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mygif

It’s an amazing concept.

And, actually, makes me sad we don’t get MORE of that sort of comic. I, for one, would love to read a Daily Planet comic from DC (the reporters view of the DC universe) and a NYPD comic from Marvel, that could be like Homicide, but for Marvel’s New York (yeah, DC did a Gotham version… but the idea of separate departments focused on street, Avenger and cosmic… it’s damn enticing.)

But really, just the idea of Perry White being the lead character of a comic, and an entire issue being centred around The Phantom Stranger and Perry White re-enacting the Donald Sutherlandf scenes from JFK…

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mygif

Ian, that sounds like it would be a very good book.

But yes, I do miss Damage Control, it was a hoot from start to finish, and through all the various mini-series. I still think that one of my favorite scenes was when the crew ends up at a ball game for some reason, and the Hulk shows up and they all wind up discussing their favorite Star Trek episodes. I’m not sure I remember why, but it WAS hilarious.

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mygif

Ball game. Hulk. Star Trek?

There goes my wages at Forbidden Planet…

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mygif

I always though Damage Control was a great idea for a Marvel Movieverse short, especially after the Avengers trashed New York, especially if they have to liaise with SHIELD in some capacity.

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mygif

One of the few episodes of the current Spider-Man cartoon I’ve caught involved Damage Control. Sadly, I don’t think they really did much with it…

And yes, ignoring the terrible Cause-of-the-Civil-War bit someone came up is for the best. Especially since pretty much everyone in-universe pretty much did…

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mygif

My favorite is the issue with the Punisher (“Oh god, you’re going to kill me now, aren’t you?”) but the ball game was a hoot too (learn the Hulk’s favorite classic Trek episode!).
Oh, and Damage Control the Movie with Marlon Brando as the Kingpin wasn’t bad either.

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mygif

Dec – according to wiki, they’re mentioned in Iron Man as being the clean-up crew after the final fight. It’s an Easter egg, but shouldn’t be difficult to make flat-out canon!

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mygif

Sadly, the concept of Damage Control, while awesome, since we don’t see much of the infrastructure of the comic universes, doesn’t hold up post-9/11.

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Joe Gualtieri said on October 12th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

“The series has sadly never been collected,”

Not strictly true. The Acts of Vengeance Omnibuses include the associated DC mini and the fourth mini was collected alongside other World War Hulk material.

I would love to see Marvel collect all four together, but knowing them, it would probbay cost $30-40.

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mygif

Damage Control rocks. ‘Nuff said.

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malakim2099 said on October 12th, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Dwayne McGuffie a few years before his passing at WWLA. He had just been given the Fantastic Four to write, and had a huge stack of those comics with him. And me, what did I show up with? Damage Control v1 #4 (where Wolverine is hit in the face with a cream pie).

Needless to say we talked about Damage Control for about 15-20 minutes, and he did hint that DC:WWH was going to be coming, though I didn’t realize that’s what it was at the time.

But I would love to see a Damage Control Omnibus. It would be a fitting tribute to a brilliant and funny writer.

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mygif

Damage Control is one of those ideas that is so obvious in hindsight that you wonder why no one thought of it before McDuffie.

Of course, the reason that no one thought of it before him is that McDuffie was a genius.

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mygif

The everyday people in comics, Marvel especially, is something that I will always love. There’s something special about people not punching each other through skyscrapers and just talking to each other.

When it’s actual superhumans just chilling it’s even better. Peter Parker and Steve Rogers talking about how they were both nerds when they were younger [Avenging Spider-Man #5] is what I want to see more of.

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mygif

Sadly, the concept of Damage Control, while awesome, since we don’t see much of the infrastructure of the comic universes, doesn’t hold up post-9/11.

Seriously? That’s so easily handwaved away that I, whose qualifications as a writer only extend to fanfiction, came up with an explanation in about ten seconds:

“9/11 doesn’t fall under our aegis. There were no superpowers involved. Doctor Doom didn’t send suicide Doombots to blow up the towers, crazy guys in jets hit them. We helped some with the cleanup, pro bono, because we live here too, but the Shocker took the opportunity of the chaos to blow up a place in the Bronx and we got called away.

