Marshal Law
Fear and Loathing

Author: Pat Mills
Artist: Kevin O'Neill
Titan Books
RRP: £14.99
ISBN 1 84023 452 0
Available now

In the not too distant future the government is publicly endorsing a genetics programme which was designed to create the next breed of superhumans. This new breed came in useful during war time but now they are forced to live amongst us. Some can not and one is loose amongst us killing innocent women. It is down to Marshal Law, a genetic mutant himself, to track down those renegade members of superhuman society and bring them to justice...

Nice to see the subject of superheros tackled this way. If you thought they were really a bunch of vain pussies, then this will re-enforce that view. Although the irony of Marshal Law being a superhero himself is not lost on Mills.

So who is this mysterious killer? And can Marshal Law bring them to justice? Well, of course he can but not without paying a heavy personal price. Is America's self appointed king of superheroes, The Public Spirit, tied up in all this and if so how can Marshal Law bring him to justice without the public rebelling? And there is an excellent twist or three to keep amateur sleuths on their toes.

Fear and Loathing reunites Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill who 2000AD fans will remember from their stint on ABC Warriors and Nemesis. O'Neill's artwork is an acquired taste. When I casually flicked through this novel I was really not impressed by the artwork. It reminded me of a poorly drawn student comic I read many years ago.

However once I started reading the images never once struck me as poorly conceived and once I'd finished reading I flicked through it again and couldn't understand why I had thought they were poor in the first place.

Solid storytelling coupled with O'Neill's excellent visual imagination provide a damn good read.

Nick Smithson

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