Juristictional Query

I have been reading both of Marvel's big "Events" this year -- the much hyped and anticipated Civil War, as well as the less hyped but with a grander scope Annihilation. For those not in the know, Annihilation is a cosmic tale set around Annihilus from the Negative Zone invading "regular space", and laying waste to entire races to do so. The Skrulls have been decimated, and the Kree are on their way. The stars of this little space opera are varied: Silver Surfer and other ex-heralds of Galactus, the Super-Skrull, Ronan the Accuser, Drax the Destroyer, Spacelord, Thanos, Quasar, and, most importantly...Nova, last surviving member of the Xandarian Nova Corps., and former New Warrior.

This becomes important to my question, believe me.

Civil War, on the other hand, is a big, old-fashioned, good guys fighting good guys bruhaha. With Iron Man leading one side of the charge, and Captain America on the other, the US is racked with strife when the government passes a Regulation that requires all superheroes to register their identities and work for the government. Any who refuse, like Captain America, are arrested and sentenced to prison in the Negative Zone. The impetus for this battle royale? An incident involving 600 deaths at a school in Conneticut, resulting from a battle between rogue supervillains, and the New Warriors.

Hey. Connections.

Okay, so a tiny bit more groundwork, then I'll post my theory, I promise.

Local law enforcement police a certain level of crime in their immediate area. A town sheriff is responsible for all illegal activity up to a certain level, in his town. If he goes to the next town, he has no real power, except out of courtesy. Anything that falls outside his juristiction is then the responsibility of the next level of law enforcement -- usually a large city, or a regional force. Above that, you get your state police in the US, and provincial police in Canada. And, as is often shown in television and movies, if a criminal crosses a state line, he falls under federal juristiction.

The federal police have power to order around state/provincial police, but not vice versa. State polive outrank local police. Higher levels of law enforcement can even take a case completely away from lower levels. That's their power.

Okay, so, even though we have no police force currently above country-wide, let's enter the realm of imagination, and say that there were a level above federal. I assume you could skip Continental, and go straight to global. Global police, in theory, would outrank federal police, and could easily order the RCMP or the FBI off a case. The next theoretical step would be a system-wide police force, or, if we're skipping continental, I guess a galactic force would be next.

And this is where we pop back into Marvel continuity.

The Nova Corps are exactly that -- a galactic police force that enforces galactic order throught the Milky Way. By that rationale, they should outrank every level of lower law enforcement, whether those levels acknowledge them or not. A sheriff cannot tell an FBI agent where to go without reprecussions, and the same goes here.

So, could Richard Rider, the Nova formerly with the New Warriors, come back to Earth and tell Tony Stark where to stick it? Could he not bust Speedball, his friend and former teammate, out of jail with no consequences? And if Nova had still been on the Warriors when the Stamford accident occurred, could he not have shut the American government out, and just claimed juristiction?

I wish they would answer questions like that, but I guess Nova is "conveniently" off-planet, and won't even consider returning until it doesn't mess with the storyline now.

Ah well.

I remain,

The Ebony Bishop

2 Comments
2 Comments
Posted by valinorbob

Well, for that to work, America (and the rest of the world) would have to recognize and acknowledge the Nova Corps authority, just as they do with the UN. And since there's no way we'd ever do that for a bunch of no good aliens (since they only ever want to conquer or destroy Earth), they're pretty much powerless in a legal sense.

Posted by Ebony Bishop

Yeah, I thought it might be a problem with recognizing authority. Does that mean if the local police told the feds to shove it, that'd work?