Story-Arc: Out of Control.
Writer(s): Robert Venditti.
Illustrator(s): Tony S. Daniel, Diogenes Neves, Cary Nord, Danny Miki, Trevor Scott & Larry Hama.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: September 25th 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
If there’s one thing that Dark Nights: Metal has left us with, it’s the arrival of new forces and threats into the DC Universe. With the damage done to the Source Wall, it was only a matter of time before unimaginable things started to occur. In that regards, DC Comics launched eight new comic book series which introduces fans to brand new heroes to explore and love. This incredibly monumental move could be devastating if the results aren’t promising as it’ll take a lot of good story-telling to convince anyone to invest their time into something so close to the unknown. Then again, if this bold move leads to great things in the near future, this might turn out to be a historical moment in the history of DC Comics, similar to the birth of iconic heroes we love and cherish to this day. What’s left to see is if the new creative teams that are put on each of these series manages to conjure anything of great quality or end up only creating great disappointment.
Damage: Out of Control is the story of Ethan “Elvis” Avery, a soldier who volunteered for the Damage Project to become a hero and serve his country. What he didn’t know was what he would become and how much destruction he could cause. Ethan Avery’s new powers allow him to become an indestructible force of nature for exactly one hour with a period of recuperation of 23 hours. During that hour of absolute chaos, Ethan is able to speak to his alter ego known as Damage who unfortunately sees itself as a monster meant to wreak havoc. Focused heavily on hulking out—see what I did there?—Damage almost takes out the whole city of Atlanta and unfortunately draws unwanted attention as he runs loose from his superiors and seeks isolation. On a quest to figuring out what happened in his past and who he wants to become, will Ethan ever find the answers he wants or will he forever be prey and predator to the whole world?
As much as I hoped this first story arc would establish an original, breath-taking and clever tone to this new character, you’ll find yourself in front of something much more simpler that favors action sequences to just about anything else. I did feel like the artwork also took over the narrative in this one, especially with Tony S. Daniel’s work in the first couple of issues. Establishing the raw power that Damage is capable of delivering clearly seemed to be the intention here, and at least that was done quite well. While there’s nothing wrong in giving fans a taste of Damage’s might rather than putting emphasis on the character development or world-building, it still left little reasons to want to follow Ethan Avery and his quest to establish a certain synergy with Damage, as well as his quest to finding answers to one of his past missions known as Operation Blue Mongoose, for which he’s unable to remember much about.
This story arc also felt like it was trying to shoehorn Damage within the DC Universe by having Damage run into a bunch of established characters. With the likes of Task Force XL, Wonder Woman or even Poison Ivy, Damage finds himself having to prove fans that he’s not to be taken lightly. While fun at times, it also made for some truly awkward dialogues too. In fact, it’s safe to say that there’s some truly cheesy lines (referring to the puns in particular) thrown in there that didn’t help me take this character too seriously. Don’t get me wrong. Damage still turns out to be a fun addition to the DC Universe, especially since it is DC’s real attempt to have a giant ugly monster playing hero, or at least trying to play hero.
Damage: Out of Control sets the table for its first new hero, but still has to find its groove regarding Ethan Avery’s character and story. Even if there’s lots of punching going around, there’s still an underlying plot teased in this volume that could potentially turns thing around for Damage.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!