Hawk & Croc Apocrypha: The Original InJustice City

InJustice City has a bit of a weird history to nobody but myself.

When Brandon & I quit doing Hawk & Croc for the first time, back in 2008, my original plan was to do a series that starred Hawk and Fire Raven. This is why I had them move to a new city, and called it “Justice City” at the end of the original H&C run. InJustice City was intended as a pun on the location’s name, both that it was corrupt (y’know, like, “injustice”) AND that the characters were, well, IN Justice City.

But then I got serious writers’ block, and ended up not doing the series right away. Instead, my cousin Alex Pickering got in touch with me and pitched what would eventually become Hawk & Kid.

Shortly after, I was approached by some local comic folks who asked if I wanted to be included in their then-upcoming anthology comic that would featured all Phoenix-area creators. Well, since Hawk was off having adventures with Kid America, I thought that doing a Fire Raven story in this anthology would be fun. It would just be a handful of extra pages each month, and my hope was that the anthology would both direct readers to the wider Hawk & Croc universe, as well as get the established H&C readers interested in the anthology comic, which might then help some of the other artists and writers get some attention. And hey, Raven was still In Justice City, so why not use that name for the series?

At least, that’s what I hoped would happen.

I ended up getting caught under the deadline crunch, so I was only able to complete two pages in time for the first issue. And then, between when I submitted those pages and the release of the comic, the folks putting the thing together had a falling out, the details of which I don’t remember (nor am I at liberty to publicize anybody else’s dirty laundry, even if I knew what it was). So there would be no more in-print Fire Raven story, there would be no cross-promotion. All of it just went away, like *poof!*

About 8 years later, I decided that I should finally finish the Fire Raven solo story, with Beth’s hair VERY inspired by the way artist Larry Stroman drew Polaris’ hair in his X-Factor run from 1991, but adapted for my style. And I kept the InJustice City name, in case someone came across that old anthology, I figured they could at least search for the series name.

Polaris by Larry Stroman

So here’s a side-by-side comparison of the first two pages from 2010, the left being the ones that saw print, and the right being the “remastered” pages of the complete version from 2018. Click on any of the four images to see them full-sized.

The “full” InJustice City story only ended up being 8 pages, which you can read in full over on HawkAndCroc.com — InJustice City

But nothing says that I couldn’t go ahead and add pages at a later date, right?