Nuke Me with the New!

Untold Tales of the New Universe: Justice #1

Cover Artist: Eric Canete
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Inker: John Stanisci
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Letterer: VC's Rus Wooton
Editor: Mark Paniccia

Marvel Solicitation

Stalking the New Universe as judge, jury and executioner rolled into one, John Tensen--Justice--has made it his personal mission to make certain that paranormals are using their powers wisely. But when he executes an abusive paranormal in the presence of the para.s daughter--potentially sending her down a path of evil--he is forced to question the "justice" of his own actions.

Plot Synopsis

Justice pursues a paranormal in New York city who secretes addictive toxins, uses them on unsuspecting people, and then charges them outrageous amounts to continue getting hits. Justice ends up killing him in front of his daughter, who, according to her aura, is innocent until she witnesses this. Justice lets her believe she kills him in retribution and secretly departs realizing he must reconsider his mission.

Favorite Quote

CLUB BOUNCER: I've looked on the list, and there is no Justice.
JUSTICE: An ironic commentary on our times.

Chronological Analysis

This issue must take place after Justice #15, where Tensen rediscovers his true origin. And all the Untold Tales occur before The Pitt, so it must come before Justice #18. According to #16, Justice moved east from California to Chicago. Issue 17 does not reveal where it happens and #18 starts just outside Pittsburgh. It would therefore seem to make the most sense if this issue happens either just before or just after #17.


Peter David still has it. For anyone that lamented they'd never see another David-written issue of Justice after #32, this issue will be a dream come true. Once again, it's been a while since I read Justice, but this issue rang true to me.

My only quibbles are minor ones. First, most of the time Justice does not seem to be using his left hand to generate his shields. It looks more like they just appear before him without cause. And when he does appear to be using a hand, it's his right and not his left. (The same appears true for the cover!) While Justice is capable of this, it's not easy, so I'd have thought he'd hold the girl with his right arm to keep his left free.

My other quibble is Justice's generating invisible shields to block the daughter's gunfire. Has he ever shown the ability to generate unseen shields? Not that I recall. Again, not a big deal, but a little distracting to a die-hard New U fan.

I do have one question that I don't know will ever be answered. Why did they use the original Justice logo for a story set after Justice #15, which debuted a new, second logo? Peter David never wrote an issue with this logo before now.

As I write this, the Untold Tales of the New Universe event is now at the halfway point. Not to put down the Nightmask issue, but this is the best of the lot so far. Recommended for all.


On January 19, 2011, Peter David did one of his periodical open Q&As on his blog. (Here's the entry, which unfortunately makes it difficult to link directly to my question.) I asked him, "What was it like being asked to write a new Justice story for the Untold Tales of the New Universe event so many years after being on the title?" His response was, "Loved it. It was like revisiting with an old friend."

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