Or – “You Just Wait Until Your Father Gets Home!”

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When the Dynamo 5 team was put together, it was with the intent of protecting Tower City from the late Captain Dynamo’s greatest foes.  Instead, they’ve found themselves cleaning up the various messes left behind by Daddy’s insecurities, infidelities, and sundry non-heroic acts.  Now, with the return of Captain Dynamo (without even having a clone, a cyborg, and an armored version of him running about…) the very idea behind their assemblage has been called into question, and the D5 finds that things aren’t nearly as clear-cut.  A deceased hero’s flaws can be overlooked, but when your deadbeat dad is flying over the city, I suspect it’s a bit harder to ignore…

Previously, on Dynamo 5:  Madeline Warner, the widow of Captain Dynamo, was crushed D51.jpgto find evidence of a literal LEGION of extramarital affairs, but used her background as a hardcase reporter to track down the results of those affairs.  Five childen, each of whom developed one of her husband’s powers upon exposure to the radioactive meteorite that empowered him.  Drafting them into service, she gave them each a costume and trains them in the use of their powers against his old foes, but everyone was poleaxed when the Captain returned, seemingly hale and hearty, without even bothering to contact his widow or investigate the group of teens using his costume and name.  Worst of all, Maddie sees the would-be Dynamo in action, and nearly collapses at the realization that she cannot find anything indicating that it’s NOT her late husband.  Maddie finds that her distraction at this keeps her from successfully doing much of anything, leaving Slingshot and the rest of the D5 team in the lurch against another of the Captain’s enemies, a man called Voltage…

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The team goes to ground, trying to come up with a solution, or at least a way to not get the Marv treatment, when team telepath Scatterbrain suddenly comes up with an idea (and a pretty damn clever one at that.)  “When I get his attention, you guys take him out,” says Scatterbrain, and digs around in Voltage’s memories.  “Hey, Voltage!  Remember that time Oatridge, Rudy, and Casciola stripped you naked and threw you into the girls’ locker room?” he yells, and Voltage suddenly turns on him and fires.  “Who told you about that?!?” screams the villain, as the rest of the team opens fire…  Scrap absorbs a blast with her nigh-invulnerability, but not before Voltage nails Scatterbrain as well.  But somehow, the telepath manages to give as good as he gets.

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Slingshot manages to finally raise Maddie on the comm, as her half-brother regains consciousness, and the Dynamo 5 teleport away.  Voltage is left lying unconscious in the street, but it’s only moments until the agents of F.L.A.G. arrive to take stock of the situation.  Quickly apprehending Voltage, they’re disappointed to see that whomever caught him is gone already.  The team leader once again berates agent Augie Ford (known to the world as Captain Dynamo’s best friend) about what they’re doing to figure this all out.

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On that rather ominous note, we return to the Tower City aquarium, once Captain Dynamo’s fortress of solitude, now the headquarters of the Dynamo 5.  Maddie checks on Gage (Scatterbrain) and finds that, aside from a bloody nose, he seems fine.  Gage says that he thought he was going to die, and the only thought in his head was to make it stop.  “I think that was enough to activate your telepathy,” replies Maddie, and Gage is confused…

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They’re absolutely right, as Maddie’s preoccupation with her late partner has led her to call Augie (she herself is a former F.L.A.G. agent) and compare information.  Augie tries to be flirtatious, but Maddie is all business, asking “You’ve seen the papers, right? All these Captain Dynamo sightings?”  Augie replies that he has, and as is his custom, doesn’t waste words in getting to the point…

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Augie’s words finally do what Slingshot & Scrap’s did not, convince Maddie that she has to seek out the truth.  Hector (Visionary) has inherited the vision powers of Captain Dynamo, including heat vision and X-Ray vision, and Maddie asks him to meet her at grave of William Warner.  “Are you sure about this, Ma’am?” he asks, and Maddie steels herself to the inevitable.  “It’s the only way I’m going to know for sure.  I thought about having his body disinterred, then realized I don’t have to…”  When Visionary looks into the casket, he finds…  absolutely nothing.  At that moment, the body in question appears out of the sky…

