Hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement that Dynamite is relaunching The Spirit with writer/artist Matt Wagner, it looks like the publisher is once again expanding its line with another unexpected revival. This time, it's Justice, Inc., starring The Avenger --- Paul Ernst's frozen-faced pulp hero --- making a return to comics in a series by Mark Waid and Ronilson Freire.

The Avenger is Richard Benson, a millionaire adventurer who undergoes a traumatic transformation when his wife and daughter are killed, leaving him with grey skin and paralyzed facial muscles, so that he's unable to show any emotion. The upside, though, is that he gains the ability to shape his features into any disguise he chooses; an asset that he employs to brutal effect as he seeks his vengeance.

According to Dynamite's press release, this is something Waid has been looking forward to for a long time:


"Moreso than The Shadow, moreso than Doc Savage, the Avenger has always, always been my favorite pulp hero, and I've been aching to write this story since I was eleven years old. What a blast! Having the opportunity to dive into the psyche of a crimefighter as unique as Benson has been a lifelong dream - I've been thinking about what his life and mind would be like ever since I read my first Avenger paperback back in the day. How does a man live his life when he has nothing to live for but justice? How does he navigate in a world of life and love and joy when his own features are frozen and stiff like putty, mirroring his cold, dead insides? There's so much here to unpack."


Comics readers may be familiar with the Avenger --- not to be confused with the Avengers, the other Avengers, or Birdman's bird --- from his appearances in DC's Justice, Inc. from the '70s, a run that Dynamite is acknowledging with Alex Ross's homage cover to Joe Kubert's cover for the original. See the covers below, and a few pages of Freire's interior art.


Justice, Inc. #1, cover by Alex Ross 
Justice, Inc. #1, cover by Barry Kitson
Justice, Inc. #1, cover by Walter Simonson