|“||Until the next battle, Stargirl.||”|
— Justin to Stargirl in ""
Justin presented as a mysterious and rather lurking janitor at Blue Valley High School who seemed to have his eye on Courtney Whitmore. His watchful eye turns to a surprising alliance when he saved her from Shiv. This valiant effort triggered his memory of a life before Blue Valley, and he set out to regain his mind by searching for his good friend and former teammate, Stripesy.
It is through Stripesy that Justin remembers his true identity as Justin, the Shining Knight, the former leader of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, and the wielder of Excalibur. He becomes an ally of the Justice Society and assists them in stopping the Injustice Society from launching a sinister plan to reprogram minds.
Justin lived during the ages of knights and dragons, where he worked as a loyal page at the stables in Camelot. It was here that King Arthur, who laid on his deathbed, called upon Justin. King Arthur gifted Justin the magnificent sword of Excalibur. Justin handled the sword with honor and grace. He had many adventures and shared his stories with those he befriended.
Justin later founded the Seven Soldiers of Victory where he befriended the Star-Spangled Kid and his sidekick, Stripesy. Justin became close with Stripesy, whom Justin confided in and they formed a strong friendship. The group fought Dragon King in New York when Dragon King wanted to destroy the city. Once Dragon King retreated into hiding, the Soldiers went their separate ways and scattered across the country. Despite being disbanded, Justin was intent on slaying the Dragon and followed him to Blue Valley. Justin was ambushed and fell to Dragon King, who then used science to erase Justin's memories and alter his identity. Instead of being a valiant soldier, Justin was reduced to a meek, friendless janitor at Blue Valley High School.
Courtney Whitmore arrives at Blue Valley High School for her first day, and is noticed by the school janitor, who is mopping floors. As she is leaving school, she misses the bus and is exasperated. The same janitor is outside during these events, and she notices him looking at her, so she gives him a forced smile.
The day after Stargirl's fight against Brainwave, BVHS students take note of the destroyed front sign. Justin is cleaning up the remaining debris with his broom despite the students gathering around the sign and, subsequently, him. Courtney makes a point to walk straight ahead, though she accidentally makes eye contact with the janitor who watches her walk by.
A few days later, Beth Chapel is eavesdropping on Yolanda Montez and Courtney Whitmore's conversation about recruiting new JSA members. Once Yolanda and Courtney are gone, Beth turns around and slips on the wet ground in front of the janitor where he was mopping. He warns her to be careful as there are dragons in the water. She smiles widely at him and walks away. He watches her leave with a thoughtful look on his face, before returning to work.
In the week that follows, Justin is mopping the floors when Cindy turns around and collides with the janitor. He accidentally mops over her white shoes causing her to drop her books. She exclaims in shock, but he picks up her books and hands them to her. He remarks that there are no books so bad that there isn't something worth learning in them. Cindy ignores his remark and then berates him. She knocks the mop out of his hands as she storms off. Courtney darts over to help him and picks up the mop, placing it back in his eye. He, in turn, responds “thank you m'lady.” She smiles at him then walks away awkwardly.
He returns to the janitorial closet and closes the door. As he makes his way over to the wall he passes a silver chalice on the stand. He places his fingers on a golden horse calendar as the sound of horses whinnying echoes. He goes to the mirror and touches his curled beard, almost as if he is confused. He then returns to work, passing by a silver and gold sword with amber stones that rest between the mops.
The Homecoming football game that night is the center of a showdown between Shiv and Stargirl. Justin is cleaning the floors when Stargirl passes behind him with the Cosmic Staff. While he doesn't see her, he does sense that someone is behind him, as he stops mopping and looks up. A few minutes later, Stargirl and Shiv are brutally fighting. Shiv eventually gains the upper hand and is about to deliver a finishing blow when Janitor Justin arrives and blocks her strike with his sword. He then knocks her aside with his sword and stands over Stargirl as Shiv falls to the ground. Stargirl's vision is blurry so she can hardly make out his figure, but she hears him say that until death there is only life, before she passes out.
When the Cosmic Staff returns with Pat who tends to a brutally banged-up Stargirl, the mysterious janitor is hiding in the shadows and remarks to himself, “Stripesy…?”. He then slips away into the darkness, choosing not to reveal himself. When Shiv returns home, she explains to her father someone else was at her fight with Stargirl. This person stopped Shiv from killing Stargirl, but she couldn't see who it was.
