Marvel Studios Countdown: 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Brings Damage Control to Life

Marvel Studios Countdown: 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Brings Damage Control to Life

Jul 10, 2017

Before Spider-Man even swings on to the screen in Spider-Man: Homecoming, we meet another picture perfect hero from the world of Marvel Comics for the very first time - Anne Marie Hoag, played by Tyne Daly. Never heard of her?

Well, there aren’t any Amazing Mrs. Hoag comics, but there is Damage Control, a Marvel Comics cult hit if there ever was one. The comic asked the simple question: “Who cleans up after the battles in the Marvel Universe?”

Hoag runs the Damage Control team in the comics out of the iconic Flatiron Building in New York City. She’s not the star of the show; the comic is an ensemble comedy, detailing the logistics and red tape involved with running a business in the Marvel U. In their first issue, they have to deal with moving a felled robot the size of several city blocks. In another, someone has the unfortunate task of collecting a delinquent bill from Dr. Doom. In one prescient issue, the team even goes to a special screening of a film based on themselves (starring Marlon Brando as Kingpin).

The late writer Dwayne McDuffie (also the producer oft-credited for the success of TV’s Justice League Unlimited) created the concept alongside artist Ernie Colon. Damage Control made their under-the-radar debut in 1988’s Marvel Age Annual #4, a monthly Marvel news magazine the company used to promote their own books. From there, they got a story in the Marvel Comics Presents anthology before moving on to their first mini-series in 1989. That series got a fast sequel the same year, followed by another in 1991.

Though the comic has never been a regular monthly, the team adds a unique level of color to the lived-in world of the Marvel Universe. Other comics like Civil War and World War Hulk have made good use of them, and their appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming is exactly in line with the kind of service they provide. We see Hoag and her crew coming in to clean up the Chitauri mess left over after the first Avengers, which in turn changes the course of the life of junk scavenger Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) forever.

ABC recognized potential in the comic by ordering a TV pilot in 2015 (source: Variety), but there hasn’t been much movement to report. Tyne Daly has a TV past as one half of cop show Cagney & Lacey, so it doesn’t seem out of the question that she could transition the role to TV, but there’s also the possibility that the show is off the table now that it’s shown up on film first.

If you’re interested in the comics, the good news is that there’s so few they’re all collected in one volume (Damage Control: The Complete Collection). It’s light, silly reading with some exceptional cartooning by Colon and his replacement on the 1991 series, Kyle Baker. Plus, there are big guest star cameos from all across the Marvel Universe, including Spider-Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, the X-Men, and Iron Man.

So, if there were some happy chuckles of recognition when Tyne Daly announced she represented the Department of Damage Control, now you know why! We hope it’s not the last time we see Ms. Hoag, and we certainly want to meet more of the crew. The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t going away anytime soon, so as long as they keep making gigantic destructive messes in the third acts of their films, there’s room for the DCC.

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