Sunday, July 7, 2013

Damage Control (Volume 2 1989) [COMICS]

A couple of months back, I talked about the first Damage Control limited series.  The world's best superhero-damage reconstruction firm came back for a second limited series shortly after the first was finished (there was also a third but, alas, I don't have it).  This second epic series tied in to Marvel's Acts of Vengeance company-wide crossover, as the Damage Control crew are tasked with cleaning up the mess caused during all of those fights.  An overarching story between the issues has to do with Damage Control's ownership.

In Issue #1, it's revealed that the owners of Damage Control were Tony Stark and the infamous Kingpin of Crime!  (that must've been an awkward shareholders' meeting . . .).  The two decide to sell the company to a corporation named Carlton.  Damage Control's long-time boss, Mrs. Hoag, leaves to take a seat on the Commission for Superhuman Activities, leaving Robin Chapel to take her place.  Meanwhile, the Wrecking Crew escape from the damaged Vault despite Damage Control's presence and Captain America's assistance.  It's not laugh-out loud funny, but I did smile a few times.

Issue # 2 guest stars (yes, it's a trend) the Punisher.  He's investigating Damage Control due to the Kingpin's former involvement in the business, which is fine, but he's written very poorly: completely obtuse, taking hostages, and more.  I was a big Punisher fan "back in the day", so I like to see Frank treated better.  Other guest stars include She-Hulk, Jarvis, Captain America, and Speedball, as Damage Control works to lift the sunken Avengers Mansion back to the surface.  The new Carlton Company, however, are real jerks, leading Damage Control's construction staff to go on strike!

In Issue # 3, things go away as an accident leads Damage Control to accidentally drop Avengers Mansion back in the water.  Robbie Baldwin (Speedball) takes a job at Damage Control as an intern, and She-Hulk appears again with her John Byrne shtick of thinking she's in a comic book and addressing the readers directly; I was never a big fan of the idea as it takes the reader away from enjoying the shared Marvel Universe, but writer Dwayne McDuffie handles it really well: She-Hulk, in a battle against a fired Damage Control employee in a robot battle-suit, keeps destroying the walls of a building until it collapses all around her.  One of the observers opines, "No matter how many times I tell them, they never learn.  If you break the fourth wall, the whole structure falls apart on you."

Issue # 4 is also filled with guest stars, most prominently Nick Fury as he works with Mrs. Hoag to oust Carlton Company as owners and settle the strike.  It turns out that Carlton Co. were taking loans from the Kingpin.  Meanwhile, there's a  new supervillain "Dittomaster", who impersonates Henry Gyrich on the Commission of Superhuman Activities, but he's caught within 3 pages of his first appearance, so I can't imagine he has much of a career ahead of him.

Overall, I think the writing is still pretty decent on the second limited series, but the interior artwork is rather shoddy.

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