"December, Nineteen Ninety-Three": A mysterious figure known as the Extremist goes to a Turkish bath house in the Russian Hill district of San Francisco. Targeting an overweight man in a sauna, the Extremist executes him by stabbing him in the chest with a dagger.
- I felt what it could feel like to be free. It's the costume. It liberates. It seduces. It rapes.
- -- Judy Tanner
Appearing in "December, Nineteen Ninety-Three"
- Calvin (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "December, Nineteen Ninety-Three"
A mysterious figure known as the Extremist goes to a Turkish bath house in the Russian Hill district of San Francisco. Targeting an overweight man in a sauna, the Extremist executes him by stabbing him in the chest with a dagger.
The Extremist returns home and sheds the black leather costume revealing a woman named Judy Tanner. Judy is relatively new to this role and has yet to become completely comfortable with the position she has taken. She reminds herself that she is doing this for "Jack". Jack Tanner is Judy's late husband and the man who previously assumed the role of the Extremist. The Extremist is an assassin employed by a secret society known as the Order. The Extremist's function is to protect the Order's interests and eliminate any who threaten to expose them to the outside world.
Judy receives a telephone call from one of her contacts, Patrick. Patrick instructs her to suit up and meet him at his club. This particular club is one of several that exists within the underbelly of San Francisco and is a den of debauchery, sadomasochism and hedonism. She meets Patrick who assures her that he will help her find the one responsible for murdering her husband.
First though, they have a job to do. One of the Order's clients suffered an "autoerotic accident" during a visit to one of the clubs, so Patrick and the Extremist must now bring his body back to his townhouse and disguise it so that it appears as if he committed suicide.
After cleaning up, Patrick invites Judy to participate in a game of American Roulette back at the club. Similar to Russian Roulette, American Roulette involves each participant being given their own handgun, only one of which contains a live bullet. Each player pays in a sum of money and takes turns placing the gun to their head, pulling the trigger and hoping that they are not holding the weapon containing the bullet. Obscured by the Extremist costume, Judy feels a bravery that she rarely experiences in her normal life. She picks up the gun, puts it to her temple and pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. Patrick however, is not so lucky. The gun fires, spraying his brains all over the wall.
Repulsed and overwrought by what she has seen, Judy leaves the club. On her way home, she sees a young woman and instinctively follows her back to her house. Something inside of her tells her that this woman is responsible for the death of her husband. Cornering the woman inside her house, she forces a confession from her. The woman knows certain secrets about Jack; things that only Jack and Judy would know. Judy kills her, but the taste of revenge is absent from her heart. She gains no satisfaction from killing this woman.
The following evening, Judy dresses in the costume and goes out towards one of the Order's territories. She has a startling encounter with Patrick. Dressed in a cowl and a large hat, Patrick reveals that he faked his death at the Roulette game with some cheap parlor tricks. He did it because he feels the need to "recreate himself" from time to time. Patrick wasn't sure about Judy's commitment to the Order before, but the fact that she returned proves to him that she is now ready to fully adopt the tradition of the Extremist. Patrick gives her a note and tells her to read it after he is gone. He leaves and returns to one of his many hideaways. Judy reads the notes and is shocked to learn that the woman she killed was actually innocent. It was Patrick who murdered Jack Tanner.
Enraged and betrayed, Judy tracks Patrick down. She brandishes her dagger, but Patrick is prepared to fight back. He taunts her by saying, "kill me or join me".
- The Extremist is a four-issue limited series published under DC's Vertigo format. It is intended for mature readers.
- Issue shipped with a variant Platinum Edition cover.
- The events from this issue take place on December 9th, 1993.
- Judy Tanner makes a chronologically earlier appearance in issue #2.
- The hand seen on page 1 belongs to Tony Murphy. This scene chronologically takes place during the flashback sequences revealed in issue #4. Tony is the man seen sitting on the steps outside Jack Tanner's apartment later in this issue.
- Jack Tanner is spoken of at length, but does not make an appearance until the flashback sequence from issue #2.
- Gregg appears next in Extremist #4.
- No trivia.
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