Damage #7 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Tom Derenick, Artist; Diogenes Neves, Penciller; Trevor Scott, Sean Parsons, Inker; Allen Passalaqua, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Ray: The great irony of Damage #7 is the same as the rest of the series – writer Robert Venditti seems more interested in everything surrounding Ethan Avery than he does in the main character himself. This issue finally shifts Colonel Jonas into the center of the story. This one-eyed military woman was introduced in Dark Nights: Metal and has generally come across as a cross between Amanda Waller and Nick Fury – and somewhere in between them ethics-wise. This issue reveals that she has an ex-military husband languishing in a coma from the same incident that took her eye, and this led to her interest in the Damage program – if one soldier can be activated and do the damage of a thousand, no one needs to be in harm’s way like she and her husband were. It’s a good motivation for a character, and explains if not excuses her ethical lapses. However, so much time is spent on her this issue that you can almost forget that she’s not supposed to be the main character.
While all this is going on, Damage spends his time battling an elite band of metahuman mercenaries that Jonas has hired to bring him in. The whole story arc for Damage isn’t helped by the fact that Damage is mute as a monster and largely unconscious or dazed when he’s Ethan. These villains, with generic superpowers such as super-strength and hydrokinesis, put up a surprisingly good fight against Damage but eventually go down one by one until his powers go out, and he reverts back to Ethan. Then, he washes up on a shore and is picked up by an ambulance, putting him in the most vulnerable position of the series so far. While this has potential, it’s worth noting that the main character in this comic didn’t speak a single word besides “Rargh” this issue. A title like The Curse of Brimstone, which also seems to have used its original character as a decoy, has more to work with, but this title really can’t survive its lack of a compelling lead hero.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.