First, a thank you to Edelweiss and DC Comics for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book introduces a new character to the DC mythology, one Mr Ethan “Elvis” Avery who for one hour every day turns into a hulking, huge, living weapon of mass destruction controlled and operated by the military. I’ll be honest, I didn’t realise he was brand-brand new at first. I felt certain I’d seen this character before but now I’m thinking I mixed him up with Doomsday.
Very much character-driven, there wasn’t much of a plot or arc to the book but it was a great study of a new and interesting character. As an introduction, there was not a great deal of development shown – though that would be a tall order given the length of the book and its primary purpose of laying Ethan’s foundations.
Much of the book focuses on Ethan’s internal struggle with controlling the monster inside of him, Damage. The book begins with Avery feeling very much under Damage’s control as well that of the military but the two join forces in order to engineer their escape.
Featuring many big players in the DC universe, including Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy & most explosively, Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad who aim to capture, and perhaps recruit, Damage. This gives the opportunity to draw interesting comparisons between Ethan/Damage and the Squad, the primary one being that Ethan has the ability to try and choose his fate, where they do not.
This book ponders what it is to be a monster and a hero and the lines between good and bad, and I like books that turn the idea of who the good guys and the bad guys are on its head.
The art was awesome, and Damage does look good though it wasn’t really optimised for digital consumption given the several double-page spreads. I have to say my favourite drawn character had to be Wonder Woman. She looked so great in this and her fight scene with Damage was perhaps one of my favourite parts of the book.
I would definitely consider reading more of this character’s books based on this origin, as I think he has potential, but I feel he may be best suited to a team book. As interesting as he is, his limitations and powers will only have the ability to cause suspense and investment if Ethan is surrounded with people he doesn’t want to hurt. I just don’t see a future for him as solo/loner character – but hey, I could be wrong, right?
Writing Quality – 5/10
Image/Illustration Quality – 7/10
Character Development – 6/10
Overall – 6/10
“The entire New Age of Heroes line, at its core and as its concept, is to be very artist-driven. So as a writer, this is the first time I’m working plot first. I’ve never done that before. But it’s a much looser form of scripting where a lot of the action and pacing and things like that are up to the artist’s discretion and the choices that Tony makes.
That being this type of series, we both wanted it to be something that was really wide-screen and bombastic and big and in-your-face and just have a ton of fun with it. And Tony is a great artist to work with on that style of book.”
Robert Venditti talking to Newsarama in an interview about Damage.