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Damage Control #2: Review

Dec 1989
Dwayne McDuffie, Ernie Colon

Story Name:

Cruel and Unusual Punisher

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Damage Control #2 Review by (October 14, 2019)

Review: A goofy issue already because of the change in management causing multiple headaches (tsouris in Yiddish, pronounced just like the new boss' name) and the Punisher showing up with the idea that DC is a criminal organization. There are several crazy little bits through such as the (fake) arrival of Doctor Doom, She-Hulk's learning she's an issue early for her guest shot (Jen was meta before Deadpool had even shown up), and a strangely comical recounting of the Punisher's origin (you know, his family being murdered?). Plus a guest shot from the then-Mayor of New York? How did they ever talk him into it? Nifty entry in the series.

Comments: Issue bannered “Acts of Vengeance,” a crossover series of the time. First appearance of Ray Lippert who will show up quite a bit over the rest of the ensuing limited series. Ed Koch was Mayor of New York when this comic was published—and also would be out of office as of January 1, 1989 as mentioned in the story. Title is a pun on the phrase “cruel and unusual punishment” from the US Constitution.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Damage Control #2 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Punisher learns that the Kingpin is part owner of Damage Control so he goes to their headquarters with mayhem in mind but when he arrives at their office he finds sheer chaos; with the  recent spate of superhuman activity in the city (thanks to the Acts of Vengeance series), everyone is in urgent need of DC's services, even a frustrated Mayor Ed Koch. An equally frustrated Punisher fires his gun into the ceiling to gain everyone's attention and the new Chief Robin Chapel comes out to scold him; assuming she works for the Kingpin, he takes her hostage at gunpoint until she is rescued by—Doctor Doom? Yes so Punisher retreats and that's when we learn that Doom is a robot created by R&D head Gene Strausser. She-Hulk arrives but learns that the bad guy has already departed; turns out she's an issue early for her guest shot.

Lenny Ballinger and his team arrive to do their big job for the Avengers; Jarvis directs them to raise Avengers Mansion from the river where it sank in AVENGERS #311 and return it to its original site. Lenny warns John Porter of some union unrest and Captain America scolds John for his irresponsible actions at the Vault (last issue)....

Back at the HQ we learn that the Carlton Co. building was constructed around DC's original HQ in the Flatiron Building. Robin is discovering that she can't find anyone to replace her as traffic manager as they keep quitting on her. Comptroller Albert Cleary informs them that he has uncovered Carlton Co's reorganization plan and it will have serious consequences. Albert accompanies Robin and John to a meeting with Carlton boss Michael Souris; Albert goes over the plan with Souris while Souris' assistant Ray Lippert accompanies John while he goes about his duties. Souris makes some racist comments while throwing Albert out of his office and Gene is fired and vows revenge. Robin makes Bart her personal assistant and he hires a new intern: Robbie “Speedball” Baldwin....

Later, Ray Lippert shows up at Robin's apartment to make a move on her. They are interrupted by the arrival of the Punisher, certain that Robin is the link between the Kingpin and Doctor Doom, so he's going to kill her. She asks him, “What if you're wrong?” and that gets him to reconsider; she also persuades him not to kill Ray as she might need him later on...

John and Souris arrive at Avengers Mansion where the disgruntled staff has voted to strike over the new management refusing to honor the union contracts. Souris antagonizes Lenny so much that he orders the strike to begin....

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Ernie Colon
Ernie Colon
John Wellington
Ernie Colon (Cover Penciler)
Ernie Colon (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Frank Castle)

(Jennifer Walters)

Plus: Jarvis (Edwin Jarvis), Speedball.