Review by Mark Julian
Imagine a gritty, crime story that’s centered around Jim Gordon and his partner Frank Castle and you’d have a general idea of what Damaged is all about. Make Commissioner Gordon and The Punisher brothers and you’d be a step closer. Put another twist on this concept with the fact that a dark secret has been held by both of these men for the last 35 years and you’d have Damaged nailed to a tee.
Two brothers, Frank and Henry Lincoln, were once young cops but went down incredibly separate paths the night they decided to take the law into their own hands. Now, thirty-five years later, the elder brother Frank is a Captain in the San Francisco police department but is being forced into early retirement by a scheming Mayor looking to to secure his re-election. However, the situation changes when Henry returns to town, looking to brutally stamp out crime in the city in ways that would have Frank Castle taking notes. Adding to this family reunion drama is the subplot of each brother coming across a potential protege while coming to grips with the realization that they’re in their twilight years. Frank Lincoln’s protege is initially an annoyance, but ultimately is taken under Frank’s wing despite being the cop handpicked by the Mayor to replace him. Meanwhile, Henry sees a potential successor to his work in the form of a former policeman who was incarcerated because he decided to watch instead of help two mobsters trapped in a burning car. It’s a storyline that offers a fresh spin on a tried-and-true formula and the reasoning behind Henry’s harsh actions will make you question the black-and-white laws of society. The writing from David Lapham is solid, it doesn’t take chances or take itself too seriously like a Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis. Instead, the writing strives for realism and the vocabulary is something you would easily expect someone like Frank or Henry to use. There’s not a single wasted panel in the series! The art from Leonardo Manco and co. is what truly shines in this series. It’s crisp, yet at the same time subdued which gives the series a pseudo-80s cop movie vibe channeling the visual styles of a Dirty Harry or maybe Death Wish. The brutal kills from Henry are executed with flawless precision, however, the small details are not sacrificed for big action panels as facial expressions are carefully constructed.
The fully realized project will be a six-issue miniseries, check with your local comic book store or visit Radical Publishing for information on where you can buy the comic. Damaged #5 (5 of 6) is on sale Wednesday, February 1st 2012.
Now, you may or may not be aware that Sam Worthington is serving as Executive Producer of this comic, but he’s stated numerous times that he isn’t in this to simply turn it into a movie and is simply a fan of comics. That’s too bad, though, because the pages of Damaged are simply begging to be adapted for the small or big screen. If anyone from HBO is reading this, Damaged would make an excellent addition to your programming lineup.
Click here to go to this article at ComicBookMovie.com or click the cover image to learn more about Damaged.