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Damaged #1 Is An Incredible Start

Review by Reading with a Flight Ring

Radical Comics continues to push the boundaries [of] comic books, not only in storytelling, but with the quality of the artwork presented. Let me say this, if it’s hand drawn, I’ll gladly do anything for the artist… [but] if it’s computer assisted, then hello and I’m on board for the future. Then, of course, we’ve got David Lapham, and if you don’t know who he is, then you’re not a comic book fan, but go get Young Liars anyway, please.

Alright, we open up with a man who is scarred up beyond belief and even has a sheriff’s badge image perfectly burned into his flesh, or perhaps the badge itself is embedded, I don’t know, I just know that it’s there. He enters a bar and is after a couple of low life scum. Anyone who doesn’t actively support them he lets go; the others, well, he is the final judgment. Vigilante who takes matters into his own hands: nothing new, no, but incredibly well done here.

San Francisco four weeks later and we go to a young man and his pregnant wife as he leaves to meet with the police commissioner and the Mayor. [...] Well, he’s having dinner with these big wigs because for the last two years, he’s been trying to get reassigned to the Special Task Force on Organized Crime. Well, not only is he being offered a spot on the task force, they are offering him the task force. See, the guy running it now is three weeks out from retirement and they have hand picked Jack Cassidy to be his successor.

What does that say about him, that perhaps they think can control him? That he’s actually best man for the job? Something seems fishy here, but we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out and/or if some are actually dirty and are trying pull strings in their favor. It’s too early to tell yet, either way, and you actually are interested enough to come back and find out, that is how good Lapham is.

We do get to meet Captain Frank Lincoln, the reason Jack wanted to be on the task force in the first place. See, he is an old fashioned good, clean cop and it would appear, from his point of view, he was railroaded out. Nothing new in that, but again, whose side is right at this moment? One of his guys was responsible for a negligent homicide and they used that to say he wasn’t effective anymore. Could they have been right, we don’t know yet.

Not-so-ironically, dinner is interrupted by a fire they can see out the restaurant’s window [...]. This fire brings the two men together for the first time. Also happens to be the home of a powerful man in the Russian Mafiya. I like the beginning of their interaction and I know Jack respects this man so I look forward to seeing how this case defines their futures.

Now, Frank knows who hit the house and took all of ‘em out. See, Henry was a former policeman and Frank prays he’s not back and not responsible but he knows he is and he’ll do what he has to stop him. That includes keeping his identity secret for now.

We really do have this police crime drama combined with maybe a Punisher aspect to it that really has this strangely hypnotic groove to it. Throw in Manco’s art (I’d wear him out for some of this on my wall) and seriously, you have this incredible start to a what seems to be a hella good story. It’s only six issues and here’s hoping that all six continue to be as good as this one and warrant further exploits being told.

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