Review: Justice For Hire #0
Justice for Hire #0 is the prologue and story lead in for the ongoing series of the same name. Created by Jan Lucanus and put out under Creative Impulse Entertainment is slated for 12 issues. The book is exciting. The pacing is frantic and gives you a sense of just how large Retribution Industry has become in one generation since it’s inception and original incarnation as Justice for Hire. The business model of the original generation is one of the paid vigilante; Code names Ebony and Ivory lobby as U.S. senator on behalf of their expanded business and their sons, now taking the lead in the family business. Issue #0 covers Retribution Industries current contracts, as well as the lead up to the legalization of Retribution as a private force for hire. The book does not skimp on the action and it’s apparent that the creators and artists are very interested in martial arts. This makes the importance of making the fights move as smooth and real as possible tantamount to the creative team. The book succeeds with flying colors in this regard. Justice for Hire doesn’t contain any more abhorrent violence than you would see in Preacher or The Punisher, but it isn’t the violence that troubles me.
My complaints are few, but weighty. Several times in the issue, the writer relies on pointing out and exploiting the ignorance of his readership. I’m not sure if this is an attempt to educate or degrade or simply to point out that these are real things that happened and not existing only in the world of the comic. Second, I’m not entirely comfortable with the ethical implications the book makes. There’s an idiom that goes, “when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.” Retribution Industry is backed by a Government ruling, allowing all their services to be purchased by whoever can afford them. This makes them, effectively, a team of hammers. We are told in the lead up that there will be procedures followed and standards enforced (including video recording) but can justice ever really be purchased? When all you need is money to get rid of a problem, the team could easily degrade into hit-men to the highest bidder. Does violence simply beget more violence? I don’t know if the creators are as concerned with these thematic messages as much as they simply want to put out a cool, tough fighting book. There is, of course, a big difference between justice and vengeance. A more apt title for the book would be “Vengeance for Hire.” Also, having not only one, but two generations of black and white partners named “Ebony and Ivory,” is not only trite, it’s laughable.
Issues #1-#4 have already been released online and I’m anxious to see this books evolution over it’s planned 12 issue run. If you’d like to check out an ass kicking, hard-hitting, action focused read check out Justice for Hire. And, If you’ll be at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Con (L.A. September 15th and 16th) come by the Geek Smash booth to talk with the books’ creator, Jan Lucanus.
Geek Smash Comic Rating: 78/100
About Jan Lucanus:
Jan Lucanus is the creator of JFH (Justice For Hire) and founder of CIE (Creative Impulse Entertainment). He is also a world class martial arts competitor and holds several International Championship titles in the sports of San Shou and T’ui Shou (Push Hands – Tai Chi combined with Judo and Greco-Roman Wrestling).