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Spider-Man: Homecoming: What Is Damage Control?

Someone has to clean up after all these superhero battles.


The Marvel Universe is filled with costumed characters who use their powers and abilities for both good and evil. At times, these superhumans team up in order to work together for a common cause. In the case of the group Damage Control, their cause is to put the city back together after a superpowered battle.

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In Spider-Man: Homecoming, it seems like this group will be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. During an international trailer for the film, it's revealed that Michael Keaton's character, Vulture, was involved in cleaning up New York City after the battle that took place in the first Avengers film.

If you're a fan of Marvel comics, that scenario may sound a lot like the group Damage Control to you. In addition, inside a recent Spider-Man: Homecoming Lego set, the letters "DODC" appear on crates, which you can check out here. This is leading many fans to believe that stands for "Department of Damage Control."

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Prior to the release of the film, we're not 100% sure whether or not Damage Control is a part of the film, but they're worth talking about. The group was created by writer Dwayne McDuffie and artist Ernie Colon and first appeared in Marvel Comics Presents #19 back in 1989. During the issue, we meet the smooth-talking John Porter, the future Account Executive for Damage Control, and Anne-Marie Hoag, the founder and owner of the company. In addition, readers are first introduced to Lenny Ballinger, the head foreman of the company. The eight-page story introduces the team and their clean-up of a bar after a battle between Daredevil and Turk.

Immediately after the group's first appearance, a four-part miniseries came out, chronicling the day-to-day jobs of the team. This comedic series introduced the full team, which included new members Robin Chapel, Gene Strausser, and Bart Rozum. No one on this team has superpowers--they're just characters living in a world filled with superhuman characters, which was the backbone of the first and second miniseries in '89 and '90.

Later on, Damage Control did add characters with powers to the team, like when Black Goliath joined to help clean up after the World War Hulk storyline. The super strong Monstro also joined the team during this time as part of the Search and Rescue division. One of his most comedic moments came from when he wanted to fight the Chrysler Building, which became a sentient being.

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The most notable superpowered addition came from the comic Irredeemable Ant-Man, when criminal-turned-reluctant-hero Eric O'Grady joined the Search and Rescue team with his stolen Ant-Man costume. This storyline was weaved through the Marvel summer event World War Hulk.

Damage Control may be a really bizarre concept, especially since its contents are treated so comically, but it's an important group in the Marvel Universe. It's bureaucratic, downright bizarre, and answers the age-old question, "Who cleans up after all these superhero battles?"

Looking to read more about Damage Control? Check these stories out:

  • Damage Control Vol. 1: The four-issue series from 1989 introduces the world to Damage Control and its members. The team's creators, Dwayne McDuffie and Ernie Colon, were the minds behind this run.
  • Damage Control Vol. 2: McDuffie and Colon return for another four-issue miniseries, and this time, Damage Control is dealing with the likes of the Wrecking Crew, the Punisher, and more.
  • Damage Control Vol. 3: McDuffie is joined by artist Kyle Baker for this 1991 four issue miniseries. Once again, the crew is cleaning up the city, and there is even a Damage Control movie hitting the Marvel Universe.
  • World War Hulk Aftersmash: Damage Control: After Hulk fought the heroes of the Marvel Universe, New York City was a mess. It needed Damage Control to clean it up. This 2008 mini would be the last time McDuffie got a chance to write a story involving the team before his untimely passing in 2011.
  • Irredeemable Ant-Man: The newest Ant-Man, Eric O'Grady, gets a job working Search and Rescue for Damage Control. This story takes place in Irredeemable Ant-Man #7-12.

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters on Friday, July 7. You can check out our review here.

Mat Elfring on Google+

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