As day breaks, Justin is cleaning the halls of BVHS when he begins to look at his mop carefully. He holds it horizontally and admires it. The morning light shines on the mop and for a moment, the mop begins to glow. He looks down in astonishment to see that it has turned into a shining rod. He admires the rod then suddenly drops it as pain courses through his head. When he looks down the rod is once again a mop. He picks it up from the ground and shakes off the hallucination before returning to work.
Justin travels to a horse ranch in the outskirts of Blue Valley where he attempts to speak to a farmer about finding his horse. The horse was a white steed with fire in its eyes, but the farmer angrily tells Justin to leave him and his horses alone as this isn't the first time Justin has bothered him. Justin is emotional and confused and falls to the ground when the farmer advances at him, calling him a freak. Justin stands and stumbles around the street as he notes that something is wrong with his mind. He flashes back to hallucinating the cosmic staff muttering that he can't remember and doesn't know why. He mumbles about wounds suffered in battle before looking at a windmill that glints in the sunshine. This causes him to remember having seen someone's lance, flashbacks of him saving Stargirl in the gym fill his mind. He recalls the glint of the Cosmic Staff as it passed him. He then remembers seeing Stripesy, hallucinating his friend in his STripesy attire smiling and waving at Justin. Stripesy gestures at Justin to follow him and Justin smile widely, remarking that Stripesey will help him. He is then almost run over by a bus entering Blue Valley. He clutches the sides of his head in pain.
Justin returns to Blue Valley High School where his headaches intensify. He clutches the sink before looking into the mirror and staggering backward in fear. He hallucinates one of Dragon King's red-cloaked minions, though the figure is gone seconds later. He turns his attention to his calendar that has a white horse on it. He touches the photo before picking up his hat. He notices a Pit Stop flyer under it that has Pat Dugan's face on it. He recognizes him as Stripesy. Justin quickly picks up his sword and hurries out of the room in pursuit of Stripesy.
He arrives at the garage and expresses his desire for help, with Beth recognizing him as their school janitor. He calls to Pat as Stripesy, asking if that is really him with Pat confused as to who the man is. Justin approaches Pat emotionally saying he needs his help. He suddenly hallucinates the trio for Dragon King and his minions. Pat holds Rick and Beth back telling them not to attack as he thinks he knows the man. Justin is eventually calmed down by Pat. He breaks down again, pleading for help, and cries out that they destroyed everything he was. Beth asks who he is, and Pat answers back that Justin's the strongest, bravest men he's ever known. He whispers to Justin that they'll take care of him.
Rick looks at on old picture of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, dubious that their leader, the Shining Knight, is huddling in front of him. Pat hands Justin the picture, urging him to remember who he is. Rick reminds him he tried to attack them with a sword, to which Justin angrily names it "Excalibur". Pat wants him to retell the story of how he got the sword. Honored, Justin recounts his past a "lowly but loyal" stableboy who was called to King Arthur's death bed. King Arthur bestowed his sword Excalibur upon Justin giving him wise words that, "heroes can come from anywhere". Beth asks is he's from the past, to which Justin replies he was from the time of dragons and knights. Pat tells him he's the best storyteller he's known and asks how he got to Blue Valley. Justin says he was following the dragon, alone, as the dragon needed to be slain. He was captured, and they stole his identity from him. In a fit, he announces they'll steal it from them all. Suffering another relapse, he asks where he is, but Pat tells him he's safe. Justin, noticing S.T.R.I.P.E., declares that while his glory days might be behind him, Pat has built himself a fine suit of armor.
Justin was later taken to Pat's house where he fell asleep on the couch with a light blanket over his body. Barbara Whitmore, Pat's wife, remarked that Justin can stay in the guest room until Pat can figure out how to help his friend. Barbara leaves to get the guest room ready for Justin. That evening, Justin sneaks downstairs late that night and finds the basement where he witnesses Courtney picking up the Cosmic Staff again. He marvelously states that their "Queen has risen".
