(Dynamite Entertainment, 2014)
Written by Michael Uslan
Illustrated by Giovanni Timpano
Color Artwork by Marco Lesko
Lettered by Simon Bowland
When Doc Savage’s experiment with the Super Collider to produce the “Wells Particle” in the present day inadvertently opens a wormhole to 1939, an airliner gets caught in the rift and sent back through time. Doc Savage follows the aircraft through the wormhole back to 1939 in his P-39 Airacobra, where he boards the airliner, and with the help of Howard Hughes, gets clearance to land safely in New York. Now the Doc Savage of today is about to meet the Doc Savage of 1939, and even Einstein cannot predict the consequences of such an encounter. As the Voodoo Master continues to set his fiendish trap for the Shadow, another evil force plots in the shadows. Meanwhile, wealthy industrialist Richard Henry Benson and his family are travelling on a flight to Nepal to oversee Dr Savage’s latest scientific achievement, one also co-funded by Benson. Instead, tragedy strikes, and the fates of Doc Savage and the Shadow are soon destined to become entwined with the origin of the Avenger…
The crisis set to bring Street & Smith’s super-star trinity of The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Avenger together, continues in the second enthralling chapter of this new six part Dynamite series, as the historic cross-over that has been 75 years in the making begins to unfold in Justice Inc #2! In this exciting issue, written by Michael Uslan, with art by Giovanni Timpano, colors by Marco Lesko, and letters from Simon Bowland, the effects of the time-warping experiments from the first issue gradually set in motion the chain of events that will inevitably draw these classic pulp characters of yesteryear together.
Justice Inc #2 is richly immersed in the history of these characters, and writer Michael Uslan continues to weave the intricate nuances of their origins and legacies into the narrative to drive the story forward at a bristling pace. The meeting between the two Doc Savage’s is really well done, its a scene that nicely plays to a number of well established sci-fi conventions, whilst also delivering an unexpected payoff along with some cracking dialogue thrown in for good measure as the bemused Einstein, HG Wells, Enrico, and Monk look on. With the Doc Savage ensuring the airliner has a safe passage back through the wormhole, the Doc Savage of 1939 flies out to meet Richard Henry Benson in Nepal.
However things don‘t look good for the man destined to become The Avenger, when a particularly sinister turn of events on Benson’s flight to Nepal result in his wife and child suddenly going missing, and Benson soon finds himself in a terrifying, and perilous situation. Fortunately there’s an unexpected passenger on board who is determined to prevent Benson suffering the same fate as the wealthy industrialists wife and daughter.
The Shadow remained somewhat on the periphery of the action in the first issue; here in Justice Inc #2 we begin to see how the character will become more crucial to the plot, especially after Kent Allard makes it to the sacred monastery sanctum of the master of the minds of men, Chow Lee, in the Himalayas.
The art by Giovanni Timpano vividly recreates the tone and mystery of this pulp era, providing a beautifully realised setting for this integrated universe and its classic heroic characters. From the opening scenes in the New York Municipal Airport, as the FBI and NYPD close in, sirens blazing, the adventure then quickly take to the skies where dramatic events rapidly unfold over the Himalayas, each setting is richly detailed by Timpano, and enhanced further by the sumptuous colors provided by Marco Lesko. Headlights gleam as the authorities’ race along the runway, you can almost feel the wind rushing at your face during the icy high altitude escapades, and the scenes in the monastery seem even more mysterious with their glorious use of light and shadow. Justice Inc #2 is a terrific looking book, Giovanni Timpani’s sensational art, together with Marco Lesko’s excellent colors, really draws you into the story, and the great lettering by Simon Bowland is also solid and concise.
As the dark plans of the Voodoo Master begin to take shape in Justice Inc #2, a twist of fate will link The Shadow and Doc Savage to the birth of The Avenger in the Himalayas, forging a bond that will endure a lifetime for Clark, Kent, and Richard as they confront the villainous forces that conspire against them.
Michael Uslan and Giovanni Timpano has masterfully recreated the era of the Street and Smith Publications original pulp heroes, the care and attention that has been lavished on this title by the whole creative team shines through on every page, and they’ve really captured the tone and style of the original adventure style stories. With its stunning main cover by Axel Ross, along with variant covers by Francesco Francavilla, Gabriel Hardman, and Ardian Syaf, Justice Inc #2 is another superb issue in this action-packed new series from Dynamite.
Paul Bowler is a self-Confessed Sci-Fi Geek, Doctor Who fan, and Zombie Disposal Expert. He likes movies, comic books, and all things PS3. He likes to write about his interests, would love to write a novel one day, and also enjoys chatting to the many people he has gotten to know on Twitter. When he’s not busy being an Impossible Astronaut, he likes to take a break from his adventures in time and space to enjoy some of his favourite tv shows and movies, preferably with a nice cuppa tea & a sandwich! You can follow him on Twitter @paul_bowler, or find him at his website, Sci-Fi Jubilee.