Comic Book Review: Damage #14
The start to this new story arc was clear and fairly to the point this time around. Who wouldn’t have wanted Ethan to take that next step to become a legitimate hero with the Justice League? Though it’s hard to argue with that kind of ascension needing to be earned first. Ethan was given a choice in what came next for him, and he chose doing things the hard way. You can/can’t fault him, but you also want to see him show a bit more growth too. The hope continues to be that this new experience for Ethan and Damage is a step in the right direction.
With this chapter of Damage, the bond between these two couldn’t be stronger. You would never have imagined that at this point they could ever be on the same page, but here we are and you couldn’t have asked for better for the sake of breaking the mold. Especially when in most cases you have the human afraid of his own shadow or the monster inside. Jumping straight into this chapter with Ethan steering the ship set the tone for that very reason alone. This of course isn’t to say that part of me wasn’t troubled with the decision that Ethan would be so rebellious in the face of notable heroes like Batman. Anyone would hate the idea of being caged or used by even heroes, but this was probably the safest he could have been since this series began. Now they find themselves on Monster Island where every move is either trying to dodge a fight or jumping straight into one.
Their first big monster confrontation was exciting because one would wonder why Damage would have anything to fear from these monsters. It was only questionable that anything could make them put as much effort into their hits as they did. They’ve faced Wonder Woman, Superman, and armies of monsters at the same time. You would think that any one of these monsters on their own would be no match, or at least something that can be taken out with one good punch.
Now this wouldn’t be as engaging of a story arc if there wasn’t at least someone else for these two to interact with. Who they chose this time around was the smart play when the answer has never been someone with status, rather than someone who Ethan can relate to. Connections matter more than anything else in the world of monsters. This person was definitely someone you wouldn’t know by name or appearance, but the twist of what this character is capable of was intriguing. Not the kind of power you see too often in current DC stories. Through this person it was also easy to understand just what this island was created for. That and why this had to be where they dumped a troublesome Ethan who is too willing to give in to the monster as his solution.
The interior work was solid for the action mostly. There wasn’t too much that stood out this time around, so there was mostly the marvel of what it looks like for Damage to take on something way outside of his weight class. Once again the efforts from Lopresti and Ryan could be seen through the many things they can have going on in a single page or panel. When a monster like Damage jumps into battle you want to see destruction and collateral damage, This island was the perfect place to show what a terrain can look like when everything is flying in every direction. Even the things he will toss himself at an enemy. Aside from this, the creation of these monsters continue to be unique in deign and ferocity. Hopefully they take these creations a step further in the next issue as well.
Damage #14 was a fast read, but got us to where we needed to be for Ethan to begin understanding where he has been going wrong in his concept of trust. This could all come from understanding what it really means to be a monster, or understanding that there might always bare a greater responsibility as a monster.