Damage #3
Written by: Robert Venditti
Art by: Tony Daniel, Danny Miki, and Tomeu Morey
Published by: DC Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

Damage continues to be the shining star coming out of the (pretty lame) Dark Nights: Metal miniseries event. The book is outstanding and, for the third issue in a row, keeps you on the edge of your seat like the best damn action film you’ve ever seen. Guy turns into a monster. It’s been done, right? Mr. Hyde? The Hulk? It just hasn’t been overdone, which is nice. I think that’s why Damage is so refreshing and new, yet very familiar.

Issue #3 sees Wonder Woman arriving to take on Damage after the Suicide Squad got pummeled in the previous issue.  Can Wonder Woman stand toe-to-toe with this monster?  Of course she can.  She’s here to kick ass, take names, and take Damage down.  The thing is Ethan Avery – the man who becomes this beast – is also locked inside.  He is there talking to Damage.  Trying to help him along.

Damage is able to stay in the fight against Wonder Woman, but Ethan tries to push the fact that while Suicide Squad was a bunch of bad guys working for the government, Wonder Woman is one of the “good guys.”  She is someone that Ethan wants to emulate.  It may be the reason Ethan decided to go along with this dumb Army experiment that turned him into Damage.

Is Wonder Woman able to get the best of Damage and take him down?  I guess you should pick up the issue to find that out.  But we do learn several more things about Ethan and the Damage program.  Each issue seems to have a brief flashback to the time where Ethan joined the program and what they did to him.  This exposition never feels forced and reads completely natural.  I’m enjoying learning where Damage came from but also enjoying him being able to take on a legend and living to tell the tale.

I hope DC is paying Robert Venditti like $6.5 million dollars a year because, between Damage and Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps, he is writing the best books at the company.  Brian Michael Bendis is coming to DC and he should be quaking in his boots that he has to try to keep up with Venditti.  I wish I had one iota of Venditti’s talent.  Every word bubble.  Every caption.  Every thought balloon.  It just feels absolutely perfect from panel to panel.

Of course this is all helped by the incredible art team of Tony S. Daniel, Danny Miki, and Tomeu Morey on the pencils, inks, and colors respectively.  MY GOD THIS BOOK IS GORGEOUS.  Having Venditti write an amazing script is one thing, but Daniel, Miki, and Morey make this book a true piece of art.  It may be the best looking book DC has right now, perhaps only rivaled by Gary Frank’s stunning work on Doomsday Clock.

The great thing about Damage?  I really feel the best is yet to come.  I do know that both the Justice League and Swamp Thing are on their way and I can’t wait to see how the monster fights off the superhero team and the elemental.  Will it be a battle for the ages?  Probably – though it does seem that Damage’s only weakness may be the true hero that lies inside him.  If the two can become one?  Then Damage may become one of the most powerful DC characters ever.  We’ll have to see where it goes from here but Damage’s future looks pretty damn sunny.

RATING: A

 

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