JUSTICE #24 - 'Showdown'
October, 1988
(22 Pages)

Cover Artist: Lee Weeks
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Mike Gustovich
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Janet Jackson
Editor: Howard Mackie
Assistant Editor: David Wohl
Designer: Cindy Kruhm
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco


While a bus takes Justice west, a young man sitting beside him thanks him for filling him in on what he has been missing in the world. They both get off at a bus stop in Duncanville, Texas, a small town where the young man was born. Dennis, the young man, suggests they stay at Duncanville Inn and Tavern, the "best and only place to stay." A vacancy opens as one of the previous customers is thrown out onto the street. Justice enters and asks the bartender for a room, to which the bartender asks Justice what he wants to drink. With a straight and serious face, he replies; "Milk." He gets into a fight with one of the regulars over Dennis.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Victor (Kleenex) gives Angela a bottle of perfume that seems to clear his sinuses and stop his sneezing. They leave to see a new exhibit at the Air and Space Museum, in the process passing Colonel Browning, who is intent on finding Updike. Browning asks Chauncy, Updike's assistant, where Updike is, only to be told that information is classified. Chauncy asks if he could give him a message, andin response Browning punches him square in the face, knocking him to the floor.

Back in the west, Dennis heads home, knocking on the door only to have his mother slam it in his face. A strong wind blows open the door, and Dennis steps in and is given a speech by his father. In a nutshell, they don't want trouble.

At Camp David, we find Updike and the heads of several other organizations being informed of the President's condition (after an assassination attempt in THE DRAFT graphic album, and the events following in a back-up story in PSI-FORCE #24). At this point they discover that the President is a paranormal, able to mold and shape his features at will. The pictures released in nationwide newspapers showing his face wrapped in bandages are a clever hoax, put on for the public's benefit and protection.

Victor and Angela are enjoying a quiet time at the museum when he sneezes -- the loudest one yet, Angela observes, after which she asks what makes him allergic. Victor replies, "Paranormals," immediately before Psi-Hawk and the Russian paranormal Rodstvow come crashing through the ceiling, raining debris on the museum-goers (see PSI-FORCE #25 for the full story of their battle). Several large pieces threaten to fall on Angela, but Victor pushes her out of the way, placing himself in their path instead, ending up being buried underneath the concrete. Angela swears that her father will make the paranormal renegades pay.

In Duncanville, Dennis enters the Cryder General Store. There he meets Mrs. Cryder and tries to make peace with her. He insists that he was not responsible for Mrs. Cryder's husband's death three years ago. He and his friend Hank committed armed robbery in the store, and Dennis was completely unaware that Hank had brought a gun. Dennis and Mrs. Cryder argue during which several men rush in, intent on committing mob justice. They drag Dennis to the nearest tree, a noose swinging from it, as another of their own rushes up to report two god-like creatures are fighting at the capital (which Justice assumes to be the state capital). Justice corrects the man, telling him the "gods" are probably paranormals, as Justice demonstrates he himself is, and tries to convince Dennis that the both of them have the power to destroy the town at a whim. Dennis lashes out, "protecting" the town from Justice by attacking him after he destroys a truck. The mob is convinced that he would be good "protection." Dennis thanks Justice for coming up with the "plan" (concocted by Justice and Dennis behind the scenes earlier) that would put him in good graces with the town.

Suddenly, Justice clutches his head and collapses to his knees after recieving a psychic scream of something powerful dying (actually, it's the death of Psi-Hawk -- again, see PSI-FORCE #25). Dennis corrects Justice's assumption that the two paranormals are not fighting in the state capital, but Washington D.C. -- thus prompting Justice to worry about his daughter Angela.

Summary written by Rod Myers Jr.

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