Cover Artist: Geof Isherwood
Two agents from the Justice Department are questioning Justice in the murder of Becky (see the end of JUSTICE #7). One pushes him against the cab, he strikes back, physically, and gets shot in the left shoulder for his troubles. They take him in for questioning.
On Farside, Damon Conquest makes a pass at Becky which she refuses by throwing a drink in his face and nearly tossing him off the balcony they’re on.
Justice is questioned by the Justice Department for Becky’s murder, only to confuse and anger them. They take him to a cell and incarcerate him for the time being.
Tattoo is hired to do a job on Earth by Damon Conquest’s father, known as ‘Dad.’ Tattoo contacts a lawyer named Danielle Towson, whom they had previously worked with in 1970, to ‘help’ Justice in his legal problems. Danielle also turns out to be Tattoo’s former lover.
Justice is sleeping when his cellmate wants to wake him up to find out what he’s in for. The guards call for inspection and everyone files out. One prisoner nicknamed Toothpick forgets his shoes and suffers from a seizure. The guards decide to ‘help’ him by beating him up. Justice knows that Toothpick is a criminal, but deserves better, and decides to help.
Justice relies on his combat skills and beats the guards into unconsciousness. The prisoners see this as their break, only to be stopped by Justice who orders them back into their cells.
In New Mexico a truck driver discovers Becky’s body (actually a clever duplicate created by ‘Dad’) as Tattoo watches from a cliff with binoculars. This episode results in Justice being charged with Becky’s murder.
Safe and sound on the Farside, Becky goes through her final training exercise, which resembles "Hogan’s Alley" which the F.B.I. and the police use to train their officers. Becky shoots the appropriate targets, hitting Justice Warriors while leaving the warriors of Winterland untouched. The last target: Justice. She pauses for about three seconds then shoots him three times, scoring a 100% on the test.
Justice is bailed out by Danielle Towson who puts up the $100,000 for bail. Justice follows her to her high-rise apartment and sees a news broadcast about the discovery of Becky’s body. He then flees, needing to sort out everything.
Oy, is this a mess. Justice goes to jail for the second time ever, this time for the alleged murder of Becky Chambers, who's being trained by Damon Conquest to kill him. We also have Justice actually put up with a lawyer whom he knows was sent to defend him by Darquill's people, and also he avoids further charges stacked against him after starting a fight in jail! There's a simplicity to the main scenario -- which is, of course, my problem with Isherwood's writing. (That, and the obscenely complex-yet-simple conspiracy theory which is perpetuated by him -- geez, is there anyone on this Earth who isn't being manipulated by Dad? Give unto me a break!) Luckily this is his final issue on board, and he leaves by doing one thing that does gain my favor -- namely, take Arnie the cabbie with him. But there's much more than that to complain about to justify (no pun intended) my rating. Witness the faux Becky Chambers who's found dead by the truck driver in mid-story. Were we given any explanation for this? No. And did I mention yet how crappy Vinnie Colletta's inks were? 'Nuff said. (Also note that in this issue, Justice has fingerprints that don't match up with anyone known in the FBI database. I know it wasn't planned until seven issues later, but I believe he, as John Tensen, would indeed have prints registering. Sad to say I can't fault Isherwood for this one!)
Rating: 2 Bolts (out of 5)
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