Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Damage Annual #1 Review

There Can Only Be One!

Writer: Robert Venditti
Art Team: Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, Hi-Fi
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Cover Price: $4.99

Well, the first New Age of Heroes annual is upon us, one week ahead of schedule, before the actual annuals usually release on the fifth week on the month. Is this a way for DC to get the book some publicity? Is the story so good they couldn't wait to release it? Do we get the answers we've finally been waiting for? Let's jump right into Damage and see what this early surprise has in store.

To be honest, if you've read any of the previous efforts with Damage's name printed across the front of the comic book this issue has a very been there done that feel throughout the entirety of the book.  On top of that, there just isn't a whole lot to break down that occurs within the pages of this issue, especially with almost half the page count being dialogue-free, just filled with a monster fight.

There is one revelation, I guess you could call it, that is spilled this issue as we essentially get an origin scene between Ethan and Jonas. Jonas recruits Ethan to the Damage program, in a mildly enjoyable scene, but any other moment the issue strives for rings hollow when the readers following this series have mostly already filled in these blanks long ago through natural story development. 

The rest of the issue is dominated by Damage fighting monsters similar in nature to himself, but even uglier.  Since the issue is entirely told in a flashback nature, there just isn't any moment in the issue you're concerned with Ethan's or Damage's well being, really taking the stakes out of what may have otherwise been a more intriguing issue.

Overall, we're treated to a flashback centered issue that revolves around Damage's origin, and a turning point moment for the character when 'the voices' started interacting.  However with a lot of the reveals and stakes to the issue is limited, because of the nature of the story, a lot of the answers to things readers are already well aware of, taking away much of the importance of the story making it something very difficult to recommend at the price tag it carries.

The art is actually some of the best in the Damage book since Tony Daniels left the title.  However even despite great efforts on their part, it doesn't push the book into the buy category.

Bits and Pieces:

The Damage Annual takes place in entirely flashback scenes, making the books stakes very limited, while not revealing much followers of the series wouldn't already know.  The art does it's best to distract one from whats occurring but doesn't make the issue worth a look. This should have been the series introduction and feels more aimed for new people to jump on.


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