JUSTICE #9 - 'Haunted Heart'
July, 1987
(22 Pages)

Cover Artists: Keith Giffen & Geof Isherwood
Writer: Gerry Conway
Penciler: Keith Giffen
Inker: Rick Bryant
Letterer: Agustin Mas
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Michael Higgins
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter


Justice wanders the streets pondering his situtation, blaming himself for Becky’s death. He encounters a very evil man on his way to buy a gun from a local dealer. Justice follows the man to dull the agony in his heart over losing Becky (see JUSTICE #5 and, allegedly, last issue).

He encounters a black man who tries to steer him away from the building the evil man just entered.

Inside, the evil man Justice has followed is in the process of buying a gun as Justice ‘deters’ the black man who tried to warn him away.

Justice follows the man to his apartment, learning the man’s name is Leon Crisp. He enters Crisp’s apartment to learn more. He discovers several newpaper clippings, each describing a local hero who meets a very grim end. While reading, Justice passes out.

He awakens to find himself in an alley, snow heavy on his back, signalling that he has been out for a while now. Further away a man is mugging a woman and kills her by slicing her throat with a knife. Justice tries to judge the man with his sword hand, only for it to fail him due to the corruption in his aura (see JUSTICE #3 and 4). The man escapes.

He returns to the building where Crisp bought a gun, interrogates the dealer and takes a gun of his own to replace his sword hand.

Leon Crisp is researching his next victim, another good samaritan, and we find out that his reason is that his mother was raped, mugged and left for dead.

Justice passes out in another alley, his wounds too much for him. Later, Crisp and Justice meet in the selfsame alley, and Justice kills him with the gun he had bought earlier. After this event, Justice discards the gun, finding it too evil and corrupt.

Summary written by Rod Myers Jr.

This Issue's Review

My ThoughtsBetter than I feel inclined to give it credit for. Gerry Conway makes an honest-as-he-knows look at the way Justice feels about the use of guns. I'm not sure whether this is supposed to be an anti-guns statement to the readership, but, well, to be honest, when someone as uninitiated to our ways as an alien such as Justice is makes an anti-gun statement, I don't feel inclined to believe him. Maybe some do, but someone ignorant of many of society's facts seems ill-equipped to be saying "don't do this"; then again, maybe I'm being too harsh. It's a good thing to say, sure. "Guns are bad." Then again, maybe Justice is merely against slow death, as he himself states that he prefers "the swift judgment of my sword-hand." Anyway, good but bogged down in social commentary. I do think Keith Giffen is a great replacement for Geof Isherwood in the art department. At this point his art was still good (as opposed to his work on Image's Trencher among others), even with Vinnie Colletta's inks, which, admittedly, aren't as bad on Giffen's work as they were on Isherwood's. Maybe it's because of the vastly different, almost impressionistic style Giffen has.

Rating: 2.5 Bolts (out of 5)

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