Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Damage #3 Review

Damage #3 Review

Storytellers: Tony S. Daniel, Robert Venditti
Art: Tony S. Daniel, Danny Miki, Tomeu Morey
DC Comics
Release Date: March 21, 2018
Cover Price: $2.99

Damaged Goods

These New Age of DC Heroes titles have been an interesting way to start the year, with ties to a story that has yet to completely wrap up.  However, I personally have been enjoying them all on varying levels, but Damage tends to, for whatever reason, catch my interest the most, possibly because of my love for Tony Daniel. So without further ado lets discuss Damage #3, as the character continues his tour to introduce himself to the various cast members of the DC Universe.

We open the issue again with flashback to the very first time Ethan/Damage was used as a tool by the military. Col. Jonas is beyond impressed that the Damage experiment exceeded all expectations and foresees a bright future as Ethan lay on a stretcher recovering. The little we've got of Col. Jonas so far has her coming off as a ruthless, do anything, military type and she scares me so I feel for poor Ethan.

Present day, picks up on our cliffhanger from last issue as Wonder Woman confronts Damage, after he easily dispatched the Suicide Squad within three minutes last issue.  Ethan does his best as he tries to calm the brute Damage down from the inside, during this fight, while also throwing the reminder out there that with only five minutes left he'll soon be out of time, and out of luck, dealing with Wonder Woman.  After playing with how quickly Damage can do his damage in previous issues its nice to see a reverse effect finally taking place here in this one.

Most of the bulk of the middle of the issue is a beautiful slug fest between the two warriors back and forth with nobody really getting the upper hand over the other but causing plenty of damage in the process.  The fact is also laid out there that this fight has been going on between the two for quite a long time, running Damage's clock all the way down from the time he was still dealing with the Squad, to the point he has only 5 min left before he turns back to Ethan.

The issue hits its turning point when Wonder Woman finally manages to get her Lasso of Truth around Damage.  This moment reveals to the monster/Ethan how they were used by Jonas as nothing more than a tool to do her bidding, and take lives, while also spilling the beans to Wonder Woman that there is a man on the inside of the raging beast.

With the clock in its final minute Damage's sheer will and strength busts him free from the lasso, shocking then ramming Wonder Woman into a building, managing to bide enough time to escape and fight another day, as Wonder Woman vows to "find you (Damage) again".

The story begins its cliffhanger by setting up the next arc. Amanda Waller, looking for a weakness to Damage may have a lead, but shes interrupted and sucked into a dick measuring contest with Col. Jonas again. Then the issue closes for good as find out where Ethan's next move is too, with the big bombshell being, the Justice League is alerted to the fact Damage is something they'll have to soon deal with ... so yeah Batman's on the case with his squad now, NOT GOOD.

Overall, you can really boil down the first arc of Damage to a ton a beautiful pictures, some go to guest stars, and setting up the sheer basics of the character (strengths, weaknesses, side characters, and limitations) at work here. With that being said Ill be damned if I didn't really enjoy it, with this issue possibly being the strongest, of the three so far.

The series has setup a good foil in Col. Jonas, who has enemies of her own, given the hero a few sets of problems to deal with and sort out, and although artistically may take a dip when Daniel leaves, has looked excellent so far doing all that. So I have to firmly say if your a fan of action comics at all, like I am, I recommend you check out the first arc (only three issues) of Damage, I think you'll dig it, and its a good starting point for the New Age of Heroes line-up, if you have a passing interest.

Is there a lot of fighting in this title ... yes, I acknowledge that complaint. However, there's also enough compelling stuff in the first three issues here to hold my interest and keep me returning. I would like to see some of what I find interesting, besides the fights, addressed more head on in coming issues though and see some of the action, which looks top notch, take a back seat just for some larger forward progress at points, but all in all this gets my stamp of approval.

Bits and Pieces :

Damage #3 comes in with another strong effort, and while very heavy on action, manages to be compelling enough to keep me coming back.  Ethan/Damage, and the cast around them, have a lot of issues to sort out and deal with on their plates all setup in this quick three issue arc and I look forward to seeing that dealt with. Despite all I like I would eventually like to see the creators tackle some of the plot points more going forward and dial the fighting back just a touch but its still a lot of fun.


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