Written by: Adam F. Goldberg, Hans Rodionoff
Art by: Will Robson
Colors by: Ruth Redmond
Letters by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover art by: Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: August 24, 2022
Damage Control #1 looks at the lighter side of the Marvel universe when Gus, a down-on-his-luck slacker, gets a job as an intern in the world’s most dangerous cleanup company.
Is It Good?
Comedy is hard. Sometimes the jokes land. Sometimes jokes fall flatter than a pancake under a steamroller. Damage Control #1 falls flatter than a piece of tissue paper under the pancake.
You can see where famed television writer Adam F. Goldberg was going with the story. It’s the Marvel version of The Office with an eclectic cast of office characters, surprising Marvel cameos, bizarre office procedures, and more. The clash between what you know about Marvel characters and the mundanity of a bland office environment forms the foundation for the jokes, but the jokes alone aren’t enough to carry the story.
The main down point is the protagonist, Gus, who is little more than a reactive plot device. You’re given no reason to get behind him as he navigates the bizarre office environment he enters, so if you can’t connect to the main character, the jokes don’t work. Put another way, the jokes would work if you could empathize with Gus’s pratfalls and predicaments. You need to either like or hate Gus, but at best, you’ll be mildly annoyed to ambivalent about Gus. Since Gus is little more than a placeholder, you’re not given a reason to empathize with him, so the jokes don’t work.
For example, Quicksilver is pulled in to help assemble an accidentally-shredded memo before the world ends. Gus is stressed, but his reactions are superficial, so the punchline rests on Quicksilver’s cameo because he’s fast. Get it?!? That’s the joke.
Unfortunately, most of the jokes are just as lacking in imagination and empathy, and you’ll find yourself groaning and wincing rather than laughing and smiling.
The art’s serviceable and makes sense for this type of sitcom humor as the cartoonish, satirical vibe comes through loud and clear. Robson’s art is the only thing this issue lands correctly.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Damage Control #1 tries its darndest to create an amusing, whimsical adventure starring a hapless intern in Marvel’s version of The Office. Unfortunately, the jokes fall flatter than a postage stamp under a 10-ton boulder, and the main character, Gus, gives you no reason to either like or hate him.