Or – “Here’s The Story… Of A Superhero…  Who Couldn’t Keep His Hoohah In His Pants!”

D510.jpg

He had children everywhere…
With different mothers…
Some of them real cute girls.
Till the one day when the hero met his maker…
And his secret found out by his angry wife…
So she gathered all the kids and gave them costumes…
That’s the way they all became Dynamo 5!
Dy-NA-mo Fiiive!
Dy-NA-Mo Five!
That’s the waaay they becaaame DY-NA-MO 5!
*ba nana na na naaah naaa naaah!*

That’s sung to the tune of “The Brady Bunch,” for the 1970’s impaired among you.  It just somehow seemed fitting.  Previously, on Dynamo 5:  Captain Dynamo was a very bad boy, with a girl in every port, and a long-suffering spouse left at home in Tower D51.jpgCity.  When he was assassinated, poor Mrs. Maddie Dynamo had to go through his secret Fortress of Infidelitude, only to find his little black book listing all his various conquests.  Knowing that Tower City needed protecting, (and possibly with other ulterior motives) Maddie backdated birth-dates, and found five of the late Captain’s offspring.  Exposing them to the strange alien radiation that gave Cap’n D his powers, Maddie found her hopes to be fulfilled, as all five children gained one of his powers.  Scatterbrain, with his telepathy.  Myriad, with his shape-shifting powers.  Slingshot, with the power of flight.  (That do anything for ya?  That’s LEVITATION, homes.)  Visionary, with the power to kill a yak from TWO HUNDRED YARDS AWAY… with EYE BULLETS!  (That’s laser vision, Kyle!)  And Scrap, with the power… to move you.   And your car.  (She’s so strong, she can throw a boat… RIGHT OVER a hedge!)  Together, the kids were able to handle Whiptail, one of the Tower City rogue’s gallery, but this issue they have to fight something worse than Captain Dynamo’s enemies:  one of Captain Dynamo’s friends.  We start with Myriad, team-shapeshifter, trying to perfect his impersonation of pater familias.  His opening line?  “I like a woman with a nice, round bee-hind.”

D52.jpg  

It’s an awkward moment all around, made even stranger by the fact that this is their biological parent they’re talking about.  Still, a case can be made that an absent Daddy isn’t much of a Daddy at all…  Bygones.  Maddie explains that she DID, in fact, task Myriad with trying to look like Cap, for a good reason.  Quake, a former associate of the Cap’n, has ALSO tried to fill the void left by his passing (without actually being aware that he has passed) by going out on patrol and fighting crime using his power to make earthquakes and shockwaves.  Unfortunately, he’s also gone off the medication that keeps him (and his earthquake powers) stable.  Maddie thinks that Myriad will be able to play on the fact that Quake looked up to Cappy Dyna’ and use that to get the kid to go back on his super-Prozac.  Seems like a plan.  As the team separates to go back to their lives, Scatterbrain catches Visionary to talk about his “problem.”  (Visionary has never engaged in physical congress with a woman, y’see…)  Myriad gets involved, loudly dubbing their efforts to find a lady friend for Visionary, ‘Operation: Cherry Pop.’  It’s also interesting to note that Myriad is in his usual superhero ‘faceless’ form, but without the pink silly-putty coloring he’s had in the last two issues, instead retaining his usual dark, mid-range semi-Hispanic skin color.  Makes you wonder if he’s trying something different, or just getting used to his new powers?  Either way, Scrap and Slingshot overhear the conversation, and are a tiny bit appalled…

D53.jpg

Myriad interrupts again, and tells him to watch how it’s done.  Morphing into a dead ringer for Hector (Visionary) he gives a very Val Venis-esque “Helloooo, laaadies.”  Hector remarks that he misses being an only child.  Heh.  Gage (Scatterbrain)’s plan to get him female attention probably isn’t all that much better than that, though…  Sometime later, we see Hector in school, talking to a girl who seems pretty into him, when a chance to be heroic suddenly presents itself…

D54.jpg

The transition from that previous scene to this one confused me a bit, and at first, I thought it was Scatterbrain attacking him, to give him a chance to show off for the ladies.  Either way, I just love the G-Force watch communicators…  Slingshot, spending some time with her boyfriend, also answers the call, but is being monitored by someone mysterious… with a camera.  Whomever it is gets a pretty clear shot of her flying without mask or costume, and this bodes not well for her.  As for Myriad, he is stuck in front of a monitor, watching hour after hour of Captain Dynamo footage, to try and get the voice down, bitterly ending a sentence with “I’m an enormous hypocrite and a horrible husband.”  Myriad apparently isn’t all fun and games, darkly ruminating, “I spend my whole life wondering who my father is, and I get stuck with YOU.”  Given that he’s been shown to be a bit of a womanizer himself, I think this hits extra-close to home for Myriad.  As for my fave-rave, Scrap, she’s at home in her apartment, when she gets a disturbing visitor…

