Let’s Review: Competent Guards!
It’s time for another Let’s Review blog post, where I look back on past pages in our Archive and tell stories relating to the thought process behind their creation. Today’s entry concerns what has become one of the more endearing aspects of our setting. It’s that Galactic Defense is a competent police force and not just cannon fodder for villains. It’s not one page in particular, but I’ll link to my favorite example of it.
The page linked above, where Countess Nurak-Nor is subdued by nameless Galactic Defense officers before she can go on a murderous rampage, was one of the more popular comics of that Issue. Thanks to countless action movies, many were expecting those guards to be dispatched in a gruesome manner and for the Countess to make her escape, likely walking away from an explosion without looking back at it. I’m sick to death of that trope, where law enforcement and guards are nothing but sacrifices for a villain to look threatening. So I decided to ignore it, and people responded positively.
Even before this scene, I was showing Galactic Defense’s competency and danger to criminals. Countess Nurak-Nor may have skewered one Galactic Defense Marine as they came to retrieve Danica from her ship, but the remainder of that squad gunned her down into submission before anyone else could get hurt. Black Hole Bill didn’t slaughter a ship full of officers when he escaped, but rather distracted and stunned (most of) them so he could run away. Galactic Defense’s arrival forced Roarboar’s Supernova Dragon Lords to surrender after a failed attempt at killing a rescue team. Galactic Defense helped Star Power rescue a group of alien refugees as they fled fighting on their war-torn world. All this was to establish that the Millennium Federation didn’t need Star Power, because Galactic Defense has things well under control.
I like subverting expectations in my stories and settings. It’s very easy to do, too. Just take something you’ve seen done a million times and do the opposite. Guards getting killed all the time? Make the guards a legitimate threat. The end.