Filed under: Comic Reviews, Radical Publishing Comics | Tags: AlexMaleev, Damaged, DavidLapham, JohnSchwarz, LeonardoManco, MichaelSchwarz, SamWorthington
Now, if you’ve read my review of Damaged #1, you’ll know where we’re up to with this title from Radical Publishing, who I think are still producing some of the most consistently good titles being released today.
WARNING: some spoilers!
Issue #2 in the six issue run eases us into the arc and starts filling in the blanks for us and as David Lapham writes the Michael & John Schwarz creation we, the readers, are getting more involved. Building on the cliffhanger of the last issue as Frank confronts (and tries to arrest) his vigilante brother Henry, we’re gifted the first of the flashbacks in this issue. Back to San Franciso in 1975 and straight into the heart of a mob meeting, a meeting being watched by rookie cops Frank & Henry. We start to find out a bit more of the past here as Henry’s son has been missing for six months and that Henry’s own side-investigation has uncovered a child abuse ring within the mob. Stark stuff to deal with and now I’m all for Henry’s approach.
Back to modern times and we see Frank’s replacement, Cassidy, turn up at the docks where we left issue #1’s face-off between brothers. Henry’s planned for this and creates enough of a mess to distract them and make a break for it. A pursuit kicks off and though Frank can’t keep up. Cassidy continues the chase and is outmatched by Henry… he gets his nose broken in the process. (Gave me an air of satisfaction seeing that… I can’t help it :D)
Just like in issue #1, we slip seemlessly from action to a narrated scene, this time by Henry and he fills in some more gaps on his whereabouts in the last 35 years, all while stitching his wounds with a needle & thread. Pretty much what I’m doing as I type this review… NOT. The TV blaring in the background grabs his attention as a local cop faces charges for taking the law into his own hands, something Henry can understand only too well.
What follows next is a series of flashbacks to Henry and Frank taking care of the mob meeting as Henry has brought enough gasoline to burn the world and act out his revenge for his missing son on the mob. A brother to brother argument kicks off as they discover one of the mob wives on-site and this sets off the whole load of gasoline. We see Henry take a burn to the chest and save Frank from any harm. He gets his badge melted to his chest and the imprint scarred in (ouch). Intermingled with this is modern-day scenes with Frank talking to Cassidy after his nose-break and fading out the issue with Henry’s next plan of attack: prepping explosives and aiming to try and free the local cop who’s been charged for murder.
MAN ALIVE I LOVE THIS COMIC. The writing is first class from David Lapham, paced to perfection and swinging from action, to narrative, to flashback and flashforward and every part is interesting. Couple that with the consistent gritty art from the AMAZING Leonardo Manco and you’re laughing. Topped off with a cover from Alex Maleev and I’m thinking of starting to buy these on bulk as Christmas gifts… sure, my Gran likes a good thriller anyway.
Radical Comics have a TOP title on their hands here. Two issues in and I’m desperate to read what happens next and where this is going to go.
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