[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Storytellers: Aaron Lopresti and Robert Venditti
Inker: Matt Ryan
Letters: Tom Napolitano
“I’m not scared of what you’ll do to me. I’m scared of what you’ll do WITH me!” – Ethan Avery aka DAMAGE
With Damage in check, Ethan awakes in the Hall of Justice only to find Batman providing rules that Ethan must adhere to if he wishes to not be always in confrontation with the Justice League. However, Ethan is very distrustful of Batman’s guidance as he is sick of “control” and the “rules” that put him in his Damage predicament in the first place. With Batman issuing an ultimatum, Ethan tells Batman “No Thanks! ” Revealing that the Hall of Justice is simply a hologram, Batman turns off the illusion and Ethan now knows he is on the BatCarrier. Batman immediately ejects Ethan from the Bat Carrier, however, Ethan immediately turns into Damage. A battle ensues where Batman simply keeps Damage at bay, however, with Damage “on”, Ethan is able to communicate to Damage that this is all a trick as Damage is being jettisoned to Monster Rock. Damage might be able to survive the prehistoric type creatures there, but when that Damage hour is up, Ethan doesn’t stand a chance!
“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” – Bill Bixby. I like that Damage is constantly in conversation with Ethan and vice versa. It’s along the lines of a demi-Hulk relationship and the one hour time span is pretty cool! However, the JLA in its efforts have really stepped over the line in keeping Ethan on an IV drip to sedate him. I like the fact that other characters are being used to reinforce the Damage storylines and making him part of the JLA would be cool. However, I don’t think Damage is ready for the super-soldier treatment nor is he ready to be part of any team. One would think he would be awestruck at even being considered, but he is jaded with the entire process. I don’t think he will be too happy about his latest plight if he is able to survive!
In the previous issue, Superman tells Damage that he has “never been hit harder, and I died”. If a creature like Damage can inflict that on the Man of Steel, how can Batman survive one punch – even though he acknowledges that he needs a few new ribs. I know Batman has faced Killer Croc, Bane and Solomon Grundy. But Damage is supposed to be mightier than Doomsday per Superman’s remark. It’s hard to think that Batman can survive one punch by this creature. So there are some inconsistencies within building this new character.
I didn’t like the inconsistency and also the mistake of having Batman being the one to order Ethan around. Damage needed a softer recruitment to the JLA, something that Batman is not necessarily known for! The art work is great and sharp! The characters are rendered in a great way, and I love the colors! With a book like Damage, they always deliver a battle. And each cliff hanger has been worth it, so we are now past a “Baker’s Dozen” in issues, so make sure you go back and “re-read” to get started on this character!