Or, “This Is The Story…  Of 7 Strangers…  Picked To Murder Dynamo 5…”


…and find out what happens when people STOP being polite, and start getting homicidal. 

The Real World:  Tower City!

Previously, on Dynamo 5:  Captain Dynamo, greatest superhero the world had known (at least to hear him D51.jpgtell it) had one ability that even the mighty Tom Welling didn’t possess: Super-Philandering.  His legendary indiscretions led to a number of illegitimate offspring, several of whom have been gathered by his widow, Maddie Warner, to use their inhereted powers to defend Tower City in his name.  In so doing, they’ve made a number of enemies, including Lightning Lad Voltage, Reverse Ghost Rider Bonechill, Ilia and Commander Decker Brains & Brawn, and the Widowmaker, the paid assassin who killed Captain Dynamo several years ago.  The D5 kids don’t realize that they’re being stalked though, as they’ve all walked out on Maddie in order to save field leader Slingshot’s “father” (the one she grew up with) from a blackmail/murder attempt.  Meanwhile, Visionary’s mother has discovered his secret identity, and is being held captive along with Maddie by the evil coterie of villains while they wait to murder the D5.  Say what you will for these kids…  they’re rough on parents.

The story starts moment safter the last issue, as Scatterbrain, Slingshot, Scrap, Myriad, Visionary and Slingshot’s dad teleport back to their secret underwater headquarters.  They drop through the teleportal into the line of fire of their enemies…

…then immediately drop right back out.  Widowmaker wonders what in the blue #&$@ heterodyne yoyo just happened, before realizing that Maddie must have screwed with the teleport device.  The team lands in a park some blocks away, and immediately try to contact Maddie, assuming the teleportal is on the fritz.  When there’s no answer, they hustle Slingshot’s father (these people need NAMES, darn it!) away and Scatterbrain homes in on Mad’s thoughts.  She gives him the entire skinny on their situation, but telepathic bald chick Brains catches her thoughts.  She tries to bull her way into Maddie’s mind, and is stunned to find that Maddie effortlessly blocks her telepathic probes.  “Mrs. Dynamo,” says Widowmaker, “You’re beginning to piss me off.”

The team splits off, with Scrap swimming in from beneath, Visionary and Myriad infiltrating from above through the hidden entrance hatches, while Slingshot and Scatterbrain teleport straight in and start bustin’ heads.  Bonechill and Voltage engage the them, but Scatterbrain is more than just a telepath, and punches Voltage so hard his mom has loose teeth.  ‘Course, he gets electrocuted for his troubles, but life is full of trade-offs, I suppose.  Meanwhile, Scrap makes her entrace, looking a bit fetching while soaking wet, but immediately gets into a (you should excuse the expression) scrap with Brawn.  True to his name, he’s nothing but pure musclehead, and manages to punch a hole in the underwater base, causing the whole place to flood.  Myriad and Visionary find themselves facing Widowmaker, and Myriad shows surprising fighting skills, matching her punch for block.  “Oooh, you’re not just another pretty…  Well, I can’t say “face,” can I?” purrs Widowmaker to the featureless Myriad, before taking off to save Visionary’s mom.

The flooding puts Voltage at a distinct disadvantage, keeping him from using his electrical powers and allowing Scatterbrain to put out his lights with a hamhock fistinnaface.  Brains, for her part, has spent this whole time trying to shatter Maddie Warner’s mental block, and she succeeds seconds before being taken down by a wave of freezing water.  Slingshot and Myriad arrive to evacuate Mrs. Chang and Mrs. Warner, only to find Visionary’s mom panicking and Maddie in a coma.  Widowmaker takes off, pointing out that her employer was idiot enough to pay in advance, while the D5 gets one another and the innocents to safety.  Scrap is forced to give Mrs. Chang the breath of life (“I hope [Scatterbrain] isn’t scanning my thoughts right now,” she thinks as she brings their lips together… Heh.) and they make is to the surface.  Myriad, however, isn’t so lucky, losing consciousness before surfacing.  Slingshot swims to save him, only to find him reverted to a pasty grey, very not-human form!

I have to tell you, this issue is exactly why I dig Dynamo 5, balancing clever character work with old-school storytelling and a clear, attractive art style.  The kids of the D5 started out as stereotypes (the overachiever, the jock, the brain, the goth, the womanizer) but each issue reveals more and more of their true inner selves, as with Myriad’s willingness to forget his own safety to save Visionary’s mother.  The secrets of Maddie Warner are a compelling sub-plot, and artist Mahmud Asrar draws great expressions, nice fights, and some very prettty young ladies.  This issue makes clear comic storytelling look easy, and the heroes actually fight VILLAINS instead of each other or giant cosmic menaces.  Dynamo 5 #12 is another winner in a series thereof, easily nailing 4 out of 5 stars and reminding me why I started reading comics all those years ago: Because they’re FUN.


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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