"Justice, Inc." is the first pulp magazine story to feature The Avenger. Written by Paul Ernst, it was published in the September 1, 1939 issue of "The Avenger” magazine.
This novel was re-published under its original title by Paperback Library on June 1, 1972.
Richard Henry Benson, aggressive, dominating, cold-eyed, self-made millionaire adventurer, forces himself and family onto a Buffalo/Montreal flight (mother-in-law is dying). He goes to the washroom and his wife and daughter vanish. The other passengers deny having seen them. A frantic Benson is subdued and hospitalized with "brain fever" and head trauma. Recovering, his face and hair are white, his flesh paralyzed and malleable. Investigating, he meets MacMurdie, who DID see Benson's family, and Smitty, who agree to assist him. Benson fights and overcomes Smitty using nerve pressure. Benson has a custom gun and knife (Mike & Ike), shoots to crease the top of the skull, is a master of disguise, and prefers maneuvering enemies into their own traps over killing. THE PLOT: a gang kidnaps wealthy Buffalo residents, drops them from a plane over Lake Ontario, and holds them prisoner on an island, all to get control of a Buffalo company. The three of them end the scheme, but Benson's wife and child are not found alive. The three form Justice, Inc. to bring criminals to justice.
A DC Comics title called Justice, Inc. began in (May–June 1975) and ran to issue #4 (November–December 1975). This series adapted the eponymous novel and continued with original stories which featured the Avenger and which took place during the time the original Avenger novels were released. Jack Kirby provided the artwork for issues #2–4. A two-issue limited series published by DC Comics in 1989 under the same title featured the Avenger and his agents in an updated, contemporary setting several years after their retirement.