Damage #1
Written by: Tony Daniel and Robert Venditti
Art by: Tony Daniel, Danny Miki, and Tomeu Morey
Published by: DC Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I haven’t been the biggest fan of DC’s new crossover event Dark Nights: Metal. As I’ve only been reading the main miniseries and not too many of the spinoff books, it really feels like I’m getting only about half to three-fourths of the story. So it may be my own fault, but it is what it is. It certainly isn’t like the old days of Crisis or Legends when you could buy tie-ins for 75 cents a piece.

Damage #1 wasn’t even on my radar until I saw writer Robert Venditti post about it over on Facebook. I wasn’t sure if it was a reboot of that old nineties comic or something completely new. The cover had some raging beast going buck wild, so I assumed this wasn’t a reboot. I bought the book on Venditti’s name alone. What can I say?  The man is one hell of a writer.

Venditti teams with writer/artist Tony Daniel to bring us the tale of Ethan Avery who unluckily becomes a massive monster for an hour a day. Now in theory this should be great for his government handlers who made Ethan into this hulking menace (comparative pun totally meant).  But all Ethan wanted to do was serve out his time in the military. Trust me Ethan, as a guy who dug many foxholes and doing the low crawl in his day, getting scientifically turned into a raging monster sounds like much more fun.

The first issue of Damage is all about the monster. Ethan has turned into Damage when the military didn’t want him to. Damage is now on the ground wrecking havoc.  People are scared. Buildings are destroyed.  Some yahoo in a robot suit roles up to stop Damage while deciding to taunt the beast. Probably not the wisest move, ace.

If you are going to draw comparisons to Marvel’s Hulk (and comparisons may be apt), Damage is another monstrous beast man who cannot be destroyed and can do a lot of, ahem, DAMAGE.  But Damage is no cheap bootleg ripoff. The plot, a man who becomes a monster for an hour a day, is pretty outstanding thus far and adds a great element rarely seen in superhero books: a time limit.

Once you pick up Damage #1 you are thrown directly thrown into the action. Damage hits the ground running and never bothers to stop. Full of intense action, you never get a breather until the very end of the issue. If there’s a downside there isn’t much exposition. At least not yet. We are thrown right into the ring and have to put on the gloves right away.

Truly the best book to come out from the Dark Night: Metals event is Damage #1. The book’s writing is solid while Daniel’s art has never looked better. All in all, Damage #1 delivers the goods and introduces a new character that hopefully will stick around for years to come. I’m really interested to see what a character like Damage can do up against some of the biggest and baddest in the DCU.

RATING: A

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