We get some insight into how Damage was created before we join Elvis Avery in the present. He’s hiding out in a homeless shelter while he rests and tries to get his bearings. He doesn’t have long before Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad finds him, and he must fight to survive.
Damage is maintaining nice forward cohesive motion so far. It’s propelled by Elvis trying to get away from Colonel Jonas, whom wants Damage back under control and used as a weapon. This gives a constant sense of urgency and propulsion to the story.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t leave much room for us to discover who Elvis Avery is as a person. There are little moments that feel like they’re intended to serve as characterization; Elvis lies to the guy who runs the home by telling him is name is David Everest, and he calls his family and doesn’t say anything when is mom picks up the phone. However, this doesn’t give us anything substantial.
With a title like Damage, you really should develop your own identity quickly. Without one, there is a void, and it’s way too easy to fill that void with the name “Bruce Banner” or, more directly, “the Hulk.”
That’s another thing running against Damage; it reads way too much like the Hulk. I dived into this with my review of Damage #1, but it becomes more prominent as the comic does very little to stray from the comparison. Damage is strikingly similar to the Hulk. It’s a dual-personality hero where the normal guy turns into a massive monster, the military wants him back, and there is a push-and-pull between the two psyches of Damage and Elvis.
To make things worse, the story tries to fill the identity void by throwing other characters at Elvis for him to fight. Hulk comics are littered with the other heroes he’s fought in the past. Hell, he used to have yearly smash-ups with the Thing.
Also, I was really convinced that he was the Patchwork Man. The latter-era Patchwork Man took a really Hulk-esque appearance.
Tony Daniels continues to be a saving grace. His heart has always been incredibly, and it continues to hold up here. Damage does have a good visual design, even if there is the obvious comparison. He has distinguishing features that helps separate him from the Jade Giant. The shading and texturing that Daniels can accomplish has always been impressive too. The fight with the Suicide Squad is pretty cool, for what it’s worth. Also, Danny Miki’s inking is spot-on. This is a good-looking comic.
Damage #2 is an underwhelming read. Elvis Avery receives little characterization compared to the likes of Silencer or Sideways in their respective opening issues. Daniels’ artwork is solid, and the Suicide Squad fight is enjoyable. I can’t recommend this comic, but I can’t tell you to avoid it either. If what I explained sounded cool to you, then feel free to try it. However, it is far from required reading.
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