What They Say:
After a violent incident in their shared past forces the lives of brothers Frank and Henry Lincoln to diverge, each carries on in the name of his own interpretation of justice, until, after 35 years, the paths of estranged brothers Frank and Henry Lincoln finally cross again. Frank, who has spent his life becoming a distinguished member of the San Francisco police force, is approaching retirement, investigating one last case with his young replacement. Meanwhile, Henry Lincoln, a vigilante whose vision of justice is far darker than the law allows, has finally returned to his native San Francisco, his sights set on recruiting Isaac Lordman, a former policeman, to follow in his footsteps. Sparks fly as the two brothers and their differing visions of justice collide – and the fate of the city may hang in the balance.
While the opening issue of Damaged had to jump around a bit to bring in the three principal characters and the mission that Henry was orchestrating, it still made a lot of things clear and set up the basics pretty well. You had a good idea of the archetypes that the three of them are and the kinds of things that Henry has been doing over the years in order to dole out the justice he sees fit. At the same time, you also got to see that Frank did things his way, within the system, as best as he could but that’s also reached its limits due to age and some of those younger officers that were in his special unit. The one we know the least about is Jack though, which isn’t a surprise since they’re playing him up as the good cop in a rough spot that’s only going to be corrupted as time goes on. If there’s a character to go weak on at first, it was definitely his.
With the second issue, the focus is on the past for a good deal of it as we see the events of some thirty-five years ago when the two brothers were working together. Young men do foolish things even as cops when they’re pushed because of circumstances, with Henry having a son that’s gone missing for six months and and investigation that lead him to a side discovery of a pedophile ring. With it involving influential people, it’s no surprise that his option even as a cop is to go for something brutal, which goes very badly and turns a whole lot of blame his way. It’s a defining moment for Henry but also for Frank in how he wants to handle it, going along at first but also finding there are limits to this kind of justice he wants to help mete out.
Casting the two brothers to different paths because of the results is a standard story element, though the time scale here is much different than you usually get. Having Henry roam the world as a soldier of fortune and the like for three decades definitely gives him a range of experience that’s different from Franks, but it doesn’t diminish what Frank has done either as there is a respect that comes from it. But what’s really interesting is that while we see it initially as an issue between brothers wrought over the decades, it instead may play out as a story about what they’re bringing up from within the ranks to carry on their particular brand of justice instead. With Henry about to groom his own subject and with Frank potentially having one of his own without realizing it, it gives it a pretty nice approach to work with in moving things forward without expressly being about the older generation.
Damaged slows down a little bit here with what it wants to do by focusing on the past between Henry and Frank and making it clear what went down all those years ago. While Frank’s path has been pretty clear from what we saw in the first issue, getting a better handle on Henry makes things a lot clearer here, especially with how he lived his life for many years and the things he did. But also that Frank knew about it, at least in more recent memory, and had followed what he had accomplished. With these two men explored pretty well here, the focus will turn more towards Jack and Henry’s potential protege which looks like it could make for an interesting avenue to explore. The story moves well here overall, fewer jumps that are better handled, and when again combined with the appealing artwork, it’s definitely telling a fun little crime story that you can easily see being cinematic.
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