Archive for July 25th, 2010

Jul 25 2010

13 Ways a Friendly Cop Can Help Superheroes and Urban Fantasy Protagonists

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

In most superhero stories and some urban fantasy, the protagonists know at least one friendly police character. Here are some ways police characters can help the heroes.

1. Alerting the heroes when there’s a problem too large for the police.  Common examples include superpowered robberies, jail breaks, and supernatural/occult/magical serial killers.

2. Crowd control (clearing out civilians during or before a superpowered brawl).  This helps explain why civilians don’t get killed in the crossfire and gives the police something to do besides watch the fight.

3.  Helping the heroes avoid legal trouble.  Or, if the cop is REALLY friendly, helping them break out of jail.

4. Helping superheroes maintain a secret identity.  “This picture of Superman turning into Clark Kent is obviously fake.  At the time it was allegedly taken, I was with Clark Kent on the other side of town.”  Alternately, this might help any protagonist avoid a case of mistaken identity/imposters.  “That bank robber wasn’t the real Harry Dresden! I was discussing a case with Dresden, so the the robber must have been a shapeshifter.”

5. Passing along messages and packages to the heroes, particularly from a villain.  When the Joker wants Batman to see something, the easiest middleman is the police because it wouldn’t make much sense if the Joker knew where to find Batman.

6. Delaying and/or thwarting hostile police officers. In many cases, some police officers are against the heroes, particularly if an antagonist impostor has torn up the town or the heroes are not very careful about collateral damage.  In urban fantasy, some police officers may be uneasy about working with a sorcerer, werewolf or other supernatural creature.  (“I went through six days of testing before I could take my firearm into the field.  How about your wand?)

Continue Reading »

9 responses so far