Damage Control #3
As a giant carp-monster dukes it out with Thor in the middle of New Jersey, Gus is inducted into yet another branch of Damage Control. Let's hope that he doesn't accidentally almost-murder any other families this week.
Alongside finally introducing the beginning of an actual plot (three issues into this five book miniseries), this story made me laugh loudly enough to wake up my toddler. I’m not going to spoil the joke for you here, but trust me, you’ll see it coming. And the fact that both the setup and follow through are blatantly obvious will not reduce, at all, the enjoyment to be had.
I’ve read a lot of online criticism of this series based on the fact that the jokes are stupid (they absolutely are) or too easy (that, too) but it seems like those readers are missing the point. Superhero comics are inherently ridiculous. These are books about people mutating at puberty or meeting aliens or touching magical rocks and transforming into monsters. None of this stuff could happen in what we think of as real life.
The fact that superhero comics, when they are at their best, also communicate personal or universal psychological truths (in a manner that is shared by both the best operas and the worst soap operas) and that they manage to express those truths in a profound (and profoundly effective) way does not detract from the fact that the basic premise of these books is absolutely stupid. The jokes in this series are what you get after you squeeze the juicy mythological goodness out of a story and strain out the bare bones minutiae of plot. This is a fancy way of saying that every single joke is a play on something that actually happened in the history of Marvel Comics. This miniseries is a goofy love letter to continuity, and that continuity is remembered and honored in measures pressed down and overflowing with guffaws.
This is the place to turn to if you want to see a height-accurate Wolverine stealing somebody’s meatloaf, and that is delightful.
Nathan Stockman’s art is both beautifully rendered and absolutely packed with sight gags. I could happily stare at his panels for hours, always finding more. Ruth Redmond colors beautifully (she’s especially great at conveying the enticing wonder of weird glowy rocks) and I’m going to be following her career with considerable interest.
This series is a chaotic, joyful romp through the madcap history of Marvel. It's a love letter to fans, written by other fans, and delivered with wry delight.
Damage Control #3: Behold! A Plot!
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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