He continues to be present in the Dugan-Whitmore's life, even showing up to their cabin in which they retreated to after their home was attacked. His delayed arrival gave everyone a scare, as they weren't sure who to expect. Justin greeted his new friends by proclaiming that he brought a feast that is fit for Kings and Queens. He is greeted happily by Max, whom Justin refers to as a loyal steed whilst petting him.
That night, Justin finds Rick working alone and attempts to reach out to the boy by asking what he's reading. Rick fills Justin in on his father's journal, and that he knows the answer to finding the ISA is in the journal. He just can't figure out the last few numbers as the numbers aren't birthdays. Justin examines the journal and tells Rick that all things reveal themselves in due time. Rick sighs stating that he has until morning to figure it out - eight hours, to be exact. He asks if Justin has any ideas and the man zones out for a few seconds. He then briskly nods stating that he's going to clean the bathroom. He scurries off leaving a depleted Rick hard at work.
As the team learns about the underground tunnels, Justin sweeps up the cabin floor and tends to the cabin. He is assigned to Rick and Yolanda who will enter the tunnels from Cindy Burman's house in the hopes of getting to the ISA's machine in time to destroy it. Justin follows the children's lead but is affected by Brainwave's mental hold due to Project: New America happening faster then they thought. Rick and Yolanda look at Justin whose eyes flicker with static as he stares off into the distance at nothing.
Now under the manipulation of Brainwave, Justin continues to stare off at nothing while Yolanda and Rick try to break Brainwave's hold. Yolanda urges him to remember who he is, calling him the Silent Knight, earning a sharp correction from Rick that his name is the "Shining Knight". Yolanda shakes it off asking how she's supposed to know that. Beth and Chuck work to break Justin and Pat free and when they do, Justin is confused for a moment. Yolanda asks if Justin is back to normal, and Justin centers his sword claiming that he is now free to slay the dragon. He stalks forward his sword pointed ahead. Rick looks after Justin and exchanged a puzzled look with Yolanda. Rick claims that Justin is back to his normal.
The trio arrives in Dragon King's lair and greets Stargirl and STRIPE. They prepare to enter the machine room when Tigress's voice calls out to them. The team assembles and faces off with Icicle, Sporstmaster, Tigress, and Dragon King. Justin is ready to attack but follows Stargirl's lead as they charge into battle. The groups collide with Justin fighting off whoever comes at him. He targets Dragon King and they engage in a vicious sword fight. When their swords are pinned against a door Dragon King gloats that Justin only came back to die. Justin retorts that one of them is going to die today, but it won't be him. He kicks Ito and they resume their battle. Dragon King gains the upper-hand when he kicks Justin to the ground and steps on Justin's sword. Dragon King is about to strike down at the defeated man when Shiv stabs Dragon King through the chest.
Once Justin recovers his battle, he witnesses Hourman fighting Solomon Grundy but stays out of the fight as he knows Grundy is Hourman's dragon to slay. Hourman lets Grundy go which is when Justin emerges, commenting that Rick allowed the beast to escape. Hourman brushes it off, blaming that his hour of powers was up. He then ushers Justin along saying that they have to find the others. Justin takes a moment to think about what just happened before following Hourman's lead outside the building where they meet with Beth. Justin makes sure that Beth is okay then looks up at the top of the building where they witness Stargirl battling Icicle.
The fight reaches the ground when Stargirl and Icicle are thrown from the roof. Justin prepares to fight Icicle who is about to attack when Mike Dugan speeds down the street and smashes into Icicle. Mike slams on the breaks and looks to the team who each have specific reactions to the feat. Justin is very excited and proud of Mike, even proclaiming "aye lad" in response to Mike asking if this means he can be in the JSA. With the battle over, Justin relaxes and greets the children with pride, even petting Max.
With the dragons slain and Blue Valley safe once again, Justin packs up his truck and prepares to leaves his friends. Mike asks why he's bringing a bunch of junk with him, junk which Justin claims is all that he has for now. The items included a "wet floor" sign along with mops and brooms. Pat asks where he's going but Justin isn't sure. He believes he failed as he wasn't the one who slew the dragon, and was no help to the JSA. Pat assures Justin that this isn't true, telling him that they never would have figured out the ISA's plan if it weren't for him. He tells him to stay positive as there will be other dragons to slay. Justin ponders this and smiles at the thought, realizing that there will be others. He then states that he's going to find his horse, and maybe the other soldiers. Pat requests that Just keep in touch, as Pat would like to see the other soldiers one day. Justin agrees and looks to Courtney, telling her, "until the next battle, Stargirl" with a smile. She returns the sentiment as he climbs into his truck and drives off.
