After David Burell was injured in a mountain climbing accident, his father kidnapped him and hired the gadgeteer supervillain Cyberlord to equip Burell with cybernetic limbs. Burell went on to become Justiciar, the leader of the Canadian superteam Starforce.
David Burell had it all – good looks, intelligence, athletic ability, and a family fortune that could pay for a life of privilege and comfort that most people only dream of. But none of that mattered to David – he'd rather be climbing a mountain than standing atop the pillars of the business world. Drawn to a life of adventure in the great outdoors, he gave up his place in the family corporation to climb the mountains he loved, and found joy and peace among the snowy peaks. David was climbing Mount Assiniboine with a friend when an ice sheet gave way. David plunged more than fifty feet, landing on a ledge and breaking his back. Paralyzed and helpless, David begged for death. Instead, he was rescued, but in addition to his other injuries David lost a leg and a hand to hypothermia. After years of rehabilitation, David learned to walk again. He found new purpose as a crusader for the rights of the disabled and looked upon his prosthetics as a badge of honor. The one person who couldn't accept David's new life was his father. A powerful and close-minded man who wouldn't accept having a "damaged" heir, the elder Burrell spent millions to hire the supervillainous cybernetic genius Cyberlord to "fix" his son. Cyberlord kidnapped David and placed him in a stasis field for the procedure. The implantation of a cybernetic leg and arm were a success, but when the operation was complete, David remained in a coma. His father hounded Cyberlord night and day to solve the problem, until one day Cyberlord agreed. He then promptly slaughtered the man for his insolence, dumped David into cyrostorage and put the entire incident behind him. Problem solved.
More than a decade passed, and David was forgotten. During an attack on Cyberlord's lab by the Northern Guard, a stray misfire of electricity ran through the cryotanks. Groggy and disoriented, David staggered out of the tank with a strange violent streak that had never been a part of his gentle personality. He helped the heroes defeat the villains, but Cyberlord was killed in the battle.
David soon discovered that his father was dead, and that he was now the head of Burrell Industries. He sued for guardianship of Cyberlord's orphan son, Circ, and did his best to pick up the pieces of his life again. David realized that he had a willingness to fight for what was right, and that his cybernetic implants gave him the power to be a superhero. He took the name Justiciar after the lawgivers of old, joined the Northern Guard and embarked on a heroic career.
In 1999, Justiciar discovered that the cryogenic process started by Cyberlord was not over; his body went into a hibernation cycle that lasted for years. Thanks to Circ's efforts Justiciar was reawakened, to find that his child ward had grown into an intelligent young man with his father's disturbing affinity for machines. The two formed a partnership, and Circ's inventions have restored the fortunes of Burrell Industries. When asked to be leader of the Toronto-based superteam StarForce, Justiciar readily agreed. He has led the team ever since, but remains disappointed that Circ refuses to be his partner in the superhero business as well.