We could put the towers back up in, like, two months, sure. Get the City to sign off on it, cut through the politics, and agree to our MASSIVE bill, and we’ll talk. Don’t hold your breath, though. Reed Richards has been trying to convince them to let his nano-assemblers put them back up for over a decade now, and HE offered to do it for free.”

(I have always assumed that in the Marvel Universe, both Towers were struck simultaneously, and the terrorists timed their strike for when they knew the FF would be on the other side of the country. Without Reed’s genius on-hand, even groups like the Avengers can’t do much about a towering inferno of collapsing steel aside from haul out civilians.)

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mygif

I always wondered how long real-world persecution of mutants would last.

I’m not sure your example really makes a strong case.

Within the context of the MU, there is/was an enormous political constituency for persecuting mutants, something like a solid supermajority of the country at times. Even in the real world, that would translate into official, government-sanctioned oppression, not just rednecks with ropes. And it would only get worse, not better, if mutant vigilantes started straight-up killing people coming to lynch them.

Frankly, I always thought that the mutant oppression, at least in the early years, was fairly true-to-life in a lot of ways. If you had a government with a large political constituency that wanted you to oppress mutants, and access to super-science, you WOULD create the Sentinel Program. You WOULD develop gulags. You WOULD do crazy-ass experiments designed to get the military a taste of those sweet, sweet mutant powers.

And all that notwithstanding… assuming that real world mutants worked the same way as MU ones, the majority of them would just be people with three eyes or fur, rather than having actual powers. Those people? Would get lynched.

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The Crazed Spruce said on October 13th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Oh, man, of all the 2,000-plus comics I lost in a house fire ten years ago, these are among the ones I miss the most.

I think my favourite scene was from the first issue of the first mini, where one of the construction workers picks up a glowing green object, starts glowing, and flies off, then Lenny the foreman grumbles something like “Dammit, that’s the third one this week,” then shouts into his phone, “We had another origin.” Another great one was from the second mini, where She-Hulk (who at the time, was starring in a series written by John Byrne where she would often turn to the “camera” and talk to the reader) is battling a guy in a power suit. They tumble through the walls of a building, and Lenny keeps counting off, “That’s one”, “That’s two,” and such. In the end, the building falls down on top of them, and Lenny says, “I tried to tell them. Break the fourth wall, and the whole structure collapses.”

Mostly I just loved Lenny. :)

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mygif

Within the context of the MU, there is/was an enormous political constituency for persecuting mutants, something like a solid supermajority of the country at times. Even in the real world, that would translate into official, government-sanctioned oppression, not just rednecks with ropes. And it would only get worse, not better, if mutant vigilantes started straight-up killing people coming to lynch them.

Good point. But where Marvel dropped the ball was in not following up on the scenes where Charles Xavier had his own intellectual following. It’s not plausible that there wasn’t somebody picking up the philosophical/socio-political baton after him. It’s also been a key Marvel failing that the only mutants we’ve seen have been on either side of the X-Men canon; I’ve never bought that in all their years practicing, Murdock & Nelson never hired an assistant with, say, an extra-eidetic memory.

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SilverHammerMan said on October 13th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

@Murc
Does it really could as vigilantism if they’re is acting in self defense? If a mutant actually sought out and attacked people who were anti-mutant, that would be vigilantism. But then of course you could argue that if someone can incinerate people’s heads by looking at them, they were never in any real danger, so it could be a complex issue. Probably the kind of thing that would be really great for a She-Hulk/Daredevil courtroom drama.
Anyway, I think you make a good point, anti-mutant policies from the government probably would come into effect. Where I take issue with the idea though, is that no one would see a problem with some of the stuff we’ve seen in the comics. I can’t honestly buy that the government would be able to fund, design, manufacture, and unveil their 50 foot tall robots that hunt people down based on genetic profiling, without anyone along the way calling them Nazis and the administration be ruined. And some mutants might actually be deadly, but can you imagine there not being a ton of people pissed off by the idea of registering people based on their DNA/”race”? People would be pitch a fit, especially if the majority of mutants didn’t actually have offensive powers. I think realistically mutant rights issues would be much, much more complex than they’re often shown in the comics.

