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Friday, February 16, 2007

The Damaged #1, published by A-10 Comics, 28 pages, $2.99


After exposure to a meteor rock, a young man named Gabriel experiences his world turning upside down. That's the VERY abridged version of what happens in the first issue of A-10 Comics' The Damaged. And, while it may not sound like much happens in this premier, I believe it merits waiting around for the next issue.

Created and written by Jason McKee, the story opens with Gabriel preparing for a trip to see his father, who is deathly ill. Nothing much comes of that, as the aforementioned chaos ensues on the flight. While very little in the way of characterization is accomplished, McKee does a good job of keeping the story moving, as Gabriel's life goes from fairly normal to nightmarishly abnormal by issue's end. All I'll say is it involves meteors (both large and small), a big alien and a mystery man who cooly remarks to Gabriel, "you have no idea how you life is about to change forever!" Despite not getting to know the main character that well, McKee manages to squeeze out some sympathy for him in his plight. No small feat for a writer.

The art is ably handled by comics veteran Mark Bright, with Nelson P.M. inking. Bright has aptly wielded his talent in both comedic and dramatic stories, and while this particular work tends to be heavy on drama, there is some light-hearted material, as well. I tend to think we'll see more in the future. Bright also excels at range of emotion in his characters, which I believe is one reason why he has been, in his time, a fan favorite.

The first issue of The Damaged is recommended for those who enjoy science fiction and mystery. It is for all but the youngest readers. Find it at comics shops, online retailers and auctions or at www.a10comics.com .

Review by Mark Allen