Review by Alex Hilhorst
Damaged is a new miniseries from independent publisher Radical Comics, a gritty crime story set in San Francisco and the Bay Area. It’s “executive produced” by Sam Worthington, a.k.a. that dude from Avatar, though I’m not sure how one “executive produces” a comic. I imagine Worthington came up with a concept, brought it to the publisher and fronted some money. Though his acting skills are questionable, I respect Worthington because he clearly has respect for the geeky fanboys who make up the majority of his audience (hence his voice acting in Call of Duty: Black Ops). Plus, one of the characters in Damaged kinda looks like him.
Suggested for “mature readers,” Damaged is indeed a very adult tale reminiscent of recent crime films such as Se7en and The Departed as well as TV series The Wire and also closely resembles The Punisher. It follows three distinct characters: two brothers, Frank and Henry Lincoln, who were once both cops until Henry took the vigilante path and went on the lam. Frank is an old and grizzled captain now on the verge of retirement- he’s being replaced as the head of a Special Task Force on Organized Crime by a young up and comer named Jack Cassidy. Cassidy, the Sam Worthington lookalike, is a straight-laced lieutenant who plays things by the books, but behind the scenes is being used as a puppet for the mayor, who’s interested in boosting his image in time for the year’s elections. Lincoln sees crime more as a gray area and isn’t too concerned with the wellbeing of criminals, even if they’re informants. This puts him at odds with Cassidy as the two investigate the massacre of Russian mobsters Frank believes was the work of his brother.
Damaged is a really cool new series and shows a lot of promise. Leonardo Manco’s artwork is fantastic and he nails the gritty color palette of the modern crime thriller. I also appreciate the incredibly realistic faces of the characters- probably had to pay a lot of models. David Lapham’s dialogue is also quite good, never hokey nor forced, and works in tandem with the art. Like with Worthington, I don’t really understand what Michael Schwarz and John Schwarz have to do with this project, as they’re only credited as “creators.” Though Henry Lincoln is a little too similar to Frank Castle, the concept of rival brothers on either side of the law both fighting for justice is an intriguing one, and a bit more complex than The Punisher‘s straightforward REVENGE!!! tale. To top it all off, this issue at least is considerably longer than your average comic book, and has a trio of equally sweet covers.
Definitely a series to watch.
Click here to learn more about Damaged. Damaged #1 hits shelves Wednesday, August 17.
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