Source: Universal Pictures
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R.I.P.D., starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, is in theaters this weekend. The concept is pretty self-explanatory: living cops die and become dead cops in resurrected bodies that protect the world from evil spirits refusing to pass into the afterlife. The cops must do their duty before they're allowed to pass on, all while shooting things to the tune of Macklemore's "Can't Hold Us."
It looks like goofy fun. Then again, I'm a sucker for strange police forces. Let's take a look at some of the more memorable ones.B.P.R.D. (from "Hellboy")
The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is a top secret organization defending us against those things that go bump in the night, or as Hellboy's adopted father Professor Bloom says in the first "Hellboy" film, they're "the ones that bump back."The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is a top secret organization defending us against those things that go bump in the night, or as Hellboy's adopted father Professor Bloom says in the first "Hellboy" film, they're "the ones that bump back."
The supernatural team, led by Hellboy, consists of a telepathic undersea humanoid creature named Abe Sapien, pyrokinetic Liz Sherman, homunculus Roger, and a bunch of humans that aren't nearly as interesting. In addition to appearing in the Hellboy comic and movie, B.P.R.D. also has its own insanely fun title from "Hellboy" creator Mike Mignola.MiB (from "Men in Black")
Another team first introduced in a comic and later adapted to film, the Men in Black oversee all alien immigration coming to Earth and use sophisticated technology to hide them from an unknowing human population. Naturally, they also protect that same population from aliens with more nefarious intentions. Its members include Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, both of whom play characters that have names of their own. But they're still just Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, and I'll hear nothing else on this matter.
source: Dark Horse Entertainment/20th Century Fox TelevisionAxe Cop's Team
The team built around Axe Cop is almost as wonderful as the one that created him. The comic (and now animated series on Fox's ADHD lineup) was created by Ethan and Malachai Nicolle. Ethan is the artist and helps lay out and distribute the stories. Malachai creates all the characters, situations, and scenarios they find themselves in. Oh, and he's only nine years old (he was five when the series started).
Axe Cop's primary partner is Dinosaur Soldier. He used to be known as Flute Cop, one of the toughest lawman in the land who is also very good at playing the flute, until one day he touched dinosaur blood and became Dinosaur Soldier. Other teammates include Axe Cop's pet T-rex Wexter, the wish-granting equipment specialist Uni-Man, Best Fairy Ever, Dr. McNinja, and other wonderful creations.
Best team ever? I'd say so.Gotham Central
On the surface, the men and women who serve on the Gotham Central Police Department look like your run of the mill detectives and patrolmen. The difference is that they have to deal with costumed maniacs, serial killers dressed like clowns, mutated crocodile men, and operating in the shadow of a guy called Batman who people are convinced will fix all the city's problems.
Gotham Central rarely gets its proper due, both in the universe of the comics and the real world. The only real exception came with the DC Comics title Gotham Central by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Michael Lark, which ran for forty issues. The entire series is available in five volumes, and it's absolutely worth your time and money.
Source: Marvel Television/ABC StudiosS.H.I.E.L.D.
Arguably the most well-known police force on this list, the Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate is an organization run by Nick Fury. When it's not protecting the citizens of the Marvel universe from supernatural, super-powered and extra-terrestrial threats, it's begging people to just call it by its acronym, S.H.I.E.L.D.
Although the organization is often on the side of good, their clandestine procedures make many heroes wary of them and sometimes their motives aren't always clear. The bigger problem though is that they're awful susceptible to enemy manipulation and infiltration for a group with limitless resources, otherworldly technology, and an arsenal that makes Dr. Doom speak in a softer register.
Source: Claster TelevisionC.O.P.S.
2020 is only seven years away, but if there's any truth to the prophecies of the 1988 cartoon "C.O.P.S.," we're going to see some big changes. Namely, our police force will be forced to undergo cybernetic transplants to become half-human, half-robot defenders of justice who yell cornball stuff like "it's crime fighting time!"
The "C.O.P.S." (not to be confused with Spike's "COPS
") are led by special agent Baldwin P. Vess. And yes, his codename was "Bulletproof." They fight organized crime in Empire City, which is reduced to a guy that looks like a poor man's Kingpin and talks like an even poorer man's Edward G. Robinson. He runs an organization lazily named C.R.O.O.K.S. In case you're wondering, C.R.O.O.K.S. stands for Couldn't Bother to Think of Something. No, that doesn't fit the acronym, but what's it matter at this point?The Legion of Super-Heroes
Some would argue that the Legion isn't really a police force, but in its various incarnations it has operated as a police force. In some cases, they're outwardly labeled as such.
Set in the far future of the DC Universe, the Legion features a lineup from throughout the galaxy. Ostensibly its members are super-heroes, but the abilities of its members are usually native to their species (though in some cases they're slightly augmented or enhanced).
The Legion has a strict set of regulations, a code of honor, and a rule that says that powers and/or abilities can't be duplicated. It seems outrageous, but it's worth noting that the Justice League also had a similar rule in its early days.
There you have it. This weekend, R.I.P.D. joins their ranks to protect us from the undead.Check out the trailer below.