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Return of the Knave
Drink It Black
Sunday, 12 June 2005
Cup o' joe
Detectives are dotted through comic history in backup stories and anthologies as well as the handful that found themselves in the spotlight such as The Spirit and Dick Tracy. But what of the accusation that superheroes are largely jumped up cops or 'guardian angels' beating on the brat?

The Spirit is one domino mask away from looking like your regulation dick yet the idea of the vengeful spirit is crossing into more of a hyper-reality until it takes on more power than you could imagine in The Spectre, another copper. Dick Tracy has the futuristic gadgetry and bizarre villains. The number of guys who look like gumshoes with a few scraps of costume to give them a half-hearted heft into herodom is extensive. So why deny a connection. And Detective Comics having as one of their flagship characters, the World's Greatest Detective, is no coincidence. The Shadow of the Bat is over a number of spinoff 'detective-like' storylines like the Human Target, who disguises himself as the intended victim and then (hopefully)prevents the act before a shot is fired.

The odd hybrid me-tooism experiment that was Atlas Comics produced the shortlived Police Action which gamely tried to bring back actual police as the stars of a comic book.

Stan Lee, ever one for playing with the formula, didn't have that many costumed cops. His superheroes, perhaps as part of the push to be more 'realistic', were centre stage for the tragedy of their transformation, not their desire to fight crime.

Posted by berko_wills at 5:56 AM NZT
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