We live in one of the coolest times for comic books. We have great artists and writers working on characters that fans know and love. The thing is that over the course of decades, a lot of really cool concepts have either completely disappeared or just been pushed back into a corner. At Marvel, there's one team that pops in, now and again, but for the most part, they haven't been around too much and it's a genius concept: Damage Control.
Think about the Marvel Universe and all the gigantic, epic battles that take place. Stories like Civil War and World War Hulk, up to AvX and Axis left cities and areas devastated. The amount of damage to buildings and infrastructure where the events took place is always insurmountable. How does everyone get back to normal? How does life go on? That's where Damage Control comes in.
What the heck is Damage Control though?
Simply put. Damage Control repairs the damage done by these giant battles. It's their job to come in, assess the situation and fix everything up. The team has, for the most part, been put in comical situations, since plain old construction workers wouldn't make for that fun of a story. Damage Control made their debut back in 1988 in MARVEL AGE ANNUAL #4, as they cleaned up after a battle between Daredevil and Turk. Throughout the years, the team has cleaned up after many battles, some big, some small, and had a run-in with Doctor Doom, who wouldn't pay his bills.
Who the heck is Damage Control?
People have come and go from this group and most of them are people even Marvel fans aren't familiar with. Although she didn't appear with the group the first time they appeared, Anne-Marie Hoag is the owner and founder of Damage Control. She's a bit smarmy and can push her nose into other people's business at times. John Porter is the account executive of Damage Control and has a vast knowledge of insurance law. Henry Ackerdson is the head of marketing for the company. Gene Strausser is the head of research and development. Yes, these characters, on the surface, seem like they'd make for a terrible book. It's just a bunch of administration people, sitting around, doing nothing. There's more to the group than that though.
Every good company needs a mascot though, and Damage Control has Fluppy. He's a bulldog. He has no powers. He'll slobber on you. Robin Chapel is the traffic manager. As for the rest of the team, there's Albert Cleary, the controller of Damage Control, Edifice Rex, who has cosmic powers that he uses to clean and restore property, Monstro, a super-powered human who is part of the search and rescue division of the team, and even Eric O'Grady (RIP), once called "Ant-Man," lent a helping hand here and there. All of these characters, on the scene, work under Lenny Ballinger, the head foreman.
Many characters have come and gone over the years, including a few that have died in non-Damage Control events, but a lot of the team has stayed the same.
What the heck is so great about Damage Control?
Conceptually, it's pretty brilliant and always a question fans have in their mind. "Who cleans up after the battle is over?" Almost every major comic arc has some sort mass damage to a city or town that needs this team. It's already decently established and it's pretty amazing that this team hasn't had their own book or mini since WORLD WAR HULK AFTERSMASH: DAMAGE CONTROL, back in 2008. That last mini-series was pretty fantastic, featuring the Dwayne McDuffie writing and featured Salvador Espin and Guru eFX. It had a cartoony and over-the-top feel to it, a tone that would fit-in with what Marvel is doing now.
Why the heck should it make a comeback?
There's a lot of potential for this team, especially with the way Marvel has been moving forward to include more comedic series. Sure, the adventures of Damage Control won't be as impactful or exciting as what Thor, Captain America, or Iron Man are up to, but it could follow the same format that is being seen in ANT-MAN or UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL: a stand-alone book, in its own little corner, that just tells fun stories.
A new mini-series or series seems something extremely up Nick Spencer's alley as it could easily fit in the same tone as SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN or ANT-MAN. Maybe playing casting directing isn't the best idea, but a writer who can bridge comedy and reality together would be great for a book like this. Artist-wise, someone like Kate Leth would be pretty awesome to see on a book like this, even though she's already working on the upcoming HELLCAT.
Aside from that, it's a great way to deal with the lesser known characters in Marvel's comic universe. There's a lot of cool characters that aren't involved on a team currently and they've just disappeared, since it's impossible to give every comic character their own series. An updated Damage Control book could create a little more unity between all these characters as well.
Understandably, this isn't a book that fans are clamoring to have, but there is potential for greatness by utilizing this team and characters. There is complexity here, especially with the idea that Damage Control has this split between administration and those working on the ground level. There's something there. What do you think of Damage Control?