If you want to push an agenda about the horror of war and what the government will do, then make it a good story. Damage manages this without being preachy or too wordy to turn off the average person. Other reviewers may turn off the book due to the lack of a human element to Damage and his handlers. But the book at its core is a look at a very inhuman New Age of DC Hero.
Ethan ‘Elvis’ Avery is an Army soldier that’s been turned into the reborn Damage. As anyone who knows DC’s history can point out, Damage is not a new concept. This version is of an unknown origin. All the first issue tells us is that this Damage is much like the first Damage in his ability to destroy. Yet, this new Damage is not a willful destroyer.
Avery was experimented on by Task Force X, led by Marie Jonas. She does give off a very masculine like Nick Fury appearance. And she could compete with Amanda Waller on the complete psychotic bitch leader front. (More on that in a bit.) Not to mention, she has to try to reign in a competing Major Leggit from endangering himself.
The Task Force controls Damage as a stop gap MOAB (Multi-Ordinance Air-Delivered Bomb.) And he is effective at his job. The problem is, it’s for one hour a day with a twenty-four hour cool-down. Not always the most convenient method of attacking the target. Another thing you’re going to notice is:
You see that white counter graphic. Throughout the pages, Tony S. Daniel and Robert Venditti point out that Damage is running on a timer that’s monitored by Task Force X. Both are listed as storytellers, as they had an equal hand in the writing. Daniel handles the detail writing. Venditti pencils up the art and the minor points.
As I pointed out, Jonas is equal to Amanda Waller in the bitch department. However, Waller does make an appearance in setting up issue 2. She appears with the entire Suicide Squad to clean up Task Force X’s entire mess of an operation. She also promises Jonas that her toy will be broken when she’s done.
As this is a full series, expect the Squad to bite off more than it can chew. It’s not heavy on dialogue. The most dialogue is Leggit yelling at Damage that he should have been the subject. And Elvis has his own internal dialogue trying to control Damage. He also has the transformation like Bruce Banner/Amadeus Cho into the Hulk and Vice Versa.
It’s not a totally flawless book, but it’s a mindless escape for a few minutes. It’s also an unrealistic view of the military, but the story tells you that Task Force X is a group that needs to be thrown in the brig. These are not the pillars of American values. They’re all quite reprehensible like Waller and her Squad.
Unlike Sitterson’s GI Joe, there isn’t an agenda pushed here, either. It’s about a good guy turned into a very bad creation. The people behind the bad creation. And, the damage that bad creation has caused. Give them a view and enjoy the ride.
Buy this book, it’s a good time.