Dynamite has sent us a new writer's commentary by Joe Gentile for Justice Inc.: The Avenger – Face of Justice #3, a good contender for longest comic title. The book is drawn by Alexandre Shibao and comes with this cool cover by veteran comic artist Tom Mandrake.
In this scene, our artist (Alexandre Shibao) and our colorist (Natalia Marques) do a good job of giving off a surreal "trippy vibe" to these pages. We were hoping that we could give the reader a taste of what Nellie is experiencing while in the ruins of the hospital. And because various "gadgets" are used throughout the original Avenger tales, we had to use some! So the little 'marble" like devices shown here were some of the more often used gadgets.
The Avenger talking to Sands. Well, originally, we had the Avenger breaking into a cell to meet up with Sands. But as the story progressed, that no longer made sense. Sands is kind of the loose end of the story. He could be used by the prosecution against the Avenger because he was a witness to a crime, or…
But at least this scene shows the Avenger cares about victims, even those who may have been mislead against him.
Originally, this scene, the aftermath of a fight, went a little different. We had the Avenger sitting there waiting for our guy to wake up. Then he would basically show the information he needed this character to get. But, that seemed like an odd waste of time for the Avenger, as we had other things for him to accomplish. So no rest for the wicked, um, avenging, I mean…
This was one of those scenes that was so important to the story, but was originally not even going to be in the book! Since we kept adding layers to the motive behind the murder, we had to decide who all were behind the scheme to begin with. We felt it would have more resonance if there was an innocent someone (or two) caught up in web of deceit. But also important was how each innocent found out about the truth and how they acted upon it.
Part of what made the Avenger stories so interesting to read…was that they not only dripped with emotional angst, but included some fun character interplay.
So this is more of that. Important information gets communicated to the agents, as each group reports on what they have discovered.
What I really like about this scene is that it shows the agents as human, BUT also shows them as competent investigators. I mean, really, why would the Avenger hand pick this group to help if they couldn't do anything right?
Pgs 10- 12:
Talk about a scene taking a different turn! This one started out as a character piece for Mac and Cole. The idea was that Mac (and Cole) go for a second opinion on a chemical analysis of Mac's. Normally Mac was confident in his abilities, but this time, it involved The Avenger personally, so he really wanted to be sure.
So they find this female researcher…and this researcher really knows a lot about Mac and finds him irresistible.
Now in the original tales, Mac's back story was brutal but brief. He owned a drugstore. He was shook down for protection money, which he refused to pay. His store was burned to the ground, along with his wife and child. Ever since, he was kind of the bitter curmudgeon of the group (most of the time).
So we thought it would be fun to have someone be into him to make him uncomfortable. Plus, we get to write for Cole here, as he encouraged Mac to perhaps set up a date with this woman. Mac, after MUCH adieu, does in fact go on a date with her…BUT, as you will soon see from these pages, that is NOT how all this played out. The researcher had a more important role to fill in our little drama….although we didn't know it.
So after the events of the last scene, we move to the "stakeout" scene. What's fun about these are, again, we can get some fun banter between the characters. We got to use some of our original conversation from the "dating" idea above, but…
Also in this scene, is another famous "gadget" from the original tales: "The Belt Radio". Granted, not a very exciting name, but keep in mind that these stories were written in the early 1940's when radio was king….but also quite physically large. The idea of having a belt radio the size of today's cell phone was unheard of! All of the agents wore one of these on their belt.
In this case, without those radios, the fate of Mac and Cole would be a bitter end!
This is another unusual spin on the usual. Here we have our Justice Inc. guys, WITHOUT the Avenger, finding out that two of their members are in trouble. They have no law enforcement authority anymore, so they have to go in for the rescue without anyone but themselves.
Ok, it's time to get our group into action! We get to showcase a lot of things in this scene. We get Smitty in on the action, for one, and that's always fun as he has a very distinct style of fighting hand to hand. He literally likes to take two opponents and smash their heads together! And/or he also likes to use a fist and strike straight down on someone's head, like he's pounding in a yard stake! I can't imagine many bad guys recovered from such tactics, but hey, it's all fun and games! It's not like he was running with scissors!
Then, we get to see Josh in action, which is also fun. He is sneaky, and very very fast. He's pretty bold in his attack here, but he is a man of action. That is usually a surprise to his foes, as he tends to move rather slowly until its needed.
Nellie continues her actions of being a tough gal here. We get to see her marksmanship (second only to Rosabel), as well as her judo expertise.
And then the kicker, as Rosabel enters the scene…