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Damaged #1 Is A Well-Done, Gritty Genre Tale

Review by Alex Evans at WeeklyComicBookReview.com

The Story: Old-timer police captain Frank Lincoln, on his way out, realizes that his little brother Henry has returned, determined to bathe the streets in criminal blood.

What’s Good: There are certain things in storytelling, particularly genre storytelling, that simply work time in and time out. This is particularly the case with crime comics, and Damaged certainly hangs tight on numerous tropes. For instance, we get the haggard, world-weary detective and we match him up with the young, bright-eyed newbie. We’ve also got the gritty narration by said old-timer and, naturally, the Mayor and the higher ups in the police force are jerks. It’s all sort of familiar, which naturally limits how good this comic can be. However, it also limits just how bad it can be, as well. Reading Damaged at times feels like putting on an old, favourite shoe. It’s unremarkable, but it’s also comfortable. If you like crime comics at all, you won’t have any strong dislike for Damaged.

Certainly, David Lapham does do some things quite well. The narration by Frank Lincoln, politically unpopular police captain, is well executed and full of exactly the sort of downcast mood and atmosphere you’d hope for in a comic like this. Indeed, Frank’s voice is strong enough that the narrated pages end up being some of the book’s strongest. The tableside political banter between the mayor, the police department’s higher-ups, and the new recruit is also well done and feels natural and, again, comfortable.

This being a Radical book, the artwork [is] very solid. It does make some frequent use of photo-referencing, but it’s inoffensive. Rather, we’re in a rare situation where we get at times photo-realistic art with high-level of detail that also remains gritty, dark, and full of atmosphere. It’s gritty, hard art to match a story that is like-wise, and yet it also holds to the digital, eye-popping Radical standard. Also, having three colorists on one issue is usually a bad sign, but here, it’s not at all noticeable.

Click here to read the full review at Weekly Comic Book Review. Click the image below to learn more about Damaged #1, now on shelves.

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