JUSTICE #4 - 'Shangri-L.A.'
February, 1987
(22 Pages)

Cover Artists: Alex Saviuk & Geof Isherwood
Writer: Steve Englehart
Penciler: Joe Staton
Inker: Geof Isherwood
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Michael Higgins
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter


It has been seven weeks since Tensen lost his arm, and just as long since he last saw Becky Chambers. The two have just now reunited in Los Angeles, and when Becky asks about Tensen's hand, he respons by using his sword to slice off the bandages and reveal that he has, like a lizard, re-grown his missing hand. He then asks Becky how much progress she has made on the Conquest case. She tells him that the only official function of Conquest Dynamics, Conquest's company, is to take over other corporations. However, the unofficial activities include drug smuggling and dealing. When Justice hears this, he says he must go alone to defeat Conquest. Becky disagrees and readies ehrself to go with him, but he will not allow her. She instead goes to the hospital to check on Arnie, the cab driver's progress.

Tensen makes his way to Conquest Dynamics and is told by the secretary at the door that he is expected. He ascends the stairs and reaches Conquest's office, where he is attacked by the man himself, green energy spewing forth from his hands. Tensen counters with his shield, and then strikes back with his sword, but just as he is ready to strike the killing blow, the sword ceases to function, and he is hit with the full force of Conquest's blasts instead.

The Justice Warrior falls, and when he awakens he finds himself in the world which he left -- the world he knew as "home." Evidently the power enough to kill him sent him back to the world of his birth. Immediately he reunites with Webstral, the wizard friend of King Therion. Tensen explains to the wizard where he has been, and when Tensen tells of the way in which his sword failed during his last battle, Webstral asks to see it. The wizard determines the alien environment in which Justice has lived to have contributed to an impurity in the healing of the hand. The impurity will disappear with time and training, but for now Tensen will have to deal with it.

Tensen is taken to see Queen Endolana. In his mind he swears to himself that after this he must find a way back to Earth to prevent the invasion there. Once reunited with Endolana, Tensen and she embrace passionately while the warrior tells of his exploits. Suddenly King Therion appears and chastises the both of them at their behavior, of both their betrayals. However, just as Justice submits himself to the king's mercy and is about to be struck by Therion's "nul-lance," he finds himself back in the office of Damon Conquest, who is talking on the telephone with his father. Tensen locates a gun on the table before him, and is ready to fire at the madman when again the scene shifts, and he is back in his home realm. Then again, this is not the extent of the situation, as Justice switches between realms several more times, but the shifting stops when he succeeds in shooting Conquest in the shoulder. Conquest runs away to menace Tensen another day, while Tensen, now aware of his past, stays behind. He picks up the telephone and gives Daedalus Darquill a message: "You're next, 'Dad'...!"

Summary written by Gary M. Miller.

This Issue's Review

My ThoughtsRight back on track, with a more consistent story and probably the best artwork ever seen at this stage of the series. It's truly a pity that the team of Joe Staton (famous for his work on DC's GREEN LANTERN among all else) and Geof Isherwood (who turned in an outstanding inking job here) didn't stay together after this issue, as most of the subsequent stories could've used the artistic boost. As it is, this is the first story about Justice which deals really in-depth with his mythology, the otherworldly quest, and in that it pulls off a number of things quite nicely. There's the series' first major subplot developing as Justice's hand is "regenerated" (which is never fully explained away later in the series, and we're left to wonder if regeneration is really one of his powers, or if it too was an illusion cast by Darquill). The taint within the healed hand is the subject of many an upcoming story in the title. Add to this Justice's first "true" return to the world of Spring, where the King realizes that Justice has been having an affair with his Queen, as well as the introduction of Justice's trusted friend Webstral, everything here is classic material, proving that the early era of JUSTICE worked best when delving 100% into the alien myth. The fight between Justice/Damon/King Therion was satisfying, and the promise of finally meeting "Dad" next month was grand indeed. In short, the first truly above-average story of the group, laying the groundwork for more mythology stories to come.

Rating: 4 Bolts (out of 5)

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Tensen and all related characters are © 2001 Marvel Characters, Inc. No copyright infringements intended.