Damage #1 from DC Comics by Tony S. Daniel, Robert Venditti, Danny Miki, Tomeu Morey, and Tom Napolitano will be the first release from DC's New Age of Heroes, coming out January 17th.
To say that this title is just DC doing Marvel's Incredible Hulk would be ultimately reductive and unfair. Certainly, there's clear visual similarities, and they are striking — going in blind, you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd accidentally picked up a copy of the Hulk. Story-wise, there are clear touch stones, as well — a man who turns into a massive monster against his will; the military involvement; the path of insane destruction, etc., etc.
However, as the story in this first issue progresses, we begin to see more clear differences that could ultimately make Damage an especially intriguing and different book.
The military created this monster on purpose and used him against his will. Ethan, the protagonist, and Damage, the monster, actually communicate with each other, and to some extent, appear to listen to each other. There are a few more differences building that actually make Damage a more unique concept, if on a surface level appearing similar to the competition own beast of destruction.
The core message of Damage appears to be something different too: less about anger and emotional, id vs. ego conflicts, more about not having to be what others want to make you. That core conflict of the title may in fact be what will make Damage truly stand out and shine.
Visually, the comic looks fantastic. Daniel, Miki, and Morey's work on this issue is detailed, widescreen action at its most stunning, and truly looks epic in its scope. Morey's use of reds through the issue adds a weird tension to the scenario, subtly portraying the warzone feel of the path of destruction.
Damage #1 may look like a simple case of DC trying to make lightning strike twice by doing their own version of another publisher's character, but that is the most superficial way of looking at it. Damage has some new kinks and subtleties that ultimately make for a different story and experience, despite the surface appearance.
Damage #1 is released January 17th.