Review by Matt Sager at Comics Cavern
David Lapham (Stray Bullets) wears his influences on his sleeve and does them honor, in the violent crime drama Damaged. The six-issue miniseries, written by Lapham and illustrated by Leonardo Manco for Radical Studios, is a glorious mix of Dirty Harry and The Punisher, with modern ethical dilemma dramas like The Shield thrown in.
It’s a comic book that reminds us not to take it too seriously, with over the top flourishes like giving antihero Henry Lincoln a scar in the shape of a police badge, permanently burned into his flesh during his first, failed attempt at vigilante justice. It’s pretty unsubtle in its symbolism, which is fine because the story is grim and gritty enough that bits like that keep it light and grounded in the realm of over the top fiction.
Henry is locked in combat with his brother Frank, an officer about to retire from a corrupt police force in the grip of an even more corrupt mayor, and each man takes on an heir, even as they both struggle with the failings of their ideology that they once believed in so fervently they haven’t seen one another for years. That the reunion is soaked in blood and questioning as to whether either is truly right in their beliefs and methods makes for great drama that, sadly, always seems relevant to current events, and Lapham and Manco are proven pros at this genre.
It’s a match made in comics heaven, and a ripping good read. The first four issues of Damaged are in stores now, and issue #5 is scheduled for release February 1.
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