By Jim Beard
It's no walk in the park being the
experts at repair and restoration in a place like the Marvel Universe, but hey-somebody's gotta do it.
Those somebodies run by the name of Damage Control. When buildings get broken, streets smashed, and property pulverized, you don't just call any mediocre masons or pussyfooted plasterers, you call the professionals
. With years of experience at jobs that'd make other reconstruction firms quake in their little pink booties, Damage Control has proved time and time again that there's no substitute for quality-and payment plans with reasonable rates.
Currently thrilling fans in the WORLD WAR HULK AFTERSMASH: DAMAGE CONTROL mini-series, issue #2 due out February 27, the toolbelt-totin' team is at it again with hijinks and hilarity courtesy of their co-creator and current writer Dwayne McDuffie, ably abetted by artist Salvador Espin. The whole gang has been rarin' to go at it again and eager to prove in the wake of the Hulk's rampage through New York that they've got the chops-and the contacts-to clean up the town.
Your best buds at Marvel.com got an unprecedented look into Damage Control's files recently and we picked out a handful of the company's "greatest hits" for your perusal. Heck, we even got some of the main players to comment on 'em!
NAMOR VS THE ORIGINAL HUMAN TORCH
(MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #8)
Way back in 1941, the original Human Torch had had it up to his Bunsen burner with the scrappy Sub-Mariner and decided to play with fire. Namor wrecked his way through Manhattan until the Torch caught up to him and the result saw one of the biggest super human brouhahas that war-era New Yorkers had ever seen.
STAFF REPORT-LENNY BALLINGER, HEAD FOREMAN OF DAMAGE CONTROL:
"My old man told me about this one. Sheesh, what a throwdown that was-and what a mess. Subby tore the mooring mast right off the ol' Empire State and threw it into the street below! Then he ripped up the El and the G. Washington Bridge and generally made a donkey's behind outta himself. Lucky for the Golden Age Damage Control that the Human Torch knew a thing or two about welding!"
GALACTUS COMES TO EARTH
(FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #48-50)
When the Big G first hit town he caused a bit of a stir. Landing on top of the FF's Baxter Building, he went about constructing his glorified Hoovermatic-until the Marvel Universe's First Family had something to say about it. There was panic, there was pouting, and there was plenty of property damage, but one Ultimate Nullifier later and Galactus got sent to his room without supper.
1.5 million dollars
STAFF REPORT-EUGENE STRASSER, DAMAGE CONTROL TECHNICIAN:
"There wasn't much in the way of actual damage. Mostly to the Baxter Building, I guess-but that's not what's really
important! I, uh, recovered a few components of, shall we say, alien technology
? With the help of my-ahem-government contacts, I was able to save some very interesting items! There was a molecular discharge calibrator, a synthetic resonance chronometer, and a temporal/elemental sub-thermic tone regulator...err, at least that's what I think
it was. Suffice to say, it was neat
STOLEN: ONE MAJOR METROPOLITAN CITY
(MARVEL TEAM-UP v1 #28)
Not a dream, not a hoax, and definitely not an imaginary story! Manhattan Island was loosened from its foundation by a crafty madman who intended to hold it for ransom to the tune of two billion dollars
! Lucky for New Yorkers that Spider-Man and ye friendly neighborhood demigod Hercules were on hand to beat the baddie into submission and table the threat. With the threat ended, the citizens of the Big Apple were treated to a sight that defies description-but we'll try anyway: "Hercules dragging the entire island back to its home in New York Bay."
You don't want to know.
STAFF REPORT-ROBIN CHAPEL, CEO OF DAMAGE CONTROL:
"I still find it difficult to this day to believe this one. I'm fairly sure that the firm has never seen the likes of it before and hopefully never will again. Speaking as the former traffic manager, it was a logistics nightmare. Entire bridges had to be rebuilt, lengths of tunnel reconnected, and the actual foundation of the island needed to be wholly replaced-I still wonder how long that glue Gene whipped up will hold. Wait, did I mention that Hercules originally hauled Manhattan in backwards
TERRAX THE TAMER LOVES QUEENS
(NEW WARRIORS v1 #1, 16-17)
The New Warriors hadn't even officially formed as a team when Galactus' former herald Terrax went from scorched skeleton to raving rampager quicker than you can say "Ambient Ionic Energy Locator and Collator." Queens had seen better days, to be sure. Suffice to say that when the Warriors finished whaling on Terrax, the city looked a bit worse for wear. Then, several months later, they did it all over again.
20 million dollars
STAFF REPORT-BART ROZUM, PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO ROBIN CHAPEL:
"I think everybody was way
too hard on the New Warriors. I mean, they stopped
Terrax, right? I mean, sure, there was a lot
of damage, and ginormously huge piles of manipulated earth and stone are a witch to clean up, but the Warriors were newbies an' all and they did
kick that guy's rock-hard butt-okay, okay, the bill for it was 'woah' and Terrax came back and-yeah, all right, it was a mess."
X-MANSION NO MORE...AGAIN
(NEW X-MEN v1 #155-156)
When Magneto desired his own "Planet X" and had his tiny, cold, shriveled heart set on it, well, anything that got in the way got broke. The famous X-Mansion of the equally-famous X-Men took a healthy beating that time, destroyed right down to the ground. It got rebuilt with help from Damage Control, but alas, it's a structure that's just prone to obliteration. It happens.
STAFF REPORT-ALBERT CLEARY, FINANCIAL COMPTROLLER FOR DAMAGE CONTROL:
"I had many reservations about the firm involving itself with Charles Xavier and his property again-especially after what transpired the previous time Damage Control was hired to renovate and repair that building. I made sure my objections were known to Ms. Hoag and Robin but the work commenced. It went smoothly, as smoothly as rebuilding can go when you've been hired by the X-Men, and I must admit that I only had to submit the invoice for payment twice. After payment was achieved I went around to everyone and made sure that they all possessed their full memories of the job...but of course, my
memories might not have been accurate!"
(AVENGERS V1 #500)
The Scarlet Witch dropped a bombshell on her former partners the Avengers, and nothing would ever be the same again. Tony Stark's family mansion had been destroyed before but it always seemed to bounce back, better than ever. Not this time. The Avengers were subjected to death, destruction, and disassemblage and when the time came to plan for the future, Stark just said no to rebuilding Avengers Mansion.
STAFF REPORT-JOHN PORTER, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE FOR DAMAGE CONTROL:
"This was a unique one, in the sense that we couldn't do our job. Oh, we repaired the surrounding properties and we were paid for it, but the entire time we couldn't help but look over at where Avengers Mansion once stood and shake our heads. It was the end of an era, one we didn't desire. We wanted to be hired to rebuild that great old structure, but Tony Stark decided he couldn't do it, or wouldn't
do it, or...it was his call. At least he got it declared a landmark and I see now that some of the statuary has been restored. At least that's something. I would have loved to do more. I would even have arranged a discount-but don't tell anybody that. I have an image to maintain."
Many, many more stories of Damage Control like these remain untold, but you can read about one that won't stay a secret in WORLD WAR HULK AFTERSMASH: DAMAGE CONTROL.
They're the stories behind the stories, of the little guys who pick up the pieces for the big guys and make everything look real pretty. Cleaning up after the Hulk: like we said before-somebody's gotta do it.
Check out WORLD WAR HULK AFTERSMASH: DAMAGE CONROL #2 on February 27.