We’re happy to announce the triumphant return of the FIRST independently published super-team in comics! This site will continually be something of a “work in progress”, with new information, features and art added as it becomes available…so check back often.
The Justice Machine is fondly remembered as one of the most popular comic titles of the 1980s.
Created by Mike Gustovich, the original Justice Machine debuted from Noble Comics in 1981 at the very dawn of the independently-published comic era.
The Justice Machine series told of the adventures and various tragedies befalling the six super-powered members of a law enforcement agency from the planet Georwell, an alternate Earth.
The Noble comics Justice Machine title lasted for five issues and several notable creators contributed to it during its five-issue run—Terry Austin, John Byrne and Bill Reinhold among others.
In 1983, the even more short-lived Texas Comics published The Justice Machine Annual #1 which featured a crossover with the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. Bill Willingham’s Elementals made their first appearance as a back-up feature.
The Machine next reappeared in 1986 when Comico published The Justice Machine Featuring The Elementals four-issue series. After that, The Justice Machine became one of Comico’s flagship titles, lasting a respectable 29 issues and an annual.
Innovation picked up the Machine in 1989, reintroducing them as The New Justice Machine in a three-issue mini-series. The creative team of best-selling SF writer Mark (James Axler) Ellis and artist Darryl (Green Lantern) Banks set about streamlining the title and scaling away some of the barnacles that had accrued during its history.
With the approval of Mike Gustovich, Ellis and Banks gave the Machine a new setting, new characters, new costumes, new problems and even introduced a new member–Krista Klay AKA Chain. Ellis developed a new direction for the title, very different from the previous versions.
After producing the mini-series and most of the issues of the regular series, the Ellis/ Banks creative team moved to Millennium Publications and collaborated on such critically acclaimed series as The Wild, Wild West and the best-selling Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.
When Innovation’s license on the Justice Machine expired, Mike Gustovich contacted Ellis and offered to sell him all rights to the characters and concepts.
After purchasing the Justice Machine property in 1991, Ellis planned a new series but only two issues were produced before the comics market crashed.
Despite many inquiries and entreaties from publishers and fans alike, the Justice Machine has not been seen since late 1992 except for a well-received TPB compilation published in 2009.
But fans seemed to know that it was only a matter of time before Georwell’s refugee heroes would appear again. And now, with the pending release of The Justice Machine: Object of Power graphic novel, that time has finally come.
In The Justice Machine: Object of Power, the team returns in a very big way, courtesy of Bluewater Productions.
“I was a fan of this series as I started collecting comic books in the 1980’s and I could not be happier to have them and Mark as part of the Bluewater family,” said Bluewater Productions publisher Darren G. Davis. “Yes, we do fiction books…from Logan’s Run, to the 10th Muse and William Shatner’s TekWar and Justice Machine is a perfect fit.”
“I’d been looking for the right opportunity to revive the Machine,” Ellis said, “but I was a little picky. After all, I’ve owned the Justice Machine property even longer than Mike Gustovich and I felt it had an enduring cachet that should be respected. Dynamite Entertainment made two offers, but accepting either one meant losing all creative control. I cared too much about the characters and concepts to have allowed that to happen.”
The official release date for full-color, 100 page The Justice Machine: Object of Power graphic novel is June 4th, 2014. It and the ebook edition can be ordered here:
“This is the perfect time for The Justice Machine to return,” says Ellis, “particularly considering the popularity of super-hero teams in movie blockbusters like The Avengers and The X-Men …like I’ve been saying for years–The gears of the Machine will keep rolling.”
The Justice Machine TM, trademark and copyright 2013 by Mark Ellis. The Justice Machine, their distinctive likenesses, logos and all related characters are registered copyrights and trademarks of Mark Ellis.
Art on this page is by: Jeff Slemons, Eddy Newell, Bill Reinhold, Mike Gustovich and Bill Willingham