"Damage Inc #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Scattered Comics
Written and illustrated by James Burton
2017, 21 Pages
The supernatural bounty hunters, Damage Inc, are looking to collect on a new contract, but this might be a bit more than they bargained for. Their target are the Shadowhunters, a trio of powerful women, each with otherworldly abilities. We've got a vampire, a witch, and a shapeshifter. Fortunately, the members of Damage Inc have a few powers of their own. Unfortunately, they're pretty bad at their job.
Damage Inc is very much a product of the '90s. Each member is hopped up on testosterone, vying for the position as alpha male. Their dialogue largely consists of making fun of each other in disses that went out of style twenty years ago. There are actually “Your Mom” jokes in here. They don't have much in the way of redeeming qualities. That could be part of the design, as they're not meant to be the smartest folks out there, however, this is rather grating.
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We don't learn much of anything about who each of the characters are or how the group was formed. They're together and they're after some bounties to get some cash. That's it really. It would have benefited from more than just a one-line introduction to each character. This is a crossover with Jason Dube's Shadowhunters, and we don't get much info on them either.
Writer / artist James Burton's pencils line up with this '90s feel. The characters are big and extreme. I wouldn't have been surprised if they had a lot of pouches on their costumes, akin to Rob Liefeld's work. While the designs are good, the execution leaves something to be desired. The artwork often looks very flat with characters stuck in awkward positions. The anatomy is often off, making some people look like their limbs are too long or too short. Burton shows a real talent for art direction, keeping the action moving and controlling where the reader's eye goes.
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I rarely comment on this, but the lettering in Damage Inc is pretty rough. There's a saying in comics that you only notice lettering when it's bad. That's the case here. The fonts are all over the place. The spacing is inconsistent. Punctuation is often forgotten.
Damage Inc has some real potential, it just lacks the polish it needs to make it a solid read through. This chapter ends right when the action gets going and Burton ups the ante considerably by that point, so I'm curious as to where it goes next. The pencils and lettering could be tightened up to make for a cleaner comic.