Cover Artist: Geof Isherwood
Alphabet City, New York: A group of street thugs assault a woman, steal her belongings and run, only to encounter the alien Tensen. They talk about "the factory" and make threats to the man before them. Tensen scans their auras, determines them to be evil, and swiftly eradicates them with a beam of pure energy from his right hand.
At the same time, in Los Angeles, Damon Conquest, head of Conquest Dynamics, receives a phone call from his father, Daedalus Darquill. Darquill says that Tensen has somehow arrived on Earth from the home planet via the so-called "White Event" one day earlier. He instructs Damon to find the alien and deal with him. Damon, before hanging up, shows his ability to channel green energy through his fingertips.
Back in New York, Tensen tries fitting into society to no avail. Again he encounters trouble and ends up defending a woman against common criminals. This time he uses strange shieldlike projections that issue forth from his left hand. Once the criminals are caught, one of them tells Tensen that he should not waste his time on him -- that there is more evil afoot at a "factory". Tensen recognizes this term from beforehand. He then kills the criminal and goes to pursue this "factory."
At the Factory, two FBI agents, Hoyt Pittman and Rebecca Chambers, infiltrate the premises. Their aim is to expose the heads of the club as criminals and arrest them. Their efforts, however, are all for naught as Tensen the justice-warrior crashes onto the scene. While in the club, he re-lives experiences from his former life on his home planet. He also sees Becky and realizes somehow she has a "golden" aura, something rare and precious. After seeing Becky brought behind closed doors, he follows and finds himself embroiled in a deadly battle in which he uses both his sword and shield in tandem to protect those whom he judges worthy -- and to kill those whom he considers evil. Tensen kills the one known as Jean-Paul, the stooge of the club's chief mobster Chango. He stands accused of murder by Rebecca before running away to catch up with and murder Chango.
Meanwhile, in Baja California, a man notifies Damon Conquest that Tensen has struck, and that "The Hounds" are to be unleashed immediately.
Justice #1, being a first issue, does have a lot of things going for it. The introduction of Justice and his powers are done well, and already there're the underpinnings of a supporting cast starting to form, with Rebecca Chambers as a minor character who will eventually become a major one. There's the intro of Damon Conquest, a ruthless, if stereotypical, evil business executive with something to hide. Also of note is the first mention and appearance of the Farside world, which is expanded upon in later issues. Archie Goodwin did some good work to get the series started, including the usual array of "alien-on-Earth-trying-to-adjust" moments (the punk shades he wears are interesting, to say the least), and of course there's the 80s punk club scene, where Justice seems to fit right in. As for the art, it did start out on the right foot, but has just as many good pieces as bad ones. Plus, there is some retouching done here and there. I often wonder what Archie Goodwin would have done had he stayed with this title after this issue. All in all, a decent introduction, but just average.
Rating: 3 Bolts (out of 5)
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