D55.jpg

I apparently chopped off part of his word balloon there.  It says “What, a guy can’t visit his daughter?”  In any case, I think Scrap’s dad just found out what mom has been doing with her spare time.  And if he knows, does he know that he’s not Scrap’s real father?  Suddenly, the cute concept for a super-hero team has gotten really personal, but writer Jay Faerber seems to have it under control.  As for Scatterbrain, he’s walking the halls of the school, when he hears a mental voice, thinking about HIM.  “There’s Gage!  He’s so good looking.  What I wouldn’t give to feel him on top of me…”  He seems to wonder who the thoughts came from (which also begs the question, if you read minds, do you hear a “voice” or is it just the impression of words?) but five bucks says it’s a man who loves him.  He gets his emergency call (and this is the point where I realize I was wrong, that it apparently wasn’t him who accosted Hector earlier.)  That problem with transitions is about the only complaint I have about the pacing of the issue.  It could have been easily taken care of with a caption.  Scatterbrain does an awesome Battle of the Planets ‘transmute’ scene, and heads out to find out what the emergency is.  Big sis Slingshot is first on the scene…

D56.jpg

Quake has officially popped his cork, knocking her for a loop with a seismic blast, just as Scrap, Scatterbrain and Visionary arrive.  The threesome doesn’t do that much better than Slingshot herself, getting knocked out before the arrival of Myriad as Captain Dynamo.  As Scatterbrain helps Slingshot up, “Captain Dynamo” approaches young Quake with a fatherly “Have you been taking your pills?”  Quake is silent and looks a bit ashamed…  Myriad seems to have this impersonation LOCKED, as he places his hand on the young hero’s shoulder.

D57.jpg

“Nonsense!” replies the Captain.  “You’ve been out there fighting the good fight, doing your best to stay one step ahead of the filth intent on overtaking this city.  You’re a hero, and I’m proud to call you my friend.”  Aside from the ugliness of his “D” chest symbol, Captain Dynamo makes a pretty passable Superman-analogue, and the fact that he’s talking to a man who looks remarkably like a Jim Lee design for ‘Stormwatch’ is very meta for me.  It’s like watching old-school superheroes once again assert their dominance over the gritted-teeth early-90’s Image school of mental imbalance.  Of course, it’s not REALLY Captain Dynamo at all…  is it?

D58.jpg

Just as we realize that Myriad can’t fly, another Captain Dynamo appears, this one obviously (from his speech patterns) D-5er Myriad.  Part of me is disappointed that the perfect impersonation wasn’t a moment of Triumph for the Dynamo 5 member who most needs some development, and part of me realizes that this is a more interesting plot point, anyway.  After all, Noble Causes readers saw Cap killed in their title, and it’s obvious that Maddie Warner (a Lois Lane analogue with keen reporting skills) had enough proof to conclude that the body was indeed her husband.  We’re left with the same question that the kids have…

D59.jpg

Poor Slingshot.  Apparently, being blasted like that knocked her hips out of alignment.  I’d like to go on record right now as saying that Ahmoud Asrar is my favorite new artist since Nicola Scott, managing to balance stylization with composition.  His figures are nice, and his line is very clean, but still has what I think of as the “Image Superhero Style,” post-Invincible.  This book reminds me of that one, and that’s a good thing, with the superhero melodrama balanced nicely by the feel of real people in the suits.

Jay Faerber is a writer I greatly admire for his work on Noble Causes, and while this book has less overt soap opera influence, it’s still clear that personal conflict is going to be the driving force.  The assemblage of team personalities is nice, and even the characters I don’t really like (Myriad) or don’t trust (Maddie) are defined nicely.  I don’t want to shake the Invincible stick too hard, but this is, to my mind, the best new series Image has put out in a couple of years, and it, like Invincible and Noble Causes, has a fresh twist on superheroes without creating a huge sprawling dystopia.  Not that I’m comparing to anything in particular, but I just marvel at home good this book is.  It’s a solid 3.5 star effort, marred only by the lack of clarity in the hallway bully scene, and one or two awkward scene transitions.  Presuming that five issues from now I don’t find that “everything I know is wrong,” I think I’ll stick with this book for a good long time.

35stars.jpg

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

Previous post

Marvel Sneak Peek: Hedge Knight II

Next post

New Artist Announced for Freshmen II

5 Comments

  1. May 31, 2007 at 8:38 am — Reply

    You can’t go wrong with a Brady homage. . .
    I’m wracking my brain trying to remember where the “boat. . .Right over a Hedge!” comes from.

  2. May 31, 2007 at 11:20 am — Reply

    George Carlin. “You wanna know about God? I’ll tell ya ’bout your God. He never started… and he’s never gonna end. Can you dig it. He’s so powerful, he can throw a boat… RIGHT OVER a hedge!”

  3. May 31, 2007 at 11:22 am — Reply

    It’s a George Carlin line. I have to admit I Googled to find it, though.

  4. May 31, 2007 at 12:15 pm — Reply

    Oooh, if you hadn’t said you Googled, I would have been able to award the ‘Major Spoilers Bronze Blok Award, for Meritorious Service in Detangling The Dennis Miller/Eddie Izzard/Bill Hicks/George Carlin-Inspired Mess That Is My Thinking Process.’

    Aaah, what the heck…

  5. May 31, 2007 at 2:22 pm — Reply

    I kept thinking it was Izzard, but in my heart I knew that was wrong. I wonder why Carlin escaped me? I think it was the “she’s so strong” lead in. Outside the God context I couldn’t make the connections. ‘Outside the God Context’ should be a William Gibson Novel. . .

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section