Apr 26 2012
If you’d like to use the police as an antagonist but aren’t quite sure why they might oppose the superhero, here are some possibilities.
1. The superhero is investigating sensitive cases.
- The hero might be challenging cases that have already been “solved.” If the superhero can show that the police & district attorney have convicted/arrested the wrong person, it will make the police look bad, could open up them to lawsuits, and could jeopardize careers. Also, the police will probably be skeptical about whether the superhero knows more about the case than the police investigation was able to find. What if the superhero is wrong? If a superhero even looks into the case, that could create unwanted media attention for the police and prosecutors.
- Major politicians (e.g. the mayor) might pressure the police if the superhero is tackling politically sensitive cases (for example, if the suspect is a politician or major donor or if the case is highly publicized).
- The case is likely to implicate police officers or otherwise make the police look bad. For example, anything involving police brutality, corruption, police misconduct (e.g. why did the police drop the case against Lex Luthor? Did the mayor put them up to it?), etc.
2. The superhero refuses police commands (which will especially irritate police if the case ends badly). For example, if the superhero tried breaking into a hostage situation while the police were still trying to negotiate a surrender, that would make the police livid (particularly if any hostages then got injured or killed). If the superhero does something that causes the police to get heavy media and/or political criticism, the police might throw the superhero under the bus to protect themselves. “We had this case completely under control until Captain Doomsday showed up!” (The superhero would probably disagree with that claim–if it looked like the police had the situation under control, the superhero probably wouldn’t have charged in).
2.1. The superhero is too rough. If the hero has a history of gratuitously injuring criminals, getting bystanders/hostages injured, and causing serious property damage, the police might think they’d do a better job on their own.