Each day in November, I will read and review/discuss/whatever one comic taken from a box of some of my childhood comics. Today, it’s Damage Control #4.
The Nostalgia November archive can be found here.
Damage Control #4 by Dwayne McDuffie and Ernie Colon concludes the second mini-series dedicated to the superhuman clean-up crew, which was a tie-in to “Acts of Vengeance.” I never read any other issues of Damage Control, but, right off, I should point out that, reading this issue, I didn’t feel I needed to. Not in a ‘this was crap’ way, but in a ‘I understood everything without any problems’ sort of way, which is odd since the plot seems somewhat involved here. Basically, Damage Control was bought by an asshole who has cut costs causing its workers to go on strike at the same time that the “Acts of Vengeance” story has happened, causing a lot of destruction. So, Nick Fury uses SHIELD to help the former owner buy it back after discovering that the new owner bought it, partly, with money borrowed from the Kingpin. In the end, things are good — and the workers, during the course of the story, even forego the strike to save lives.
The tone of this comic is lighter than most, but isn’t quite a comedy either. While good, I think I would have preferred it to go one way or the other since the jokes aren’t that funny and the drama isn’t that compelling. It’s an odd mish-mash of styles, neither working completely all of the time. The only scene that works as comedy is when Fury needs to get SHIELD’s accountant’s take on if buying Damage Control is doable and we get Agent Pierce, an actual SHIELD agent who bursts in with the unconscious body of a would-be assassin. He looks like a parody of a gung-ho agent who then gets on the computer to show a quick three-hour presentation on what SHIELD should do, practically giddy over spreadsheets and such. The actual plot stuff involving Kingpin and Damage Control doesn’t totally work, particularly since the Kingpin walks away having made a lot of money. But, this is a pleasant enough read that really just can’t settle on a tone. It seems like McDuffie wants to push things in a comedic direction but is held back a bit, which is a shame, because I always like irreverent comedy in superhero books. Ernie Colon’s art is cartoonish and would fit the comedic tone if it was allowed to develop. His strongest work here is when he’s hamming it up a bit.
Tomorrow, another Transformers comic as “Matrix Quest” continues.