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Ain’t it Cool News Highly Recommends Damaged #1

Review by Mark Miller

DAMAGED starts out with an amazing action sequence that immediately tells you that this is a comic that goes for the gut. A man decked in ammo breaks into a bar and accuses some of the patrons of raping and killing some girls. The carnage he wreaks afterward is a clear indication that this man is not to be effed with and this comic is the kind of balls out action I love to see.

DAMAGED tells the story of two very different brothers; one, Frank, a decorated police task force leader who knows and follows the law to the letter. The other, Henry, operates outside of the law, sees how corrupt the system is, and has decided to be a one man wrecking ball to organized crime. Though, in this issue, it appears that they haven’t seen each other in years, Frank knows Henry’s handiwork even before he sees his brother. This seems to be a story of brothers at odds. Not a story that is completely out of the ordinary. My own brother and I are vastly different from one another. But set to the backdrop of a corrupt, mafia ridden city, [...] the tension between two brothers on opposite sides of the law (one a cop, the other a vigilante) is taken to a Shakespearian level. Writer David Lapham is usually skilled with dialogue, but recently has been making waves, coming up with some of the sickest [stuff] ever to be paneled on a page with his runs on CROSSED and CALIGULA at Avatar. Here, he reigns in the shock and makes this a more realistic take on justice as seen through two vastly different lenses.

Leonardo Manco was always an artist I watched out for, but he seems to have fallen off the Earth recently. His work here and in BOOM!’s HELLRAISER shows that he still is one of the most talented artists in the biz. His handling of both the grit of action and gore and the delicate detailings of his faces shows a range few artists can match. Even in smaller panels, there’s a texture and detail to the faces that one rarely sees. Manco has always been good, but lately he’s become a finely tuned artistic machine.

DAMAGED plays out like a movie and, I’m sure, given Radical’s track record and the production studio Full Clip backing and providing story ideas for this miniseries, that it will go for a cinematic adaptation. If it looks anything like the comic I just read, I’d love to see a film version. As is, DAMAGED is a gritty police noir with gripping drama and visuals that gouge their way into your mind so you won’t forget them. I highly recommend you check out DAMAGED when it hits stores in August.

Click here to go to this advance review at Ain’t It Cool News!


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