The New Age of DC Heroes has arrived with the publication of Damage #1. A lot, and I mean a lot of comparisons to the Hulk are being brandished about and it’s not hard to understand why. DC Comics have themselves to thank for that, considering this is what they wrote on their own website:
“Ethan “Elvis” Avery just wanted to serve his country. Instead, he’s been changed into a monster! Tasked as the government’s own living, breathing ticking time bomb, Ethan retains no control when the monster takes over. The beast is cheaper than a nuclear warhead and twice as effective, and Ethan fights to rein in the damage he unleashes when it springs free for one hour a day. With everyone around him in danger, Ethan struggles to contain the DAMAGE he inflicts on the DC Universe.”
Because with minimal editing you end up with: Bruce Banner just wanted to work for his country. Instead, he’s been changed into a monster! Turned into the government’s own living, breathing ticking time bomb, Bruce retains no control when the monster takes over. The beast is cheaper than a nuclear warhead and twice as effective, and Bruce fights to rein in the damage he unleashes when he gets angry. With everyone around him in danger, Bruce struggles to contain the Hulk…
I’m not sure if this was a deliberate move on DC’s part to try to entice disenchanted Marvel fans or a poorly thought out marketing decision that invited unwelcome comparisons. Who knows?
The question then becomes, is he a rip off of the Hulk? My answer at this point is there are quite a few superficial similarities; and quite a few dissimilarities. If we boil it down we can say here are two guys that are involved with the military and gained super strength that they aren’t able to willfully control. I think we’re going to need quite a few more issues before we can make the rip off call, one way or the other.
As for the content of the issue, the art is fabulous. Really. It’s probably want-able on that alone. Unfortunately it’s very story light. Basically we are given two scenes. The primary one is a lengthy fight scene of Damage wreaking havoc somewhere in Atlanta. The second is someone called Colonel Jonas leading a team looking for Damage after the fact. That’s all we get. It’s more like a promo for an upcoming series than a first issue. I don’t feel that it delivered any satisfaction story wise. If this is going to be the pacing of the story I would never stick with it as I would be too frustrated by the slowness of it.
Will I pick up the next issue? Maybe. How about you?