Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Damage #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

The New Age of Heroes Begins!

Storytellers: Tony S. Daniel and Robert Venditti
Inks and Colors: Danny Miki, Tomeu Morey

Release Date: January 17, 2018
Cover Price: $2.99

Well even though Dark Nights Metal hasn't quite wrapped up just yet, the books coming out of the event title are starting to trickle out. For reasons I can't quite comprehend or explain in words before I peaked at any previews or anything for these New Age of Heroes books coming, the concept art for Damage appealed to me the most. I immediately got on Twitter and marked my territory for the rights to review it with the boss man of clicks Jim. So here I am. What unfolds in the next 20 pages? Join me and find out.

P.S. - Don't worry there aren't any spoilers concerning Dark Knights Metal and its ending in this issue.

The story begins in a very Bruce Banner-esque fashion, albeit with a little different twist at hand, made clear immediately, and something I really really dig. See our ‘hero’ Damage is actually a military man named Ethan, who in his brief appearance at the beginning says “I joined the army to become a soldier. I don't want to be this!”. All while what appears to be Damage taunts him in his conscientiousness, before Ethan then turns into Damage, bursting out of the side of the airplane he’s in, at which point the countdown begins, which signals Ethan’s time as Damage ending, he has one hour. OK, I think I got it all … that was the first two pages folks, and I was sold on this book because it looks gorgeous on top of being intriguing off the bat. 

As Damage falls to Earth below, with a KOOOOM!, the military unit assigned to keep Damage in check, run by Major Liggett, reports to a Colonel Jonas, the plane is going down. Col. Jonas orders Liggett and company to eject and get clear, that another team is on the way, but Liggett has other ideas, puts on Armor, and heads out against Jonas' orders.

Damage begins rampaging through the city but is quickly confronted by Liggett, with Armor remember, who says “should’ve followed orders Ethan”, before firing on the asset he’s supposed to be recovering. Its very clear Liggett is actually jealous of Ethan, and his powers, stating he "should be Damage", before taking things a bit to far and getting smacked down to size by an enraged Damage, which shuts Liggett's Armor down leaving him defenseless.

Damage goes in for the kill, when a voice of reason, Ethan, chimes in saying he can help Damage, as Liggett pleads for his life. Liggett, a true piece of shit, takes the growing conscience in Damage as a sign of weakness, taunting the monster again as he walks away. Ethan chimes in again, as Damage is about to just cause mindless destruction on the streets of ATL, begging him to hide and get out of the area to buy, the seemingly united man/monster pairing, a bit of time away from the Army control.

The next morning we meet who was giving the orders on the team's comm units, Col. Jonas, who looks a bit like Nick Fury Jr. and Amanda Waller procreated making a daughter. At the crash scene of the plane, she looks over the damage (pardon the pun), discovering there are no survivors, and Liggett is severely injured. 

The issue starts to wrap up with Jonas, going over aloud to herself, bits of her idea/plan behind this Damage program she’s running all before being confronted by none other than … Amanda Waller and Task Force XI, which connects this to larger continuity right away in an interesting way I’m down with. The issue wraps up with Ethan waking from his hiding slumber muttering how “we don't have to be a monster” to himself and I can't wait for more.

Overall, while the Hulk analogies are obviously present in the issue, there is more than enough interesting and different about Ethan/Damage as a character to flesh out, making it stand out from the Marvel counterpart, that I'm very interested in exploring further. 

This was as good of a #1 issue, for a brand new character, that I've read in a long time, which doesn't spill all the beans, and holds back just enough to not bog things down. I read the book multiple times, and is a quick read with some great splash pages, never hurt my enjoyment, and to be honest, I'll be buying a copy of the issue this Wednesday and will read it again, I liked it so much. Yes, it's not 100% original to be honest, but I've never let fresh life into an old concept deter me from trying something before, and this certainly does nothing to make me change my mind about that. Actually, it only makes me more interested in more of these New Age of Heroes books down the line this was done so well.

The art is also drop dead gorgeous, the design of Damage is awesome, and each and every page throughout the rest of the book looks as great as the cover image. None of this suck you in with a great cover, and average art on the inside, going on in this book. Everyone really outdid themselves on the interiors here, just another reason I can't wait for more.

Bits and Pieces:

I'm all in on Damage after issue #1 because this book has the perfect combination going for it so far of intrigue and action, all while looking beautiful on the page. I highly suggest you give this a shot, ignore the obvious Hulk comparisons, and dive in. This is as good a jumping on point for newbies as there may ever be and something that might reinvigorate long-time readers.  



  1. I liked it all the way up to the end. I thought the last thing that shows up was a really odd choice to bring in on the first issue. I'm also just kind of tired of them showing up in every damn book(at least it seems).

    1. Ya I just liked it wasn't the same team we've been seeing , and was referred to as XI.

  2. The different team is what did it for me also. I am more intrigued by the XI team line up then learning more about Damage though.

  3. I like damage just hope they dont hulk him (make him a dumb brute) with his time limit can make for a intersting character

    1. Sadly Mike I think that is what they are doing right out of the gate. I think I remember someone in the issue discussing Damage's inability to think ... or something ... while in that form. I can't swear to it, my memory is that bad, haha, but I think they did imply he has, at the very least, limited free will/brain power when Damage'd out.

    2. The monster Damage stopped destroying things and hid out for most of his appearance (time wise) when Ethan kind of talked him into hiding ... so the monster itself has a bit of free will at least, and a little personality too because its him talking in the dark bubbles to Ethan in the beginning.

  4. Didn't pick this up but look at that art . It is amazing . Obviously they are giving the artists here a lot of time to do a perfect job . This is what makes me mad though : why aren't they putting this effort into Justice League or Flash for example ? Instead new books and characters that won't go anywhere . Such a waste .

  5. I tried, honestly, to "... ignore the obvious Hulk comparisons ...", but couldn't do it. And as much as I am glad people seem to be enjoying this, I can't say that I did. I found the intro clumsy (is that three people falling? Just one? Yeah, it's just him, right?") and some of the dialog less than stellar.
    The art of course was beautiful, it was something to look at for sure, but that just didn't save the first issue for me.
    I will be trying at least one more issue, if not two, in the hopes that this book can grab me by the throat and pull me in, but for issue one ... I easily escaped its grasp.