Takes Manhattan sees Marshal Law forced to enter a lunatic asylum that houses whacky ex-superheroes; Secret Tribunal follows the exploits of The League of Heroes, a group of junior superheroes; and The Mask/Marshal Law sees our hero called out of early retirement to fight one last bad guy.

All three stories are entertaining in their own way, but I preferred the last two stories. Secret Tribunal, while mildly pornographic in places, has some great (if childish humour). The young superheroes headquarters are in an oh-so phallic space ship and the bone munching aliens that they set free are a cross between Giger's Alien design and the airborne creatures in Pitch Black.

The Mask/Marshal Law is, again, mildly pornographic and features The Mask from the comic books, and movie. This story also see Marshal Law ready to hand over his job to a female replacement, after he realises that he no longer feels hatred towards superheroes.

As with other Marshal Law collections, anyone who is fed up of the boring, anal role that many of today's superhero comic book characters play will cheer our hero along. He doesn't wear his underpants over tight leggings, and he doesn't have a crappy disguise to help him pass as human. In a world where superheroes are a joke, Marshal Law kicks ass!

If you only buy one graphic novel this year make sure it is this one. Pat Mills at his sick and twisted best.

Pete Boomer

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