Damage Control #2
Issue(s): Damage Control #2
The story launches from the idea introduced last issue that the Kingpin was a co-owner of Damage Control. That may seem like out of date info, since he sold his share in the company last issue. But the Punisher might not have that info yet, and there's also a twist coming up in this series related to that anyway. So the Punisher decides to go to the Damage Control building, talking about how he doesn't want to harm any innocents as he punches out a security guard, and then is shocked to find the building full of people in the waiting room thanks to all the damage in the city caused by Acts of Vengeance.
Breaking up a two page spread (the bottom of these pages has an intro to Acts of Vengeance and a recap of last issue):
I'm not sure about that Leap-Frog/Frog-Man costume. I wasn't even sure if anyone was necessarily in the suit (could be a robot, as we'll see in a second). But the MCP list Leap-Frog (the retired villain and father of Frog-Man) as appearing in this issue, and Wikipedia says Leap-Frog "briefly was employed by Damage Control. Eugene Strausser made some improvements on the Leap-Frog suit." Maybe that becomes clearer in a future issue, although he's not seen or mentioned again in the rest of this mini-series.
Anyway, the joke is that the Punisher can't even get anyone to notice him amidst all the chaos (which includes Mayor Ed Koch accompanied by a bodyguard wearing a Dinkins button).
Punisher eventually shoots his gun to get everyone's attention, but then he's attacked by what seems like Dr. Doom.
The Punisher knows that he doesn't have a chance against Doom, so he retreats. But now he's even more sure that Damage Control is a crooked organization. "Dr. Doom" turns out to be a robot controlled by Eugene (i won't call it a Doombot since i don't know if it's just something Eugene whipped up or an actual Doombot that he found and reprogrammed).
A second later, She-Hulk bursts in through a wall, responding from an alert sent by Jarvis, who was in the waiting room when the Punisher started shooting. In addition to real walls, She-Hulk is breaking the fourth wall in this book.
Jarvis was probably in the room arranging for Damage Control to retrieve Avengers Mansion. The next morning we see Damage Control fishing it out of the harbor.
But the work isn't complete until they transfer it back to the park, and there's a union meeting that is interrupting the job. Captain America shows up to say hello, but he's still angry at John Porter over the Vault incident last issue.
At this point we get into the office politics storyline. Last issue we saw that a company called Carlton bought Damage Control from the Kingpin and Tony Stark. The acquisition is being led by Mickey Souris, and in this issue he's brought in Ray Lippert to help him.
We also see that the new building has literally been dropped in around the flatiron building that Damage Control was located in.
Damage Control's financial expert Albert Cleary has gotten an advanced look at Cleary's re-organization plans and realized that they mean deep cuts to the company. That results in Eugene being fired, Albert being fired (with the implication that he was only hired in the first place due to Affirmative Action)...
...and the company refusing to honor the latest union contract, resulting in Lenny Ballinger leading the non-management workers on a strike, despite an offer to put him in a high paying management position.
In more positive developments, the intern Bart agrees to stay on as the current CEO Robin Chapel's new personal assistant, and Robbie Baldwin (aka Speedball) is brought on as a new intern.
But now back to the Punisher story. He shows up at Robin's home, and the closest we come to any kind of biting satire is this panel.
But Robin manages to convince him that she's not working for the Kingpin. He decides not to kill her, but to keep an eye on her. Ray Lippert being extra annoying may have helped with his decision. (sitcom humor).
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Punisher says that the Kingpin has sent a lot of trouble his way "recently" but i assume that's a relevant term (he also says that he learned the hard way that he can't kill the Punisher, but that can refer to at least two different incidents and there's no footnote so i didn't list it as a Reference). Among the conversation in Damage Control's waiting room, there's a reference to the Juggernaut causing some destruction and the Avengers wrecking the whole upper west side. I assume those are references to Thor #410-411 and probably Avengers #312, although the latter may be something else (e.g. Punisher #29). This definitely takes place after Punisher #29. Later in the issue, Bart tells Robin that "someone dropped the Daily Bugle building", a reference to Amazing Spider-Man #326. Just because Bart is relaying that message right away doesn't mean that it had to have just happened, especially since ASM #326 takes place early in Acts of Vengeance (before Spider-Man gets the Uni-Power) whereas the reference to Thor #410 places this later (after the Red Skull joins the AoV cabal).
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlbert Cleary, Anne (Damage Control secretary), Bart Rozum, Captain America, Eugene Strausser, Jarvis, Jay (Damage Control guard), John Porter, Leap-Frog, Lenny Ballinger, Marie Leahy, Mickey Souris, Punisher, Ray Lippert, Robin Chapel, She-Hulk, Speedball
Fnord, I'm surprised you didn't make a bigger deal out of Mickey Souris's appearance. In She-Hulk:Ceremony, he was a sorcerer- Carlton's apprentice. And Carlton was running the company. In this limited series Souris seems to be doing everything himself and shows no magical powers. I suppose the idea is that after Carlton's defeat at the end of She-Hulk: Ceremony, Souris lost his magical powers and took over the day-to-day running of the company but that could have been more clear.
Posted by: Michael | April 3, 2015 5:14 PM
Yeah, i was going to mention it when we find out what's going on with him in issue #4. ;-) Until then it's not clear who he's reporting to or what's going on. He's also really not that interesting a character (here or in Ceremony).
Posted by: fnord12 | April 3, 2015 5:32 PM
I realize John is supposed to be intimidating in that panel of him and Ray...but honestly, it looks more to me like John is sexually harassing him. Take the dialogue out of that scene and tell me that it doesn't look like John is about to kiss him...
Posted by: Dermie | April 3, 2015 6:47 PM
Dermie, I think that might be intentional- the idea might be that John thought Ray was intending to sexually harass Robin and was "turning the tables".
Posted by: Michael | April 3, 2015 11:12 PM
In the Netherlands mini series like these were often cut up and used as back-up strips for other comics. So I had a collection of Spectacular Spider-Man and got this series thrown in. Picked up my copy to compare translation to your scans of the original. Oddly enough most of the stuff with the mayor is still in there (It helps that he explains who he is in his first panel), but the line about affirmative action is missing.
That bit on Wikipedia sounds like someone is just trying to describe his appearance here in a manner that Wikipedia won't label as lacking notability. Or maybe it comes from an Official Handbook entry?
Posted by: Berend | April 4, 2015 6:48 AM
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