Comic Book Review: Damage #5
This new trouble that Ethan and Damage have found themselves in is another unique experience that this creative team is taking full advantage of through the challenges of being a monster in the DC Universe. He’s faced down heavily armed soldiers, the Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and now Poison Ivy. A legit villain you don’t simply win against in a game of brute strength. After the mess that Damage got himself tangled in, it might take a miracle to get out of this one before that hour runs out.
Seeing how Damage was brought down by Poison Ivy was quite the shocker. Her connection to The Green is stronger than ever, but even then you wouldn’t have thought that she could handle a monster with such raw power at its disposal. Surely anyone who hasn’t ceased the endless comparisons to the Hulk has thought again when there is a difference in power. Where this defeat takes him was a good step forward since you also want to address what happens if Damage can’t get the job done within that span of an hour. The downtime that Ethan had to reflect on what happened was one of the most engaging moments we have had so far in this series. When there’s no need for smashing, this is our time to get to know Ethan and what makes him tick. It helped that he had someone to express his concerns about what he wanted, what he got that was more than he bargained for, and what he aims to accomplish with this freedom.
Speaking of powers above, I’m glad that the small flashback this issue gave us more insight into what exactly the Damage program is. Everything started to make sense when remembering what other hero had this kind of capability to harness such power for an hour at a time. Uncovering these secrets may be troublesome for Ethan, but for right now I think it was smarter for us to come to an understanding first. Till then, it is also exciting to follow Ethan as he tries to tame a monster that has a mind of its own and only one objective in mind when unleashed. In the same sense, Poison Ivy is explored as well. You could see why she was chosen of all villains when apparently her condition is familiar. Personally not sure if what was seen was always a thing, though all the same fitting. This might play a bigger role down the road which I can only hope for, or else the effort they are putting into her motivations could be seen as meaningless.
It was a bit confusing to see that they decided to change-up the art team so soon. Up to this point I could consistently say that the artwork was the best thing that this series had going for it. The change in quality wasn’t drastic, but it was definitely noticeable. With that said, Diogenes Neves and Allen Passalaqua did solid work all things considered. Neves in particular was the subject of focus here when there was expectations for him to meet. I would say he satisfied through the same detail and attention that he put into his pencils. It did help to have Trevor Scott on board doing inks. The inking for the most part helped to add depth, and very useful when there are a lot of plants involved in any given scene. When you aren’t trying to draw every single vine or stalk, the inks add that division between them with more ease. As for Passalaqua on colors, very impressive work when it came to the scenes involving Damage and Poison Ivy in particular. Everything was for the most part okay till it came to the style put into setting the scene for them. The reds and greens more importantly stood out as there was more layers to them beyond single shades. I was only a big disappointed by the way that Gorilla Grodd was drawn. He looked more like an oversized monkey than an imposing gorilla. The only way to have known that was him was to follow the conversation which is a problem.
Damage #5 is a good issue for anyone who wanted to see more of Ethan this time around. It is good to consistently remind readers that there can be a balance to the storytelling and action. Not expecting too much of one over the other is what creates more satisfaction and investment in what comes next.