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mygif

@Murc: I can see your point, but I think that any anti-mutant persecution would take a very different form than it did in Claremont’s run (which remains, to me, the definitive treatment on the subject.) Claremont did a lot of “man on the street” stuff, where average people were seen as being prejudiced against mutants…and I think that overlooks the fact that prejudice is usually directed against the powerless, not the powerful. Your average racist feels like a victim of vast, powerful forces they can’t control…and so they take it out on the blacks/Jews/hispanics/gays, because they can inflict suffering on them and they can’t fight back. There’s not going to be a mob going after, say, Nightcrawler (as happened in Uncanny X-Men) because how do you know he’s a mutant that teleports instead of a mutant who makes your brain explode through your ears?

The movies did a great job with this, I think, because they showed that anti-mutant fear would come not from the average person, but from the powerful who see the danger of that power being taken away.

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mygif

But then of course you could argue that if someone can incinerate people’s heads by looking at them, they were never in any real danger, so it could be a complex issue. Probably the kind of thing that would be really great for a She-Hulk/Daredevil courtroom drama.

I keep thinking this would be the set-up for the inevitable “Trial of Cyclops” event: whoever gets the StarkLegal money would totally say, “Okay, Cap, I need you to wear this neckbrace …”

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mygif

The mention of a She-Hulk/Daredevil courtroom crossover makes me wonder why we have never seen the two of them face off in court before?

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mygif

She-Hulk was in a courtroom episode of the ’90s Hulk cartoon, and I have a niggling feeling that Matt Murdock was in it as well, but I could be completely wrong about that, since I probably haven’t seen the series in over a decade.

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mygif

Another problem with Claremont’s run that i had was his conviction that there’s absolutely no solution to bigotry and oppression except to suffer it nobly. The past fifty years in the real world have shown that this is not true.

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Candlejack said on October 15th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I think we don’t see She-Hulk and Daredevil face off in the courtroom because Matt’s a criminal lawyer, and thus mostly faces off with prosecutors. I’m not sure on Jennifer, but I think she might also be primarily a criminal attorney? And not a prosecutor.

Besides, for them to be on the opposite side of the issue would require that one of them be mostly in the wrong, or both of them somewhat in the wrong. Unless you’re a Marvel big event planner, making a hero look like a jackass usually isn’t a high priority.

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mygif

@candlejack: I agree that making a hero look like a jackass isn’t a good story, but there’s a way to write a story if you put your mind to it.

Picture a Canadian refugee seeking not to be deported because the Superhuman Registration Act passed, but who doesn’t want to be made a public spectacle. The trial is a matter of public record and becomes really high profile. The refugee or an agent starts using powers to hide the identity or swap bodies or whatever, but Matt Murdock can tell during the trial that it’s not really him using his superior senses. No matter how he finagles it, he can’t figure out how to clue Shulkie in without revealing how he figured it out. So he gambles on a mistrial.

That doesn’t even make it necessary to put them on opposing sides; he could be trying to ruin the trial while she tries to salvage it and the federal government’s prosecutor just goes batty trying to figure out what’s going on. Kinda like “Moonlighitng” only with superpowers.

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mygif

I never got into Marvel Comics: I admit keeping up general knowledge of their universe, but I got into DC Comics just as Crisis on Infinite Earths came out and I’d been a huge Batman/Superman/Swamp Thing fan for years so that was that.

Damage Control was the only Marvel title I ever went out of my way to buy and kept an eye out for (where are the bound novels?). That’s how good they were.

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mygif

@Candlejack: During the Byrne series she was working for the New York District Attorney’s office.

