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Damage Control #1: Review

May 1989
Dwayne McDuffie, Ernie Colon

Story Name:

A Restoration Comedy!

Review & Comments

5 stars

Damage Control #1 Review by (March 26, 2019)

Review: I find Dwayne McDuffie's DAMAGE CONTROL to be one of the funniest things Marvel ever published and I'm not ashamed to say so. And with the first issue everything is as bright and fresh as it will ever get so I'm giving this five stars. We get a nice intro to most of the characters and their relationships, and a glimpse of the kind of things Damage Control does both big (a giant robot crushing downtown Manhattan) and small (finding a lost wrecking ball for a supervillain). My favorite bit is the workman who discovers a glowing sphere and has an “origin,” becoming a new super...somebody. Lenny says “We lose more employees this way.” And Spidey isn't the witty one anymore: everyone gets off some zingers.

Comments: Damage Control was introduced in MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #19 wherein Mrs Hoag hired John Porter for the new position while Josie's Bar (from DAREDEVIL) was being rebuilt. Note: story takes place before AVENGERS #294. The giant robot was rebuilt by the Terrible Tinkerer for one Virgil Starkwell; that's the incompetent crook played by Woody Allen in TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN. Issue includes profiles of John Porter and Lenny Ballinger. Title is an elaborate pun on Restoration comedy, a type of play popular in late 17th century London but also referring to this book, a comedy series involving workers who restore broken things.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Damage Control #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Avengers (Thor, She-Hulk, Black Knight, plus Spider-Man) are battling a giant robot in downtown New York. The Alternating Bug-Bot (for so it is called) grows to three times its size and swats Thor several streets away, toppling a building. Then Spidey manages to crawl inside the robot's mouth to the control room and shuts it down....

The traffic jam surrounding the superhero adventure threatens to make John Porter late for his new job so he dashes through the streets to the Flatiron Building and the offices of Damage Control, the firm that repairs what gets broken by super-heroes and -villains. The chatty (and sexy) receptionist Anne directs him to the big boss Mrs Hoag. In the lobby John meets the villain Thunderball who lost his signature wrecking ball and thinks D-C may be able to get it back for him; Bart Rozum the intern takes Thunderball to the lost and found department. Mrs Hoag gives John a tour of the office, turning him over to traffic manager Robin Chapel, hostile since she wanted his job. Robin introduces John to his first client, Robert Washington of the Port Authority; the problem in that the giant robot toppled by Spider-Man is now draped over multiple buildings, head and shoulder resting against the World Trade Center....

Meanwhile, Thor, She-Hulk, and Black Knight are having trouble extracting Spidey from the robot's head. Dr Druid arrives to tell them that the robot is the work of the Terrible Tinkerer and they rush off to apprehend him, leaving Spidey to fend for himself....

Back at D-C, Anne informs a worried Jarvis that the destruction will go on the city's account, not the Avengers'. Comptroller Albert Cleary tells Washington the city's account is overdrawn and Mrs Hoag will have to approve the deal. Figuring there must be an easier way to deal with a giant robot than cutting it up and hauling it away, John goes to Gene Strausser in Tech Support and has him come to the work site. Robin calls head foreman Lenny Ballinger (who has just seen one of his workers touch a glowing sphere, gain super-powers and fly off to find his destiny) and asks him to go to the WTC damage site. Robin, thinking John doesn't know what he's doing, and Lenny start making plans to airlift the robot to their New Jersey warehouse, when John surprises her by using a device created by Gene to make it stand up and walk away from the WTC and then fold up into a Volkswagen Beetle (with Spidey in the trunk). They release the hero and drive the car to Jersey....

Later, Robin stops by to apologize to John and they go out for a drink. Elsewhere, Lenny has put the WTC not quite back the way it but decides it's close enough....

PS In case you were worried, Thunderball got his wrecking ball back.

Ernie Colon
Bob Wiacek
John Wellington
Ernie Colon (Cover Penciler)
Ernie Colon (Cover Inker)
Ernie Colon (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Peter Parker)


Plus: Black Knight (Nathan Garrett).

> Damage Control: Book info and issue index

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