Damage Control #1 (May 1989). Art by Ernie Colón.
|First appearance||Marvel Age Annual #4 (June 1988)|
|Created by||Dwayne McDuffie (Writer)|
Ernie Colón (Artist)
|Type of business||Construction|
|Base(s)||The Flatiron Building, New York City|
|Owner(s)||Anne Marie Hoag|
Damage Control is a fictional construction company appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The company specializes in repairing the property damage caused by conflicts between superheroes and supervillains. Four Damage Control limited series have been published to date.
Damage Control employees first appear in a five-page story "The Sales Pitch" in 1988's Marvel Age Annual and again in 1989 in a serialized 17-page story published in the anthology comic Marvel Comics Presents #19. Subsequently, the employees of Damage Control have been the subject of three separate comic book limited series (each limited to four issues), published between 1989 and 1991, and have had frequent minor roles in many other Marvel comics including an important role in the Civil War; Irredeemable Ant-Man; and the first issue of World War Hulk Aftersmash: Damage Control, a three-issue limited series tying into World War Hulk, was published in January 2008.
Damage Control received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #2.
Damage Control was founded by Ms. Anne Marie Hoag and was originally owned by Tony Stark and Wilson Fisk, each owning half the stock of the company, though Stark felt uneasy cooperating with Fisk, a notorious criminal. The company was headquartered in New York's Flatiron Building.
Damage Control employees have been in the middle of a breakout at the Vault, confronted Doctor Doom, have been threatened with death by the Punisher and have met vastly powerful cosmic entities such as the Silver Surfer and Galactus. They have "fought" side by side with the X-Men, socialized with the New Warriors and were even almost menaced by the Hulk.
When Ms. Hoag was offered a job in government, she nominated Robin Chapel as her replacement. Stark and Fisk sold their stock in Damage Control: Stark because he did not want to be associated with Fisk and Fisk because he had no confidence in Robin's ability to lead the company. Another company, Carlton Co, took control of Damage Control and tried to make Damage Control more profitable, but in the process angered a lot of employees and nearly ruined Damage Control. Ms. Hoag convinced S.H.I.E.L.D. to invest in Damage Control and they loaned her the money to buy back the company. S.H.I.E.L.D. also found out that the sale of Damage Control had been a plot by Fisk to buy back the company for cheap. During the events of Acts of Vengeance (an event Fisk helped organize), massive damage was done to the city and Fisk made a large profit when Damage Control was hired to repair the damages.
The confrontation with the Kingpin causes unexpected results. The Damage Control staff find that a movie has been put out, a fictionalized version of their confrontation with the Kingpin. At the wrap party for the premiere, the Damage Control staff is summoned by the Silver Surfer to help deal with Edifice Rex, a former employee. He had gained cosmic powers and this, combined with an anal-retentive personality, threatens the cosmos. Several of the employees meet and discuss the problem with other cosmic entities, such as Galactus and Lord Chaos. Robin Chapel eventually solves this problem by firing Rex.
Hercules is seen working with Damage Control, on one occasion serving a community service sentence levied as punishment for a drunken rampage. Hercules becomes a full-fledged employee, forced to earn a living after the Constrictor successfully sues the demigod for injuries incurred in his apprehension.
Damage Control is seen during the Civil War. The super-villain Nitro, who blew up the town of Stamford, killing hundreds and starting the Civil War, reveals that a "Walter Declun" has provided him with Mutant Growth Hormone. Via Namor, Wolverine learns Walter is the CEO of Damage Control, Inc. A brief scene shows that Walter and one other employee of the firm are complicit in using Nitro to boost the firm's profits.
This leads Wolverine to Anne-Marie Hoag, Damage Control's President (and a brief confrontation with Ann, long-time D.C. receptionist). Anne-Marie reveals that Declun and his investors took a controlling share of the stock after the company went public to obtain more funds. D.C. has also obtained the Stamford reconstruction contract and the contract to train and evaluate registered super-beings. Anne-Marie has suspected Declun of illegal activities but did not have strong enough evidence to counter his ties with Washington D.C. and the President.
