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Gage: "Can I just say that you are fine?"
Bridget: "You do realize that if Maddie's telling the truth, I'm your half-sister, right?"
With the untimely passing of Captain Dynamo, Tower City is bereft of its most powerful guardian. As supervillains eagerly take advantage of the unprotected city, Captain Dynamo's widow, Maddie Warner, in response, gathers 5 young people whom her husband had illegitimately fathered. These kids come from disparate backgrounds and upbringings. Each offspring boasts one of the various super powers which Captain Dynamo had had. Raw in training, dealing with newly-erupted familial issues, and coping with their recently unlocked talents, these five complete strangers will have to do something their old man never had to: become a team player...
In hindsight, I'm a bit surprised no one's come up with this premise before. It's certainly an intriguing one. Published by Image Comics and making its debut in early 2007, DYNAMO 5 is set in the same universe as Jay Faerber's other superhero family saga NOBLE CAUSES. In fact, it was in issue #18 of NOBLE CAUSES that Captain Dynamo met his death at the hands of a contract killer named Widowmaker, who incidentally is still at large and plying her trade. But while NOBLE CAUSES delves deeper into the soap opera elements of its cast, DYNAMO 5 does tend to focus equally on the young folks' personal lives and their thrilling exploits as the Dynamo 5.
This trade paperback, titled DYNAMO 5: POST-NUCLEAR FAMILY VOLUME 1, collects the monthly series' absorbing first seven issues. Really, I can't put it more plainly than this: DYNAMO 5 is just a ripping good, old-fashioned entertainment. Jay Faerber's writing keeps it light yet suspenseful and on point. He definitely knows where he's going with this. As well, there are several corkscrew surprises thrown in to maintain a keen interest. And Faerber fleshes out his characters enough that you get drawn in and want to know more about them. I'm enjoying the relationship dynamics among the five half-siblings, as well as their interactions with the cold and demanding, sometimes maternal but mostly scheming Maggie Warner, who definitely is keeping her own set of secrets. No complaints about the artwork, either. Mahmud A. Asrar is an excellent artistic find; his visual storytelling is bold and dynamic, and will keep you eagerly eyeballing these pages.
I like that the individual talents the kids inherit are pretty diverse. It's a pretty interesting mix. Scrap (real name Bridget, an NYU Film School grad who currently works at a movie theater) has super-strength and is my favorite Dynamo. Scatterbrain (Gage, a popular high school football jock) is a telepath. Visionary (Hector, a much bullied half-Asian high school geek) has wide-ranged vision abilities. Myriad (Spencer, an orphan and a playboy) can assume any identity. Slingshot (Olivia, a highly motivated college student, who's looking more and more like the field leader) can fly really fast. On the surface, these assorted superpowers don't translate to a team who'll simply cow and overpower villains (with Scrap being the only muscle, as it is). It's looking more like precise execution and teamwork are what'll tide this bunch over. Oh, and, naturally, a big heaping of luck. With dangerous supervillains constantly popping out of the woodwork and the shady government agency F.L.A.G. persisting in not minding its beeswax, I'm curious to see how imaginative and clever Faerber will be regarding Dynamo 5's battle tactics and strategies. And, while these young 'uns seem to be handling their angst relatively well, Faerber can't possibly keep them on such an even emotional keel, can he? (The answer is no.)
DYNAMO 5 has got me hooked and has me salivating for each new issue. Most often, at this early stage is when a comic book is at its best and freshest and most inventive, when the writer and artist are the most hyped up and still discovering new things about their creations. So why not get onboard? Seven exciting issues, collected here, and, all I can say is: so far, so very good.