Comic Book Review: Damage #10
The last story arc was a solid chapter told of what it would take for this war to end for Ethan, and what will keep it going for Colonel Jonas. With that conclusion and inevitable confrontation with Colonel Jonas, once again we press forward on our toes for what the future holds for Damage in the DCU. We know he’s after the covert lab that created him, but that doesn’t mean the surprise won’t stop coming between him and that objective.
How this issue transitioned into Ethan and Damage’s next chapter was gut wrenching. They went looking for answers, and they got their answers for better or for worse. Even at this stage of the story, it mattered that Ethan had the drive to go through with his mission. Putting the proper images in his head of the missions he went through under Colonel Jonas’ orders was a great motivator. You couldn’t have asked for a better reaction which says a lot about the quality of storytelling here. This is what separates Damage from what readers wrongfully assumed was a copy of Hulk. Ethan may not approve of the things he has done when Damage took over, but he’s not someone who runs in fear of the monster within. He’s certainly not someone who looks to remove the monster either. He has this one hour and he makes use of of it, and in turn Damage gets to do what he does best for that one hour.
I was honestly thrilled when the time came for Ethan and Damage to finally make it to that lab. The action was of course something to look forward to, and of course it would be satisfying in that moment. However, it was the perspective and speech that Ethan had given which truly set the mood for what was about to be unleashed. You had to love the fire that burned within in him when also having the opportunity to see things with his own eyes. What could have been him, what unfortunately was the fate of others. There was nothing left but embrace for what they were created to do.
Now as I spoke of obstacles above, we knew that for this issue that would take the form of the Justice League. We knew the reason why, but what we weren’t prepared for was would would actually show up to confront Damage. Truthfully if they sent the actual team, I would have been worried. That fight would have been a wrap before it even began. It was clever that they called this a Justice League team, but shook up the combination of heroes sent after him. Still a formidable bunch that Damage will have to get through, but certainly not the one-sided fight that could have gone to the Justice League if they had some of the more godly members on their side. You could only be disappointed that there wasn’t an actual clash for this issue. They just hit us with a tease to make sure we are anticipating what comes next.
What’s not to love about the interior artwork for Damage? This art team gets what it is like to go crazy with a hulking monster. Everything involving Ethan is alright with the right consistency, but it is when you get to Damage unleashed where the fun begins. The detail they put into his design is always impressive. The wrinkles in his face that capture his rage, the texture of his upper body that consists of mini ridges, then you have this large mass of muscle that pops from the strong inks. Every action flowed into the next, and it helped add to the intensity of these scenes when certain panels are used to either overlap, take up its own space in the background, or take up a whole page for the sake of impact, It goes without saying that for the kind of monster that Damage is, it is always appreciated the way the lettering is handled. The screaming in bold and gradient colors, and the surplus of krak/boom/krunch which tell you how hard he is throwing those punches. That aside, I like the way these Justice Leaguers were drawn. They strived for their current looks without doing too much.
As the start to a new story arc, Damage #10 really gets us hyped up for what this new direction has in store for us. There’s putting an end to the Damage Program, and then there is getting through the Justice League. After his skirmish with Wonder Woman near the beginning, that attention was bound to come around for him again.