Justin presented himself as a mysterious and quiet man who stays to himself. He is ominous and seemed to be watching Courtney and potentially, Beth Chapel. He is wise and speaks in what can be perceived as riddles or old dialects. He is kind yet odd. He is also brave as he didn't hesitate to save Stargirl even if meant going against Shiv. Saving Stargirl triggered something in his mind and the amnesia that Dragon King gave him began to wear off as his memories tried to push through. It began as hallucinating the Cosmic Staff but progressed gradually to a desire to find his lost steed. He began to exhibit honorable qualities despite his meek demeanor and inability to stand up for himself against a common farmer, even though he was deemed a freak by the man.
Justin stayed true to his honorable intentions and wanted to continue his mission of regaining his memories despite having been wounded. He was incredibly confused and hallucinated Stripesy gesturing to him, which he then knew meant that the man he once knew could help him. He didn't hesitate to seek Pat out, but when he arrived, his mind began hallucinating again. This time, Dragon King and his minions, which struck fear in the man. He was overcome with emotion and, upon the hallucination ending, broke down in front of Pat while begging the man for his help.
Justin is a middle-aged man with a haggard appearance. He has a long, graying brown beard and thin hair that is covered by a dull grey hat. He is only seen in a green BVHS janitor employee jumpsuit. As time goes on Justin is outside of BVHS where his hair is shown to be longer with touches of blonde highlights and a blonder beard.
During his time as the Shining Knight, Justin wore a suit of knight's armor which included chainmail, armored boots and gloves, a helm, and a tunic over his armor. Additionally, he was much more well-groomed, having little if any facial hair.
- Longevity: Justin had been alive for over 1000 years, yet showed no signs of his advanced age. His physical condition was also not affected by his age.
- Master Swordsman: Being a knight from the time of King Arthur, Justin has centuries of combat experience, both as a knight and a hero. His skill is such that even in a weakened state he was able to quickly overpower Cindy Burman despite her having super strength.
- Excalibur: This gilded sword was once wielded by King Arthur before being passed onto Justin. It has a silver hilt with amber jewels on it. The blade is also silver with an ancient Celtic cross at the bud of the blade, along with ancient engravings and designs. It is a long and silver sword that he uses in combat. He stores it in the janitor closet of Blue Valley High School. Despite its age, it is still a very effective weapon, easily cutting through Dragon King's staff.
- Silver Chalice: This ancient silver chalice appears to made of hard metal with ancient markings in the center of the cool metal. He stores the chalice in the janitor closet of Blue Valley High School.
Additional Season 1 appearances include a photograph in "".
Notes and Trivia
- Geoff Johns teased that Janitor Justin might play a larger role later in the series, hinting that the comics are important for his character. However, the comic material does include spoilers for the character, so Geoff refused to comment further.
- Justin often quotes Don Quixote, a fictional 1605 character who read so many chivalric romances that he lost his mind and decided to become a knight-errant. Justin quotes Don Quixote in "" after saving Stargirl from Shiv.
- Justin was able to recognize Stripesy while the latter was in his civilian attire.
- In the DC comics, Justin is also known as Sir Justin, the Shining Knight. He was a knight of King Arthur's Court until he was frozen and found by a museum curator. He later joined the Seven Soldiers of Victory and the All Star Squadron. He also is an ally of the JSA and S.T.R.I.P.E.
- In the comic Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #11, Shining Knight learned that the Dragon King slew his true love Firebrand. The Knight sought revenge but was defeated by the Dragon King and subjected to a brain-washing process. The Knight's will was too strong to be utterly subverted, but the process left him an amnesiac. He took a job at Blue Valley High as a school janitor under the name "Justin".
- In "", Yolanda mistakenly called Justin "Silent Knight". In the comics, Silent Knight's real identity was Brian Kent, one of Hawkman's reincarnations from the 6th century and one of the Knights of the Round Table.