JUSTICE #16 - 'Justice, Justice, Pursue It.'
February, 1988
(23 Pages)

Cover Artist: Lee Weeks
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Lee Weeks
Inker: Tony DeZuniga
Letterer: Agustin Mas
Colorist: Janet Jackson
Editor: Howard Mackie
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco


Charley Beck, "Friction" of the D.P.7, has a nightmare where Justice is coming after her, and wakes up screaming . Jeff Walters, AKA Blur, a paranormal with super speed, comes racing in to check on her. On the radio in the background is a report of the third victim in the 'Justice' killings.

An apartment holds another victim, body in ashes except for the head and hands as police search the place for clues. Traced in the ashes are the Justice scales, perfectly balanced. They search for the head and finally find it behind a potted plant as Playback, Miriam Morse, enters. She is greeted by Captain Nesmith, who has used her help to track down Jimmy Phearson, a child molester.

She picks up an ashtray and 'rewinds', sending her psyche back into the past to view who killed the victim, Lonnie Poole. Lonnie Poole sits in his chair, reading, after showing his latest one night stand to the door. The same door is kicked in by Justice. Poole's power apparently only affects women, and he has knowingly transmitted a fatal disease (AIDS?) to his partners. Justice 'deters' him, and somehow spots Playback's astral form. He talks to her, and she screams and drops the ashtray, shattering it.

Charley looks up Lonnie's name, finds out that he was a paranormal, calls a detective and persuades information from him. The detective tells her of an eyewitness who they have written off because of her age. It seems a little girl was playing "hide 'n' seek" with her mother, and hid in the basement.

A man named Greg Gardner enters the basement, carrying a gas can as Justice looms in the doorway, telling Greg: "You are an arsonist. And you will burn for your crimes." Greg reveals his paranormal nature, the ability to produce fire from his hands, and fires (no pun intended) at Justice, just as Justice fires his sword blast. The blast disintegrates Greg's left hand and clothing, and as Greg tries to blow up the gas can, Justice's shields block the futile attempt before he uses his sword arm to 'deter' him.

The little girl pleads for her safety, only to have Justice help her to her feet and notice her dormant paranormal powers. He tells her that she doesn't warrant a sentence from Justice. Yet. He then leaves. The girl couldn't make up her mind for the police if he looked like a devil or an angel.

Playback enters her apartment, pondering how someone could see her astral form as no one has ever done it before. She pushes aside the curtain and sees that Justice stands in the alley, observing her apartment. In her panic, she calls 911, notices Justice is gone, hangs up the phone and faints.

At the Center for Paranormal Research, Charley is pumping Doctor Guntly, a friend of Dr. Jack Forrestor, for information. He finally gives, and tells her of a patient he once had. The man revealed that he had been making a mint in 'banking'. Guntly asked; "Investments?" Malcolm revealed at that point he had been robbing banks successfully thanks to his paranormal ability to change his facial features by thought. He left, Guntly chased after him, and was thrown back by a tremendous blast of energy. He then spotted Malcolm's head and hands intact, his body reduced to ashes.

Miriam is returning to her car when she is jumped by an unknown person and thrown against the parking garage wall. It turns out to be Jimmy Phearson, the child molester, looking for revenge. He spots a man in the shadows and is blasted by an intense beam of energy. Justice steps forth, helps Miriam up, and tells her in an offhand way of his mission. At that moment he decides that she is using her powers for good, and leaves.

Miriam goes to the police and gives them an accurate sketch of Justice. Two people, who see the sketch in the paper, scream two different things. The first, a man in his late forties, screams: "TENSEN!" in surprise. The second? A teenaged girl who screams: "D-DADDY!"

Summary written by Rod Myers Jr.
This Issue's Review
JUSTICE #16 is rated Best of Series!The paranormal boogeyman. The superhuman judge, jury and executioner. Since the last issue, Justice's lifestyle has definitely changed, and here's where we begin to find out just how much it has. Here's where we see Tensen adopt the "Justice Killer" modus operandi, made ever so chilling by the way he leaves his victims: reduced to ashes, save for the head and hands, with the scales of justice drawn in the center of the ash. Peter David does a superb job of improving on the already-awesome setup he and Mark Gruenwald had last month, establishing the drive behind this new attitude. By setting this issue a few months after the last, we're given a definite impression that Tensen has been busy--eliminating paranormals who abuse their powers--as he does three more times in this very story. He's given a good supporting cast, even. There's Playback, the paranormal who can retrace the past to experience it for herself, and I find it amusing that Justice can pick up her aura even when she is in the future compared to him! Also engaging is Justice Tensen's old boss, whom we see in only one panel; and lastly and of most importance is the revelation that Tensen has a daughter! Definitely a can't-miss because of PAD's great story and Lee Weeks' impressive art.

The Best Quotes from JUSTICE #16
(in Playback's recollection of the death of Lonnie Poole)
"So... an audience... who thought I couldn't see her. Foolish woman. Justice isn't blind."

(looking at the police sketch of himself in the newspaper)
"Not a flattering likeness at all. Ah well. To work."

"Moses led his people to the Promised Land, but was not able to enter with them. He gave them a long speech before they entered, which is the Book of Deuteronomy. In the 16th chapter, 20th verse of that book he says to his people 'Justice, justice, pursue it.' Moses is long gone. But now I'm here, to try and bring the Promised Land back to the people. And I am... Justice."

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