Damage Control #3
Issue(s): Damage Control #3
This gets me excited about the continuity-smoothing possibilities of this book. Since Fantastic Four #6, i've laughed about the idea that buildings can be lifted off the ground and then just put back in place as if nothing happened, so i would have loved to see Damage Control basically "doing a Baxter Building package" here, explaining how they can put things back to normal before the next issue of (in this case) Spider-Man. But that's not how this issue goes at all.
Things are complicated by the strike that started last issue, so Damage Control's management has no workers to use for the job. Mickey Souris won't meet the union's demands (which are just to honor their existing contract) or hire non-union workers, but John Porter gets the idea to ask the Avengers for help. Captain America lends them She-Hulk, who is still in fourth-wall breaking mode.
While She-Hulk is trying to move the Daily Bugle building, she's attacked by the recently fired Eugene Strausser, who has as an ally Robert Washington, another character that has lost his job recently.
Note the leg-shaving comment, a reference to the controversy generated by the McDuffie-written She-Hulk: Ceremony.
While She-Hulk is fighting, we see Lenny Ballinger. And it turns out he's counting the number of walls She-Hulk breaks during the fight. When she breaks the fourth wall, the building they're fighting in (not the Bugle) collapses around her.
Robbie Baldwin is also working at Damage Control, so he slips away to become Speedball, giving McDuffie an opportunity to poke a little fun at superhero comics conventions.
Speedball bounces in and ends the fight. She-Hulk's response is pretty funny.
After it's all over, She-Hulk is unable to move the Bugle back in place. Similarly, Ray Lippert's attempt to move Avengers Mansion fails and it winds up falling back into the harbor.
At the end of the issue, we see Anne Marie Hoag and Albert Clearly conspiring with Nick Fury to get control of the company back.
I continue to feel like this comic misses its mark. The primary source of humor here is She-Hulk breaking the fourth wall. It's done to overkill (having her break the fourth wall and having Lenny make the fourth wall joke is a bit much), and it's something already done better in her own book anyway. It may be a little late to be making fun of Speedball now that he's joined the New Warriors, but it seems like a lot more could have been done there. That leaves us with the hostile take-over/union strike plot, making this book more like an actual series than a comedy book, and from that perspective it's a drama about office politics at a construction company; not very exciting and not suited to Ernie Colon's art style. The book nonetheless has some funny moments that make it worth checking out.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Daily Bugle problem was first mentioned last issue, and as i noted then, it must have been standing for a little while before Damage Control was contacted, due to other references in that issue.
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlbert Cleary, Anne (Damage Control secretary), Anne Marie Hoag, Bart Rozum, Captain America, Eugene Strausser, Fabian Stankowicz, Henry Ackerdson, John Porter, Lenny Ballinger, Marie Leahy, Mickey Souris, Nick Fury, Ray Lippert, Robert Washington, Robin Chapel, She-Hulk, Speedball, Wasp
This issue is really the first time Robbie shows a sense of humor- at the time I thought it out of character but it soon became his default characterization.
Posted by: Michael | April 3, 2015 5:17 PM
When She-Hulk is complaining about facing lame-o's who haven't even figured out their name is looking very Larsen-y.
The jokes about the 4th wall, DeFalco and certainly the one about She-Hulk shaving her legs were totally lost to me when I first read this.
Posted by: Berend | April 4, 2015 6:29 AM
I know part of the whole Damage Control thing was sneaking in digs at the competition, but is "DC is unfair to its employees" a reference to a real issue that was going on at the time?
Posted by: cullen | April 4, 2015 12:51 PM
I'm not aware of anything specific but Ernie Colon worked as an editor and artist for DC in the '80s so maybe it was something he slipped in there.
Posted by: Robert | April 4, 2015 1:11 PM
A few years before this, DC angered a lot of creative people with its proposed ratings system, and about the time this issue was produced, Rick Veitch quit DC over the last-minute disapproval of his "Swamp Thing meets Jesus" story(which also caused Jamie Delano and Neil Gaiman to yank their proposed storylines from the book).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 4, 2015 3:07 PM
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