A new age of heroes has already begun at DC Comics and its lead character, Damage, is now on his third issue. After speaking to Tony S. Daniel last year at SDCC we were fully on board and so far we’ve liked what we’ve seen. Robert Venditti has been collaborating with Daniel and been able to make a secret operation seem relevant in the face of the Suicide Squad.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Even the unstoppable power of Wonder Woman herself is tested by the destructive might of the monster unleashed from Ethan Avery’s transformation into Damage! But when the Amazon Princess wraps the brutal beast in her Lasso of Truth, it reveals more than either expected to find!
Why does this matter?
The “New Age of Heroes” is also all about the art and it’s giving the artists the keys to do what they want. So far Daniel has shown he has the skills to make Damage big in scope with a movie blockbuster feel. If you like your comics detailed and in your face you’ll dig this.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
That’s going to leave a mark.
This issue opens with a key flashback revealing a moment where Colonel Jonas makes it quite clear Damage isn’t a weapon to be used by criminals, but by the government. He was created to save soldiers’ lives because he’s indestructible. It helps to remind readers he’s not another experiment to use for criminal acts, but an experiment to save lives. This helps create a quagmire as far as Damage being a victim because the man within the monster is unaware he’s killing even if it’s for good reason (in the government’s mind).
This immediately cuts to a no holds barred fight between Damage and Wonder Woman. Daniel gets to stretch his legs on this issue with some impressive double page layouts and spreads (with fantastic sound effects). The knock out double page layout involves Damage coming to realize the truth of his purpose and it’s effective. You’ll feel for the monster in this key moment of clarity.
The last few pages do a good job establishing where we go from here. This is the last issue in the arc, but Venditti does a good job establishing Colonel Jonas’ beef with Amanda Waller, Wonder Woman’s keen insight into Damage, and a possible superhero team getting involved with it all. If these first three issues aimed to set up the dynamics of the character and nothing else it has done its job.
Ready for battle.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Being an in your face visual story, this book reads very quickly. Much of it is Wonder Woman getting punched into next Tuesday or Damage rushing her in a rage. It’s not the most complex of books and really the details of the character and plot are pretty basic. It’s good that Daniel is drawing because much of the success of the book rests on the visuals. That said, it does grow tiresome to see Wonder Woman punched 100 yards again and again.
Is It Good?
Is the first arc of this series decompressed and not so giving in its level of details and progress? Yep, but it’s still a fun ride regardless. It’s safe to say these first three issues established the character well enough to have many coming back for more.