World War Hulk: Aftersmash

Look at this Mess: Damage Control

DAMAGE CONTROL writer Dwayne McDuffie returns to his creation to help clean up WORLD WAR HULK

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By Eric Drumm When your toilet breaks, you call the plumber. When your roof leaks, you call the roofer. When a super powered battle destroys your city, you call in the specialists – Damage Control, Inc! Writer Dwayne McDuffie (FANTASTIC FOUR) and artistic newcomer Salva Espin hand DCI the biggest contract of their career when they get tasked with rebuilding New York City in the "World War Hulk: Aftersmash" tie in mini DAMAGE CONTROL, issue #1 dropping on January 23. Damage Control, Inc has been cleaning up the Marvel Universe for quite some time. They first popped up in MARVEL AGE ANNUAL back in 1988 co-created by none other than Dwayne McDuffie. Since then they have been setting up shop, rebuilding and cleaning up after superhero devastation, coming face to face with such famous destroyers like Doctor Doom and Galactus.

The original
Damage Control

Led by no-nonsense founder Ann-Marie Hoag, the folks at Damage Control have found themselves at the heart of some of the biggest messes in Marvel history. For McDuffie, the point of a "team" like Damage Control has always seemed a bit ridiculous, yet entirely necessary. "I was interested in the idea that there was the infrastructure of maintenance for super heroes and the mess they caused and that's where the idea for Damage Control came from," says McDuffie of his creation. "The impetus actually came from an old episode of the live action 'Batman' TV show where the Batmobile had to make a U-Turn and fired a drag chute off the back to slow down; after they took off, a van came in with 'Batmobile Drag Chute & Recovery' written on the side." Makes sense the Marvel Universe would need a service like that, no? Maybe a Quinjet wreckage recovery crew?

DAMAGE
CONTROL #1 black
and white art
by Salva Espin

Luckily for Damage Control's profit margin, WORLD WAR HULK created a situation in desperate need of their expertise. Jade Jaws flattened the island of Manhattan, but now with the monster subdued the clean up can begin. "It made sense to have a mini about people cleaning up the aftermath of WORLD WAR HULK, so we figured, why not call up Dwayne and ask him to write it" explains editor Nate Cosby. "He was good enough to say yes, I tried to help him with whatever insider Hulk info I could, he came up with the take on it, and voila, the Damage Control quiche you'll be enjoying soon was baked." Delicious! However, New York City acts as sorta the capital of the world, so when it gets all smashed up, rebuilding becomes a fairly daunting task. Lots of seriously unsafe things happened during WORLD WAR HULK, and plenty of its remnants still smolder in the broken streets. McDuffie promises that this will be no easy job for Damage Control, and they will certainly earn their keep.

DAMAGE
CONTROL #1 black
and white art
by Salva Espin

"New York City was largely evacuated during WORLD WAR HULK and much of Midtown was destroyed," recounts the writer. "Damage Control is in the process of maneuvering politically to secure funds so they can fix things." "There's things to deal with like adamantium shrapnel scattered throughout the city and of course the Hulk's huge spaceship," continues McDuffie, "The Hulk's ship actually has some bizarre properties and the unforeseen effect of giving the Chrysler building sentience. The Chrysler building basically decides it has had it with the rat race and that it wants to take off and take some classes, maybe bum around Europe. Damage Control has to convince it to stay put. There are also some 2500 people who never left during the evacuation and who are trapped." When you've got that many people that need to be rescued and this level of destruction, not even Damage Control has the means to get the job done. In the past, DCI has called in superhuman volunteers to do the heavy lifting, flying, laser shooting, etc. However, the minor glitch of the Super Hero Registration Act may stand in their way. Working for the government, they can't go all New Avengers and fly in unregistered labor under the radar.

DAMAGE
CONTROL #1 black
and white art
by Salva Espin

"[Damage Control doesn't] have powers, so they don't need to register, but they do have a lot of heroes volunteering to help them, and some aren't registered, so there is paperwork and stuff they never used to have to worry about," notes McDuffie. "The Thunderbolts also get involved, as they're not thrilled about unregistered heroes working with Damage Control," reveales the writer. "But Damage Control has a sort of secret weapon as Penance—Robbie Baldwin, the former Speedball—used to intern for them. That's not something I made up, it actually happened in other comics years ago!" Hmm, that could work to their advantage. But isn't Penace actually sorta crazy these days? Read PENANCE: RELENTLESS—trust us. Anything can happen in New York City, but that most certainly gets magnified when destruction and weird aliens run amuck. Damage Control better be careful, because we doubt even they have enough hazard pay in their budget for this one. Get down to business with DAMAGE CONTROL #1 by Dwayne McDuffie with art by Salva Espin on sale January 16 and look back to the origins of World War Hulk with Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited

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