Sunday, February 4, 2018

Damage #1

How come this isn't a double-splash page? Oh wait.

That's more like it.

The two week old version of myself purchased this comic book because he hates present me. Looking at this piece of defecation he purchased for me, if I had access to a time machine, I would literally go back two weeks ago and murder myself. I don't even care what would happen to the space time continuum.

Somebody more rational than me might be thinking, "Dude. Calm down. Just don't read it." To those rational people, I say, "Fuck you! Who gave you permission to be a hypothetical aside in my mind?! Asshole."

Take a good look at the bottom panel of that fucked up cover idea because it depicts one of my favorite comic book tropes: female protagonists who always look fuckable even when they're critically injured or dead. Is that commentary on the sexism inherent in the art of comic books or have I just discovered that I might be into necrophilia?

Here's my unique take on this comic book that probably no other online review site has come up with: Damage is just the Incredible Hulk! Fuck man. I am so out there with the hot takes. Corporate comic book companies can't pull the obliquely homoerotic spandex over my eyes! That's another one of my hot takes: superhero comics are totally about the gay lifestyle. I should probably do a little more research into the gay lifestyle before I write an essay on that though. Does anybody know any discreet gay bars in Portland?

The inside cover of this comic book is a fraction of a larger poster of one of the New Age of Heroes! comic books. I guess I'm supposed to buy two copies of each of these new books so I can cut one up and sellotape them together to hang on my wall? Who do I ask about decorating advice? Is a taped together comic book poster on the wall of an adult really any worse than a pristine and framed comic book poster on the wall of an adult? I hope the person I'm consulting on decorating also knows something about fashion because I'd like to know if I should own more than just comic book t-shirts.

This issue begins with a classic set-up of the protagonist's motivation.

Most people join the army to defend the United States or to end terrorism or to get away from their mother's new boyfriend. But Ethan just wanted to play dress-up.

How many young people read "Let loose, Ethan," and thought, "That's not even grammatically correct." How many young people just read what I wrote and thought, "What's grammatically?" How many young people never even read what I wrote because reading? Who has time for anything except animated GIFs?!

Ethan is terribly disappointed in his military career. He probably should have looked into the United States military before signing up. I mean, I'm going to look into the gay lifestyle before I jump right in with the belief that they're all going to embrace my ideas based on the gay lifestyle pedestal I've cultivated in my closet. If Ethan were me, he'd probably have signed on to be gay, walked into a gay bar, and started shouting, "Where is all the vagina?!"

What I'm trying to say is, "Why is Ethan so surprised that the military is using him in the way the military wants to use him?" That's what fucking happens, Ethan, when you sign your free will away! Sure, you could decide to not follow orders by refusing to take the experimental serum that turns you into a living monster. But you can't complain when you get a court martial for being a huge whining dick. I mean, you can complain. But nobody is going to care. I know I'm already not caring and I have a feeling you're going to be complaining throughout this entire comic book. "I don't want to be a monster! I want to be good! I want to help the world! I don't want to destroy! I want to build! I want to create! I want to suck all the cocks!"

Whoops. Sorry. That last one was somebody else's desire. Never you mind whose.

Some people might have passed on this book because they have a foot fetish and they noticed Damage's feet weren't depicted on the cover. Well, let me inform you that you made the right choice by passing on this dreck.

I'm on the fence as to whether I think Tony S. Daniel can't draw feet or part of Damage's origin story is that he has terrible looking feet.

Venditti and Daniel are both credited as the "story tellers." I think that's mostly just part of the whole campaign behind this new age of dc heroes. They're really trying to put the artist right up front as the most important aspect of the book. But I have a feeling the two of them weren't the greatest collaborators.

