Written by David Lappen
Artwork by Leonardo Manco
With Election Day looming in Damaged #5, the disappearance of five corrupt police officers becomes a tipping point in San Francisco as policemen and vigilantes alike engage in their pursuit. While Lieutenant Jack Cassidy seeks these officers through legal means, recently retired SFPD veteran Frank Lincoln abandons his long-held moral code in search of his brother, Henry, and Isaac Lordsman, dead-set on doing whatever he must in order to stop their destructive path. However, he may already be too late, as Henry Lincoln’s troubled protégé finally spins out of control, leaving unimaginable tragedy in his wake.
While this penultimate issue of the series certainly ramps everything up in the lead up to the finale, the comic opens with the calm before the storm. Frank, at the behest of his girlfriend Wendy, has finally taken Cassidy up on his offer to try his wife’s pot roast (a nice finish to a recurring gag in previous issues). You can see that the four, especially Wendy, can sense that there is something coming that will change things forever and hope to hold onto this tranquil moment for as long as possible. It is here that I think Manco truely steps up and delivers some great artwork. He excellently captures the the facial features and body language of people relaxed in each other’s company. I can’t deny I love the action of the comic (and this issue features some great action), but I find it is moments like these that ensure Lapham’s story doesn’t become just another identikit hard boiled cop story.
Henry meanwhile is growing increasingly concerned with his choice of replacement. Lordsman’s passion and efficiency are what he was after, his willingness to step over the moral boundaries Henry has imposed on himself are not. This issue sees Lordman not only change the rules of their partnership but also brand himself with his own badge to show his commitment (though Henry wears his own brand like a badge of honour, it was caused by accident rather than design). Leaving Henry behind, Lordsman goes looking for 5 cops who have, in his eyes, escaped justice for too long.
The nice thing about this issue is that it mostly focuses on the younger men in the series. It shows that the whole battle between the cop and the vigilante has passed down a generation as Cassidy and Lordsman take up the roles of Frank and Henry. Though in a nice touch, whilst the battle is the same, the methods are different. Cassidy uses his quick wit and fast talking to get the information he needs, Frank takes the old school approach of policing, his fists. Henry, whilst merciless towards those he deems as evil will stop himself from crossing the line whilst Lordsman will kill and hurt whoever he needs to in order to get the job done.
A meeting between the characters in the aftermath of one of Lordsman’s attacks also shows us that Frank’s heavy handed approach to upholding the law may work better than Cassidys and makes you wonder if he has what it takes to stop the killers. The issue sets up the finale but it definitely won’t play out the way you’d imagined it.
The comic’s ability to shock is one of it’s best qualities. Some things happened that I’d definitely not seen coming. No higher praise can be heaped on a comic which is telling a story that has been told before than that it still manages to be original. Whilst I like the use of only following one character’s inner monologue per issue (this month it’s back to Cassidy), my only problem with this issue was the lack of insight into how Henry feels about events, and information that is revealed, in this issue as his stoic nature doesn’t really give much away. On the whole, another great issue that will leave you wanting more. With only one issue to go and all the players and events set up for the finale, I genuinely can’t wait to see the outcome.
Damaged #5 is released on Feb 1st. Make sure you pick up a copy.
And now for something completely Radical!
Win the first 5 issues of Damaged, courtesy of Radical Publishing. Good Luck!
Here’s what to do:
To enter this contest through Twitter (www.Twitter.com/RadicalComics), participants must retweet the following a maximum of two times a day: #Damaged 5 from @RadicalComics is out Feb.1! http://bit.ly/pXcMYJ Preview: http://bit.ly/xG3dzP At the contest’s conclusion, five winners will be chosen at random from the total pool of entrants. These winners will each receive a set of Damaged issues #1-5.
To enter this contest via Facebook, participants should visit Radical’s Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/RadicalPublishing), click “Like,” then click the “contests” tab. There, entrants will be prompted to provide a valid e-mail address and answer a Radical trivia question. Following this contest’s conclusion, five winners will be randomly chosen from the pool of entrants who were able to answer the question correctly. These winners will each receive a set of Damaged issues #1-5.
Radical wishes the best of luck to all entrants!
About Damaged: Damaged is the story of two brothers, Frank and Henry Lincoln, long estranged after a violent event in their shared past forces them apart. Over the course of 35 years, the brothers pursue separate paths, each upholding his own vision of the law— Frank, an upright citizen, becomes a distinguished veteran of the San Francisco PD, while Henry, a hardened vigilante, enforces the sort of justice the law cannot stomach. As the brothers approach retirement, each attempts to train a younger prote?ge? in his image. Sparks fly as the two brothers and their differing views collide—and the fate of the city may hang in the balance.
Damaged, created by Michael and John Schwarz of Full Clip Productions, is written by Eisner Award-winner David Lapham (Stray Bullets), illustrated by Leonardo Manco (Driver for the Dead) with cover art by acclaimed artist Alex Maleev.