Anne Marie Hoag

Finally, we reached the last character appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming, actually one of the very first seen in the movie. During the prologue, Adrian Toomes and his team are collecting debris and Chitauri relics from the site of the Battle of New York, but they’re interrupted by a woman who claims to be in control of the entire operation: that’s Anne Marie Hoag, portrayed by Tyne Daly, the director of Damage Control (a new department financed by Stark who takes care of removing alien, supernatural or high tech dangerous stuff from superheroes battles’ sites, and to rebuild any damaged property). Considering that it’s been quite a long time a Damage Control tv series has been rumored, it may not be the last time we see Hoag in action, especially now that the character has been entrusted to an actress like Daly. Anyway, as usual, let’s take a look at the original Anne Marie.

Anne Marie Hoag’s story is not an easy one to tell nor to find, as she’s always stated that someone’s personal history shouldn’t be made available for “public consumption”, and kept nearly everything from her early life secret. We know she was born in New HavenConnecticut, but we know nothing of her family; she graduated at Barnard College, but following that we have little or no clues about her works and activities: she worked for a while with Amnesty International, and she even obtained a position at the Smithsonian Museum and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the details are, again, unknown. In some way or another, she managed to become a curiously influential figure in New York City, with power enough to put pressure on the administration to face up to the increasing number of clashes among superhumans occuring in the country, battles that inevitably caused enormous damage to public and private property. Hoag was allowed to found an enterprise specialised in cleaning up the mess left behind by superheroes and supervillains, taking care of dangerous items, of securing the selected areas and of repairing the damaged property…as long as she could find someone willing to finance the entire operation, of course. Hoag amused everyone by finding two of the best possible investors, who found themselves partners into an uneasy alliance: on one side Tony Stark, the Avenger Iron Man, on the other Wilson Fisk, secretly the ultimate mob boss Kingpin. With Stark and Fisk owning half of the company stocks each, Damage Control was born, and Anne Marie Hoag set the enterprise’s headquarters in Flatiron Building. Authoritative and intimidating, Hoag put together a team of professionals she treated with an iron fist, but who she deeply cared for, arriving to the point of risking a bullet for them when Damage Control was threatened by The Punisher. In a matter of a few weeks, Damage Control was already famous all over the nation, as they showed an unprecedented professionality and ability in dealing with superhumans’ leftovers.

Under Hoag’s leadership, Damage Control made quite a name for itself, intervening even in cosmic-level issues (such as when they cleaned up after a battle with Galactus and the Silver Surfer), befriending some heroes (most notably Spider-Man, the X-Men and the New Warriors) and nearly entering in conflict with others (unfortunately, Hulk included). Hoag proved to be the right woman for the right position as she even tried to force a man like Doctor Doom to pay for the damage he had inflicted to New York while battling the Fantastic Four. Due to her experience and her proved professionality, Hoag was offered a job from the government in the Commission of Superhuman Activity, a position she accepted, leaving in charge of Damage Control her protege Robin Chapel. This change in the command chain, however, nearly caused the end of Damage Control: Stark didn’t want to be associated with Fisk anymore, while the other didn’t trust Chapel’s leadership, so they both sold their quotas; as a result, the rival Carlton Company took control of DC, and revolutionized the company’s methods and style to make it more profitable (angering a lot of historial workers in the process). Once again, Anne Marie took the matter in her hands to save her former employees and the company she had created, and she exacted a favour from an old friend of hers, Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., convincing him to invest in the company. As a bonus, Fury found out that the entire selling operation was put up by Fisk, who planned to buy the company for cheap later: along with other infamous supervillains, namely Doctor Doom, MagnetoWizardMandarin and Red Skull, Kingpin also organised an all-out attack on the superhero community. The attack failed, but Damage Control was hired to clean up the mess, and Fisk earned an enormous amount of money as Damage Control was his once again. Seeing what was happening to her company, but unable to resume her role as director, Hoag stepped in as the President of Damage Control, while the position of CEO was taken by some Walter Declun, an unscrupolous man who later financed the terrorist Nitro. As soon as the mutant Wolverine informed her of what Declun was up to, Hoag fired him, regaining full control of Damage Control. It was time the company came back to be what she had meant it to be from the very beginning.

Anne Marie Hoag is a no-nonsense, authoritative and mean woman, who’s able to instill fear in whoever she speaks to, and to command even the most influent people in the country. Beneath the facade of a harsh and uncompromising enterpreneur, however, lies a woman who cares deeply for her employees, and who’s truly dedicated to the mission of bringing order and solace where chaos and destruction hit, a mission she’s created Damage Control to accomplish.