Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dynamo 5 #9

Jay Faerber (writer), Mahmud Asrar (pencils & inks), Ron Riley (colors), Charles Pritchett (letters)
Published by Image Comics

What's It About? There was this alpha-type hero called Captain Dynamo. He had pretty much Martian Manhunter's power set: telepathy, flight, super strength and endurance, eye beams, and shape-changing. Captain Dynamo was married to Maddie Warner, an agent of government force that dealt with superhumans. Captain Dynamo slept around. A lot. After he died, Maddie found five of his offspring, exposed them to the same radiation that gave Captain Dynamo his powers, and voile: each sibling manifested one of the five powers. Thus was the superteam Dynamo 5 born.

Scatterbrain, the high-school football player, inherited the power of telepathy.
Slingshot, the high achiever, can fly.
Scrap, the dour gothy one, got super strength and toughness.
Visionary, the smart, shy guy gained the eye-beam powers.
Myriad, the playa, can mimic anyone.

In this issue, Scatterbrain is in a coma, due to straining his telepathic powers to the max in a recent battle. In order to maintain his cover, Myriad pretends to be him at home. Scrap and Slingshot investigate a pair of supervillains who have skulked into town.

Scatterbrain believes he's awoken from his coma, but it turns out that he's actually in something akin to astral from: he can perceive the waking world, but can't interact with it. He “travels” to his high school, where he discovers that Myriad's, ah, girl-crazy tendencies are going to make his life more complicated if he ever wakes up.

Then, one of the two new villains (the one with mental powers, called Brains) appears and attacks him! The telepathic smackdown is on!

Meanwhile, Scrap and Slingshot find the other villain, Brawn, who's laying low at a motel. When he apparently kidnaps a pizza delivery girl, they decide to ignore Maggie's orders and engage in battle.

Two concurrent battles ensue, one on a mental plane between Scatterbrain and Brains, another in the motel parking lot between Scrap, Slingshot and Brawn. Scatterbrain learns that his mental powers are much stronger than anyone expected. He defeats Brains, and when he does, they both wake up. Brains had been in the motel room, also comatose. She realizes that 1) the Dynamo 5 kids are tougher than expected, and that 2) their cover is blown, and more authorities are on the way. So Brains and Brawn skedaddle.

Back at D5 HQ, everyone is happy that Scatterbrain has recovered. The mood quickly changes when Myriad walks in and Scatterbrain clocks him for complicating his life back home! The issue ends with a meeting of Brains & Brawn and a couple of other previously vanquished villain: a villainous team in the making.

I hope i haven't done this issue an injustice. I'm tired tonight, but i wanted to get out another post before i turn in. I left out a whole subplot about Visionary's mom finding out that he's a superhero. I think she's gonna sue Maggie.

Here's what i like about Dynamo 5. The characters are likable and are being gradually fleshed out, while their roles in the team remain very clear. The art is strong. Each character is distinctive, and the costume designs are classic superhero stuff. The interpersonal dynamics are fun. The continuing revelation of the ramifications of Captain Dynamo's indiscretions is cool. There are plenty of questions about Maggie's history and motivations, too. I don't know how else to say it except that it's a fun, interesting superhero book with all the elements that make superheroes fun, without a lot of the complications we find in comics from the Big Two.

Good night. :) Comment!