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mygif

Lllllliberty Bondsssss…

Back on topic: Before “GRIMDARKAARGH” became the rule among Marvel’s writers and editors, there were more than a few stories per year (in various comics) that featured an almost-”tokenish” mutant/delta-level powered individual. Ghost Rider (first series) debuted at least 6 “non-combatant” mutants in its run, Defenders (first series) debuted a few as well. Some of the mini-series (70′s and 80′s) made the gradual of low-level mutants a cliche, even though many of the characters had powers like “changes the colour of flowers through touch” or “supersonic sneezing”.

And as far as the “Why the hell would people be willing to lynch mutants, don’t they know about their powers?”, angle is concerned, well…
Romans feared raids and attacks from various barbarians (first the Gauls, then the Carthaginians, then the Ethiops, then the Vandals, then the Norse, then the Mongols…) Roman brothels (and gladiator facilities, which usually functioned as brothels as well) also made tons of money by promoting their various “acquisitions” (“flaxen-haired beauties”, “smoky eyed wisps from the Far East”, “black beasts with monstrous… attributes”, etc.) Despite their common belief that it was all-but-impossible for non-Romans to ever act in a civilised manner (to the point that most people “knew” that barbarianism was “in the blood”), it did nothing to actually stop Romans from rutting with and producing children with their “inferiors”.

People are fucking illogical. It’s 2012, yet I can clearly remember reading a recent Marvel book that had panels of humans trying to shoot Magneto. With regular guns that fired regular bullets.

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philippos42 said on October 16th, 2012 at 2:03 am

The level of anti-mutant hysteria is one of the biggest breaks with the “world outside your window” feel of Marvel. Normal people would probably latch onto powered mutants like latching onto sports stars. The funny-looking ones would get much the same earnest sympathy as the deformed do in real life.

There would be some anti-mutant sentiment, but not, say, Canada rounding up all its muties and putting them in camps, as happened in Marvel in the 1990′s. That seemed incredibly out of character and dystopian; I don’t know if the creative team had any experience of Canadians at all.

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Candlejack said on October 16th, 2012 at 11:47 am

Ah. Did not know that, Prodigal (well, obviously). In that case, the only explanation that comes to mind is the tonal differences between the She-Hulk and Daredevil characters.

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mygif

You touched on my own personal pet peeve about Marvel “realism”, but moved on since it wasn’t the point of the article. That peeve is this: Superhuman technology that’s kept from the public. You’ve got all sorts of alien incursions into life on Earth, you’ve got Stark and Stark resilient producing clean energy cars that run on repulsors and now nano-swarms covering the earth in repulsor tech, Reed Richards and all of his inventions and innovations, mutants with starships flying to and from earth, and yet we constantly hear things like:

a) The intergalactic community deeming Earth as not ready to join the community and being treated to some sort of prime-directive rule.

b) Stark’s, Richards’ and Horizon Labs’ recent innovations having no effect on the world economy or even being mentioned in other series. (Seriously, it’s like they don’t even exist outside of the arc where they’re used as MacGuffins)

c) No perceivable leaps in worldwide technology to address issues of poverty, disease, safety, etc.

Either superhuman geniuses are being selfish and not sharing their innovations with the world in general (serious, there are so many functional teleportation devices that at this point anyone injured should be able to be automatically teleported to an ER), or there’s a a huge disconnect between superhuman technology and the “real world”. I get irritated in Iron Man and FF stories when I see these high-fantasy sci-fi inventions get mentioned, used for a story, and never heard from again. If this isn’t a clear indicator that Marvel’s super-scientists are total a-holes, I dunno what is…

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mygif

@Frank: That’s basically the plot of ‘Planetary’…the Fantastic Four are a bunch of dickweeds who keep the cool toys for themselves.

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Wooly Rupert said on October 25th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I don’t know why the average Marvel citizen draws a line between mutants and anyone else with weird flashy powers. Why don’t more anti-mutants types point to the Hulk as a mutant menace? X-books should be in their own damn universe anyway. Then we could be spared AvX.

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[...] post about them again). •Mighty God King looks at one of my favorite comics series, now departed: Damage Control, the people who clean up after super-battles. •Thoughts on stripping stories down to flash [...]

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