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That truly is a gawdawful costume, isn’t it?  Swept off her feet by the man she loves, Maddie flies off into the sky, and Hector calls his half-siblings together.  All attempts to contact her fail (“She and the old man are probably bumpin’ uglies,” says Myriad, creeping me right the hell out.) and the team questions what they do now.  Visionary wonders if they’ll get to meet their dad (he’s the only one on the team who did’t grow up thinking someone else was his father) but Myriad’s bitter side comes to the fore again, saying “Why would you WANT to?  Guy seems like a scumbag to me.”  A sudden emergency alarm overrides all these questions, and the Dynamo 5 are sent into action for the first time without Maddie’s guidance and backup.  Finding a costumed man standing in the street, Myriad attempts to apprehend him, only to find himself overpowered, cuffed, and his rights read.  “By order of the foundation for Law and Government, you’re being detained for questioning…”

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Okay.  That’s bad.  (Also of note, Michael Knight used to work for the Foundation for Law And Government, as well.)  As for Maddie, Captain Dynamo flies her to a hidden mountain cave, telling her that he has a surprise for her…  She asks what’s going on, and he simply answers “We’ll talk about that once you’re all settled.”  She is confused for a moment, when a second voice answers, “You’re going to be staying a while.”  She recognizes Chrysalis, one of her husband’s old foes, but you can actually hear Maddie’s heart breaking as “Captain Dynamo” changes shape.  “I’m afraid we’ve misled you a bit.  This isn’t really Captain Dynamo.  It’s my daughter, Synergy.” 

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Oh, god…  He slept with one of his VILLAINS?  That is seriously messed up…  Maddie is horrified, (as am I, no matter how attractive the villain in question is) and we’re left on a cliffhanger.  I was fairly certain that is wasn’t Cap, but this development is interesting, as well as heartbreaking for Maddie.  With her in the clutches of the villain, and the kids in custody of SHIELD F.L.A.G., it doesn’t look good for the sudden save…

Jay Faerber has once again crafted a tale that takes some of comics’ oldest conventions (super-powered teens, children of superheroes, the dizzy little Lois Lane archetype) and turned them around into new forms.  Most interestingly, there seems to be no end to the damage Captain Dynamo did with his overactive libido, as Synergy has exhibited ALL his powers, making her more powerful than any of the D5 individually.  I very much enjoy this book, every month, for it’s old-school feel, but a modern execution.  Mahmud Asrar’s art is awesome, making each character unique, and even given the fifty-something faces of Maddie and Chrysalis the character you expect from a woman of a certain age while maintaining their attractiveness.  Always entertaining, Dynamo 5 has yet to hit a sour note, and ranks 4 out of 5 stars…

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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.

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8 Comments

  1. Kienan
    July 12, 2007 at 11:20 am — Reply

    Wow.

  2. Brent F.
    July 12, 2007 at 11:28 am — Reply

    It’s not that messed up, Alan Scott fathered two children with one of his villains. A super villain daughter with all of daddy’s powers, that is an interesting twist.

  3. July 12, 2007 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    Alan fathered children with Harlequin AFTER she quit being a villain and became an FBI agent. Captain Dynamo apparently found time WHILE FIGHTING Chrysalis tooth and nail to… uh… tooth and nail her. That’s probably against the heroic code (Not to mention the Comics Code.) :)

  4. ykw06
    July 12, 2007 at 12:34 pm — Reply

    Matt, Brent was referring to Rose/Thorn, the mother of Obsidian and Jade — although ISTR Thorn being a Flash villain, rather than GL’s.

  5. July 12, 2007 at 1:47 pm — Reply

    Matt, Brent was referring to Rose/Thorn, the mother of Obsidian and Jade — although ISTR Thorn being a Flash villain, rather than GL’s.

    Indeed he was… I get -10 fanboy points for confusing the issue, too. :) Mea culpa.

  6. July 12, 2007 at 5:00 pm — Reply

    I’m thinking the costume is deliberate…if not for them being a ‘classic’, we’d probably think the same of Clark Kent’s pajamas, were they designed today.

  7. Brent F.
    July 12, 2007 at 8:28 pm — Reply

    No, Superman’s costume is great. Dynamo’s is just horrible.

  8. Tremaine
    July 22, 2007 at 1:16 pm — Reply

    Yep I was SP floored and suckered when I bought this issue

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