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Off My Mind: Police Officers in Superhero Universes
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
What motivates the men and women when their jobs become more dangerous?
In the comics, becoming a police officer isn't quite the same. The process and training may be similar but there's a lot more to the decision of becoming a cop. Their world isn't the same as ours and the dangers can be astronomically more extreme. Fighting thugs with guns is one thing but it's a different story when a police officer could respond to a call and find himself facing a super-powered villain.
What is it that motivates someone to become a police officer in a world full of super-powered individuals? == TEASER ==
Obviously these men and women must have a strong sense of wanting to do the right thing. Being a police officer is dangerous but knowing you could come across an evil villain with a high tech suit or powers that could melt them with a simple thought, it's a whole different game.
Occasionally we see police trying to fight off the villains in comics. What we don't see too often are the actual casualties. You know that when a super-powered villain is on a rampage or even just trying to rob a bank, there has to be some officers that get hurt or even killed. Does this increase the will and determination of the other officers to step up and do their part in ridding the world of evil?
Is there any resentment towards the superheroes? For the longest time, we've seen characters like Harvey Bullock be insulted by the idea of Batman taking the law into his own hands. Police officers go through training and do things by the book. The problem is, the book doesn't exactly prepare them against super-villains. Police will try to keep innocents safe while the hero usually swoops in at the end, grabs the bad guy and gets all the credit for saving the day.
There's also the idea that once a hero claims a city is under their protection, this serves to attract the villains that either want revenge against the hero or a chance to make a name for themselves by taking the hero out. The police do their best to keep the city safe but soon find a bunch of costumed kooks running around threatening their lives and the lives of the citizens they themselves have sworn to protect.
What we need to see more of is a special police task force like Code: Blue from issues of Thor back in the 80s. These were regular police officers that were trained further. They were better equipped to deal with super-powered menaces. Regular police officers may have guns and bullet proof vests but what good is that against an evil mutant that can breath fire or shoot lasers from his eyes?
Superheroes can't be everywhere. As dedicated as they are to protecting innocent lives, they do have personal lives they try to maintain. Even though there are numerous heroes (especially in New York City), they can't always be on scene when a bad guy decides to try to take over the world. What we need to see is better training and equipment for the men and women in blue. Savage Dragon saw the importance in this. He could've been a spandex wearing hero but decided to fight evil among his fellow officers in the Chicago Police Department. Why don't we see more super-powered police officers? Dick Grayson decided to use his crime-fighting training to keep the streets of Bludhaven clean during the day. If more heroes decided to work in this noble and much needed profession, we wouldn't have to worry about the hardworking men and women having their lives overly endangered when simply trying to do their jobs.