Comic Book Review: Damage #6
With this next chapter for Ethan and Damage, we’ve gotten a good balance between what makes each of them tick. The things that make Damage such an unruly beast, and the things that make Ethan different from the monster he becomes. As I said before, not expecting too much of one over the other is what creates more satisfaction and investment in what comes next. Especially when they need each other to overcome the threat that is Poison Ivy.
Now the challenge that Gorilla Grodd on the other hand has brought to Damage was exciting. He’s handled himself pretty well against single foes of great power, but now was the time to see what happens when clearly outnumbered by an army of Gorillas. That part went a bit predictably, but it was facing Gorilla Grodd himself where things got interesting. I loved how this evolved into a situation where both of them were knocked out of their comfort zone. Like Poison Ivy being a villain who takes advantage of range, Grodd shakes things up where you can never be prepared for a mental assault. Further giving Ethan a voice here added much depth to what holds both he and Damage back when it comes to control.
Damage itself may be a creature of habit, but you still have to appreciate the active voice they have given it. In most cases, a hulk-like being would be brainless and without influence. Damage breaks the mold where having a mind of your own creates more engaging conversation, tension, and room for actual growth (If you would call his restraint growth).
Like the issue before, it was new seeing that there is an inner struggle similar with Poison Ivy. That is what made the choice for her being a villain so fitting. This is something I haven’t seen done with Poison Ivy before, and also makes you feel like you may have missed something with her in another book, but it holds your attention seeing that she is also a slave to her own power. Her situation at the end of the day may have been convenient, and a bit of a plot device, but it never hurts throwing Ethan and Damage in the way of someone who knows what they are going through. Especially when they used this story as a base for addressing again her connection to the Green which has not been fully explored till now.
When you question who Damage will run into next, the last thing that would come to mind is Swamp Thing. Not till you see this cover for the issue and realize that this is actually happening. Nonetheless, it makes sense that someone like him would surface considering those like Poison Ivy and Gorilla Grodd threaten his way of life. With that said, the reason for his appearance was creative. He creates a subplot that could be worth following with the right execution. That is as long as this does not distract too much from Ethan’s mission.
As usual, the artwork was spectacular for how this art team captures the destructive nature of Damage and those who cross paths with this monster. This series absolutely benefits from an artist like Diogenes Neves who is very detailed in his pencils. Cares about the little things that engages us between characters and settings. The way he handles plant-life has been impressive since the start of this story, and finished off strong with a very good use of Swamp Thing. Inking there and with the plants in general was very important. The twist to the visual patterns of Ethan and Damage was cool as well. Having the visual representation of the way these two share this body worked well with the appeal of how they communicate with each other. Of course it was Ethan doing more of the talking this time, but it was also pretty cool how the style of Damage talking changed to fit someone who was more enraged when speaking. That aside, I of course still found myself a bit disappointed by the design of Grodd. Smaller and less intimidating than how most others draw him. It did not look like Grodd, but rather just another suped up gorilla.
Another action-packed issue of Damage this week. Whether it is trouble that they stumble upon, or throw themselves into, the momentum never lets up and that is what gets you from start to finish with anticipation for what comes next. You have to hand it to Damage as well for the fact that this series is making leaps for having a new character who is interacting with established heroes and villains left and right. It hasn’t felt forced yet, and that is all you can ask for moving forward.