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High school student Grant Emerson suddenly discovered he was a superhuman with incredible explosive powers. After a manipulation of the time stream, Grant's powers became the spark that restarted the universe after it was destroyed by Parallax; thanks to Damage's powers, the new universe evolved along natural lines, guided by nature rather than the will of Parallax.
After he accidentally blew up half of downtown Atlanta, Sarge Steel was able to cut a deal for him: he would be banned from Georgia and remanded into custody of the then federally-sponsored Titans team, led by Arsenal. After a while, he left to find his origins. He learned that Vandal Savage was involved in an experiment at Symbolix called Project: Telemachus, where he took DNA samples he had collected from various superheroes and injected them into a fitting vessel: Grant. The heroes Grant shared DNA with are: Atom (Al Pratt), Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Wildcat (Ted Grant), Hawkman (Carter Hall), Hawkgirl (Shiera Sanders Hall), Hourman (Rex Tyler), Black Canary (Dinah Lance), Dr. Mid-Nite (Charles McNider), Starman (Ted Knight), Miss America (Joan Dale), Johnny Quick (Johnny Chambers), Liberty Belle (Libby Lawrence), Martian Manhunter, Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman, Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), and Atom (Ray Palmer). Symbolix was allied with Shadowspire, through Shadowspire's leader, Baron Blitzkrieg. Grant eventually learned that he was the son of the original Atom, Al Pratt and his wife Mary. Grant was forced to go underground after leaving the Titans, since he violated his parole by doing so.
When the original five Titans reformed the group, Arsenal nominated Damage for membership. Arsenal managed to erase Grant's criminal records, so he was no longer a fugitive, and Grant joined the team. After some missions, Damage confronted something he had buried for a long time: he had been victim of abuse at the hands of his foster father. After opening up to Roy Harper, Grant took a leave of absence and sought peace and healing on the Navajo reservation where Roy was raised.
He helped the Justice League of America against Imperiex and the villainous team of Obsidian, Eclipso and Mordru, both times as part of a modern All-Star Squadron. He has been with a team of government-sponsored Freedom Fighters. He also had something of a brotherly relationship with Atom Smasher, the godson of his father, the original Atom. It was thought that Grant had a brother, Walter, who was killed by Walter's superhero daughter, Manhunter. However, it turned out that Walter was actually the son of Iron Munro and Phantom Lady - an odd parallel to Damage's paternity search, as at one stage it appeared that Grant might be the couple's child.
Several members Freedom Fighters team were killed by the Secret Society of Super Villains. Damage was one of the survivors, though his face is severely scarred by Zoom. This heralded the end of the Freedom Fighters and forced Grant to return to the Justice Society.
Gog returned to life with the promise of health and prosperity. He healed Grant's face completely. Forgoing his mask, Damage joined Gog as a "follower" to spread his message as an example. After Damage attacked the JSA's action in the news, the JSA came after him in order to return him to their base and speak with him privately. Atom Smasher could not handle Damage's words and physically attacked him, nearly killing him. Magog appeared and took Damage back to Africa to consult with Gog.
Other JSA members saw the benefit of Gog's words and actions and decide to join him. Allying themselves with Magog and Damage, they bowed and worshiped the god Gog until the other members of the JSA showed up and denounced Gog's actions. The two groups fought each other physically until Gog retracts his "miracles", either out of disappointment of his followers or being defeated by the JSA. Grant's face returned to it's scarred look, much to Grant's extreme ire.
The JSA were attacked by their fallen members, now reanimated as Black Lanterns. Damage was saved from Black Lantern Atom by the Atom, but was then killed by the resurrected Jean Loring. His death, and the subsequent collection of his heart, was the final one needed to bring about the rise of Nekron. Atom made a futile attempt to stop one of the black rings from turning Damage's corpse into the undead before Loring uses his own technology to shrink him, Mera, and herself into the fully-transformed Damage's ring.
While the other Black Lanterns continued their assault on the JSA headquarters, Damage claimed that he had retained his original personality and mind and that he is not influenced by Nekron and his Corps. He sacrificed himself in order to destroy the other Black Lanterns, though this sacrifice also created an opening in the JSA headquarters, which freed Lois Lane of Earth-Two of her Black Lantern Ring which left her body, returned her to a corpse, only to be sent to the dead body of her husband, who was then reanimated as Black Lantern Superman of Earth-Two.
In the aftermath, a funeral for Damage was held, attended by the JSA, with Judomaster doing the eulogy for Damage. It was then revealed that Damage, having foreseen his death by one of Sand's prophetic dreams, had recorded his last will for Judomaster, wishing her a better life. He had planned, in the attempt of giving her an happier life, to get cosmetic surgery on his scarred face. Spurred by his will, Sonia Sato decided to anonymously create several relief funds for the victims of collateral damages caused by Grant's powers, thus giving him closure and a legacy.
- Biochemical Fusion Reactor: Damage is a living biochemical fusion reactor, that constantly absorbs, builds up and produces energy he can manipulate and use in numerous ways. This energy is able to enhance his physiology.
- Superhuman Strength: Internal energies give him enhanced strength, regardless of the amount of energy he is channeling into his body. At his lowest levels, he is still capable of lifting around ten tons casually, and with enough finesse that he does not crush anything he touches.
- Superhuman Durability: Channeled energy toughens his skin, making him highly resistant to injury. At the low end of the spectrum, Damage has enough resistance to stop twenty tons of force without being hurt. Bullets will not harm him, nor will temperature extremes from -100 degrees Celsius to about 2000 degrees Celsius bother him much. He's immersed himself in volcanic lava before, and suffered no ill effects except for the lack of air.
- Superhuman Reflexes: At his lowest levels, Grant has the agility and reflexes far above that of an Olympic athlete. At these levels, Damage would be able to catch a normal arrow fired from Arsenal at mid-range, and dodge single blasts and bullets. At his higher levels, he will be able to dodge fine-point lasers at close range, and could deflect a stream of bullets from an uzi fired from ten feet away.
- Energy Projection: Grant is able to focus his stored energy outward to produce energy blasts, which at his highest output levels can be focused into 100-ton maximum strength energy blasts of concussive force.
- Fusion Discharge: Grant has the ability to take the energy that he generates to detonate himself like a bomb. This power is the most dangerous of the abilities he possesses and also the most tied to his emotional state and the most likely to lose control.
- Big Bang Discharge: If he does not use the energy in the aforementioned manner he is forced to expend it in a discharge, most notably the time he created the Big Bang and altered reality.
- On the cover of Justice Society of America V. 2 #1, drawn by Alex Ross, Damage is depicted as being much larger than his fellow team members.
- During a mission with the Freedom Fighters, Grant's face was horribly scarred by Zoom as an attempt to leave a mark on the young man's life physically.
- 178 Appearances of Grant Emerson (New Earth)
- 56 Images featuring Grant Emerson (New Earth)
- 4 Quotations by or about Grant Emerson (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Grant Emerson (New Earth)
- Damage at dccomics.com
- Damage (comics) at Wikipedia.org
- Damage bio at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Damage profile at Titanstower.com
Justice Society of America member
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