Fist Of Justice Speaks – How To Make Rich Johnston A Zombie… And Kill Him

Ed Dukeshire writes for Bleeding Cool:

Fist of Justice was the super-heroic defender of Charm City until he made a fatal mistake that ended his career. But now he's back as defender of a city dealing with the new villains of the 21st century. Villains who are tougher, stronger, and meaner than ever.

CoverTP_KickstarterWe recently caught up with Charm City crime fighter, Fist of Justice, and spoke to him about his career and the plan to bring his exploits back into comic form.

BLEEDING COOL: So, you were out of commission for 30 years, give or take, right? What were your initial thoughts upon having a chance to just sit and look at all of the changes between then and now?

FIST OF JUSTICE: Things are much more fast-paced now than they were then. It's more congested and people seem to be a lot less friendly then I remember.  Granted, we've come a long way in what you see on the surface, but, honestly? I see a lot simmering below the surface which spills over too often. Used to be a dude would hold up a bank with a pistol, now he goes in wearing body armor and swinging a machine gun. That's just crazy.

BC: What's been the toughest challenge you've faced?

FOJ: Toughest challenge, huh? That's a good question. Obviously Dr. Dibuk is a royal pain in my butt. That turkey is like a cockroach, always scurrying out of the shadows when you think he's gone. But he's not really tough, though, y'know? A backhand slap can pretty much take him off his feet.  But I'd say my toughest challenge is adapting to this new world.  I mean, I can punch or body-slam cats with guns – but all this technology and what not? You know that phone booths are harder to find than one of those little dudes with the Kung-Fu grip at a store during Christmas? Phones fit in your pocket now, man!

BC:  How is it that you look to be late 20s or early 30s at worst. Shouldn't you be in your 50s or 60s?

FOJ: You know, I have no idea whatsoever. I mean, it's obviously gotta' have something to do with these powers, right?  I sort of remember being old and being locked away, but as time passes those memories are fading.  I never really had the chance to learn much about these powers before I was… well, I sort of had to fly blind for a while and, you know, there's no manual or anything.

BC: In case some of our readers missed the original comics when they were published by Digital Webbing, could you fill us in?

FOJ: Of course. When they approached me about the idea of doing a comic book based on my life and adventures, I wanted to make sure they covered everything. What happened, did happen and I didn't want to leave any of it out.  Someone close to me died because I made a mistake and that moment of shock was enough for Dr. Dibuk to get his hooks into me.  I have no idea how he did what he did, but the next thing I know, I was in an asylum which, honestly, I don't remember much of that time, just that I'd become as old as my granddad  and I was having dreams about being me. Well, about being Fist of Justice.

Suddenly, I was back. It was just so out of the blue.  My mind was hazy and I didn't know what was going on. The guys running it now, Dr. Benson and his intern Carl, helped me get my bearings and told me about some punk kid who had taken my name and bullied Charm City into submission.  Was crime down?  I guess. But so was morale – people were afraid. I couldn't let that go on, no matter how long it had been or how much things had changed.  And DEFINITELY not while using my name!  I looked up my old buddy Harlan, er… 'Black Light', and along with the Doc and Carl, we took that jive turkey down.

BC:  And since then?

FOJ:  Well, more happened, obviously.  But Mike Imboden and Ed Dukeshire are hoping to publish more stories about all of that once this first collection is printed, so I don't want to spoil anything.

BC:  Speaking of which, why now?  What took so long getting this project started?

FOJ: Mike and Ed told me that the time was right to collect the original five issues into a trade paperback collection. But, honestly, I don't know what took so long.  I fight crime, man, not deadlines!  If I had to take a guess, I'd imagine other stuff came up.  Different opportunities, changes in the marketplace – things like that.  Of course, like I said, I don't know for sure.  If it had been robots or mole people behind the delay I'd have a detailed answer for you.

BC:  Why do this through Kickstarter?

FOJ: There's no publisher financing the book, but I heard they would love to find one, they're doing this all on their own so they need the help of friends, family, fans and interested new readers. Getting the word out is the most work, though, so that's why they sent me on this interview. They figured people would pay more attention to me than them. They've utilized the facebooking and tweeter–

BC: Twitter.

FOJ: Twit-what? Did you call me a twit?  C'mon, dude – cut me some slack! I'm still learning all of this new-age jibber jabber.

BC: No, it's Twitter, not Tweeter. I was just correcting you. Also, it's Facebook.

FOJ: Oh, okay. Sorry.  Anyway, I suppose it's the new readers who'll make or break it.  I know how much passion Mike and Ed have for telling my adventures and how good those stories are.  Sure, I'm biased, but I'm one of the good guys.  The only time I lie is when it comes to going into space. If you ask me to go into space to fight some robot or something, I'm gonna tell you that I've got prior plans. I hate going into space!

BC: Any parting words?

FOJ:  I hope I got all that stuff right. I tell ya', some of this stuff today is worse than dealing with insectazords, man.  I can punch those things in their creepy grasshoppery faces!  But all this other stuff? Not exactly in my bag of tricks, y'know?

Interested in seeing what 'Fist of Justice' is all about?  It's not going to be available in stores, only via the Kickstarter campaign and conventions the creative team is able to make it to.  You can check things out via one of the following links:

Bleeding Cool Readers:

Here's a little incentive on top of the great stuff we're offering! In the 48 hours following the publishing of this article, if we:

– Reach $300 total in pledges, we'll turn Rich Johnston into a zombie right in the pages of Fist of Justice #6.

– But if we reach $500 in total, this is where it gets fun, zombie Rich gets taken out instead of sneaking off into the shadows.

– We've also added a special Bleeding Cool tier where YOU can be in the comic (limited to 3 people all taking turns) who wants the honor of dispatching zombie Rich! We'll even use your name (if you want us to) so everyone will know exactly who did the deed!


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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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