Published on April 21st, 2018 | by Keagan Morgan
DAMAGE #4 REVIEW
Summary: Trouble continues to find this damaged man on the run.
In the sugarcane fields of Louisiana, nature begins to take itself back as a combine harvester makes its rounds. Of course, nature is not acting entirely on its own; Poison Ivy is running the table as we see her wicked vines ensnare the combine and the innocent people working the harvest.
Still on the run from those who created the monster inside, Ethan finds himself as a stowaway on a semi-truck making a stop in Louisiana, recounting the memories of when his life changed not so long ago. Here, we continue to vividly see the operation that would change his life forever. It seems like a standard operation as a scientist injects the damage serum into Ethan. But, as the changes begin to take effect, Ethan feels the pain and asks for them to stop. But, the transformation continues, and as it completes, Damage lets out his first roar. The first response is the simple and sterile observation by Dr. Vess of the operation being successful.
Such is also the portrayal we continue to see of Colonel Jonas, who is not only the chief entity chasing Ethan, but also the one who drove the Damage operation. The more we continue to see of her, and the Hunter Squad now chasing Ethan/Damage, the colder her persona is. As they are still outside of Atlanta, Jonas and her squad use their abilities to begin mapping out Ethan as if he were a common animal being hunted. While we cannot yet determine if Jonas and her team are on the same level of Waller and the Suicide Squad in terms of vileness, there is every bit of potential to showcase them as such, if not more so. Only time will tell as we continue to see those characters developed, but depending on where the next issue takes us, start placing your bets!
Back in Louisiana, Ethan has found some work and is heading to the sugarcane fields we were previously a visitor to. The workers, expecting to see vast fields of crops waiting to be harvested, are witness to a newly formed jungle instead. As they leave the truck and begin some simple investigating, the wicked vines of Poison Ivy find their way around the workers. In all the mayhem Ethan tries to keep Damage inside, but both realize the only chance of saving the workers Ethan just met is to release the monster and allow him to take on this new threat. However, only at first does it seem Damage is worthy of this latest challenge before being entangled in Ivy’s web. As the last panel arises, we witness one of two possible scenarios: Damage’s vulnerability, or Ivy’s pure power. Either way we try to dissect it, we see an almost human look in Damage’s eyes as he becomes overpowered, leaving us to wonder the fate Ivy controls.
The art of Tomeu Morey continues a satisfying level of detail when needed, while the color palette remains pretty safe overall throughout the issue. The art did not grab at me as I was hoping, but was enjoyable enough to keep me engrossed along with the story, which is really all that is important. Creators and storytellers Cary Nord and Robert Venditti, after displaying Damage’s strengths in the last issue, are now perhaps giving us the opposite. Unfortunately, we will not see how this battle between Damage and Ivy willl play out until Damage #5. Although, I am glad to say this wild chase still has me running along trying to keep up. So, I am both curious and excited to see where this arc continues for us fans who have been waiting for a true DC “Hulk.”
CREATIVE TEAM: Robert Venditti and Cary Nord
PUBLICATION DATE: April 18, 2018
REVIEWER: Keagan Morgan