Venditti: "We should open with a loving scene from one of Ethan's earliest memories where maybe his mother went out of her way, at great danger to herself, to help somebody in need. It could run two or three pages and we'll show how much Ethan loves and respects his mother and her peaceful influence on himself and the world around him."
Daniel: "Yeah, yeah. That's all good. But how are you going to hook new readers with that? Does somebody get punched? Or is the mother just in a towel? She's hot, right?"
Venditti: "No, no. She'll just be in a normal weekend getup. Jeans and a cool blouse or something. Anyway, that doesn't matter. This scene will hook the reader with the emotional connection."
Daniel: "I don't see it. How about instead we begin with a double-splash page of Damage falling out of an airplane?"
Venditti: "I don't know. That seems like the kind of thing that can be done in a long panel. It feels like wasted space."
Daniel: "Well, I already drew it. So make sure it's in the script. And don't forget about writing in a nearly naked babe at some point. Anyway, you figure it out. I'm going to go look at feetless anatomy models now."

The plane that was supposed to deliver Damage to wherever the fuck they were going is called Stork-1. Get it?! GET IT?!

Damage escapes which causes some military guy to scream, "Damage is off the leash! He's off the leash!" DC loves to "unleash" its characters. They seem to think it's the most exciting thing that can happen in a super hero comic book. They should all come live in Portland because I don't think I've ever seen a dog on leash here in the last twenty years.

I think I purchased a knock-off dictionary because I can't find "assest" in it anywhere.

I think "assest" is a portmanteau of "asses" and "assets." So the additional "assests" inbound are obviously the Suicide Squad.

Venditti: "Okay, okay. We'll start in the middle of the action. Damage falls into a public space and must be stopped. The military men are all lubing their asses for the public reaming they're about to take for their secret weapon being exposed and released in an American city. But Ethan will still be there inside Damage's mind trying to control the beast. We'll offer a flashback to the time with his mother in his effort to calm Damage down."
Daniel: "I could see that. That's like real writing, right? But could you maybe just make the fight go on for about ten pages and throw in another double-splash page?"
Venditti: "Let me guess. You already drew it."
Daniel: "Well, yeah. I just had this epiphany! I couldn't stop drawing the fight scene! I imagine it begins between Ethan who is a total pacifist loser who was only picked for the job because the military thought his low aggression would be easier to control. But he's battling the high testosterone guy who fucks tons of ladies who is all, 'I should have been Damage! I'm the bad ass who has a hot tattoo of a lady in a towel that you can totally see in the third double-splash page!'"
Venditti: "Fine. Um, you know what. Just go off this script." *Venditti pushes one sheet of paper across the table that reads "Pages 1-14: fight scene."*

"No, no! Don't kill me!" Damage doesn't kill him. "Pussy!"

The Suicide Squad appears on scene to capture Damage. But they're not being called the Suicide Squad nor Task Force X. This is a new and more exciting era of DC Comics! So Daniel and Venditti came up with this classic name for the new way too exciting Suicide Squad: Task Force XL! Ha ha ha! I can't wait for some writer to turn them into a fuck-fighting force and call them Task Force XXX.

Damage #1 Rating: This book was a terrible first issue if you're an actual critic of story telling. But if you're the kind of person who runs a comic book company and you're constantly running around the offices screaming "More action! More splash pages! More art that makes me put my dick in my own mouth!" then you might be proud of this embarrassment. It was a fourteen page action sequence where we learn that Ethan somehow turns into a completely separate creature that he can talk to from wherever Ethan disappears to. You might now be thinking that I don't understand the conceit but I do. I'm just taking it literally as it appears because it's so fucking stupid. Ethan simply turns into a monster and then he talks to himself as if he's a different person. It's basically The Hulk on a leash which is ironic considering DC's penchant for unleashing things. And the appearance of Task Force XL is simply the exclamation point on the entire thing. Except not an exclamation point, exactly. Is there a piece of punctuation that doesn't say "This was exciting!" but says "This was intensely stupid!" You know, an idiocy mark? Hey, civilization. We should invent one. It's super needed right now in the United States and the United Kingdom.

If you enjoyed this critique, maybe you'll enjoy my other thoughts on popular culture via the Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea Newsletter available at

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