In his battle against Declun and Damage Control, which includes destroying many D.C. assets such as company equipment to robbing overseas banks with D.C. Holdings to forcing major stock holders to liquidate their stock. Wolverine later engages in a fight with a team of D.C. Security personnel who are equipped with Mandroid Armor, S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry, Stark Enterprises technology and other items salvaged from superhuman fights until the super-hero Sentry shows up and captures Wolverine, who is then delivered to SHIELD, which is under Maria Hill's leadership. But Wolverine later escapes. After making his way back to Damage Control offices, he confronts Declun, at which point the corrupt businessman takes a dose of Mutant Growth Hormone in response to Wolverine's threats; temporally giving him super-human powers. During the fight Wolverine appears to kill Declun by stabbing him through his eye sockets. However, Declun survives the fight.
John Porter also becomes involved with the Civil War. When FF members Susan and Reed Richards temporarily separate over ethical differences, their emotional split-up was punctuated by Susan using her force fields to punch a three-foot circular hole through every floor of the building. Porter then shows up and estimates the repairs will be $789,000. He also thanks Reed for the work as lately.
Damage Control creates a new division called, "Search and Rescue" that focuses on finding survivors in wreckage. They inadvertently hire Eric O'Grady, thinking he is a hero called "Slaying Mantis", but he was actually looting after a Mighty Avengers battle.
The company helped clean up New York City after the events of World War Hulk. Tom Foster, the nephew of the late Bill Foster and the new Goliath, joins the company, as do fellow superhumans Monstro and Visioneer. The undamaged Flatiron Building is once again used as their headquarters. As a company, Damage Control secures all relevant resources and a makeshift superhero rescue force, as many people were left behind when New York was evacuated for the events of 'World War Hulk'. Damage Control also collects various extraordinary resources left behind from the confrontation, such as the adamantium "bullets", an alien A.I. and alien metals.
During the reconstruction, a strange side-effect of one of the Hulk's destroyed machines causes the Chrysler Building to come to life. It wants to leave the city and see the world, but John Porter is able to negotiate a deal by which it is allowed to leave one month a year; as John notes, no one comes to Manhattan in August.
During the Spider-Island storyline, Damage Control is seen working with the superheroes to clean up the destruction and chaos caused by the madness of a giant spider monster in the middle of Manhattan. Along with passing out pants to formerly spider-shaped New Yorkers, Damage set to work carting away parts of the Spider Queen's giant arachnid body. At least one Damage Control team had been infiltrated and controlled by the Jackal, a self-admitted mad scientist who wanted DNA from the spider monster.
During the Civil War II storyline, Monstro finds Trull the Unhuman vandalizing Damage Control equipment and busts him. Upon Monstro empathizing him, Trull the Unhuman was convinced to give up on his goals. Trull the Unhuman joined up with Damage Control and became their spokesperson.
In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Damage Control is also a construction and demolition company. The Ultimate version of the Wrecking Crew are employees of Damage Control as debuted in Ultimate Spider-Man #86. They are then empowered and quit the business to become villains.
In October 2015, ABC ordered a put pilot for the live action Marvel Television comedy series Damage Control. The series was being developed by Ben Karlin, who was also writing the script for the project and serving as executive producer. The series had previously been implied by then ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee to have begun airing as early as the 2016–17 television season. Since then, there have been no further announcements.
Damage Control appeared in the 2017 film Spider-Man: Homecoming from Marvel Studios and Columbia Pictures. In the film, it is a government agency known as the U.S. Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.), a joint venture between Stark Industries and the United States government to clean up after the Battle of New York, an act which drives Adrian Toomes's salvaging company out of business and causes him to subsequently take the Vulture mantle.