Current Reviews


Dynamo 5 #2

Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2007
By: Kevin Powers

Writer: Jay Faerber
Artists: Mahmud Asrar, Ron Riley (colors)

Publisher: Image Comics

I love the concept behind Dynamo5. I mean what better way to stir up conflict and awkward relationships and force a group of kids into being superheroes than by telling them their mothers had an affair with the world’s greatest hero, the late Captain Dynamo. That’s exactly what Maddie Warner does to get these kids together and have them embark on a crusade that serves her own personal needs and vendettas against her late husband’s worst enemies. It’s a wild concept that would make for a pretty wild reality TV show, and I have a feeling it will definitely create some awkward sexual tension between a few members of the group whether or not they are half-siblings.

It’s weird to think about, but the way Asrar and Faerber have presented these kids is that they are all relatively attractive. That aside, each character’s personality is unique, and this is clear, especially in this issue. It’s also interesting because not only does each of the characters share one of their father’s powers, but they all possess an aspect of his personality, something that ultimately drives Maddie to these kids.

Usually I try not to quote other reviewers in my reviews, trying to stay as personally opinionated as I can and sometimes many reviewers don’t often agree with SBC’s own Ray Tate. However in the opening of his review of this issue he states “This issue of Dynamo 5 acts as a stand-alone mystery, but one that lacks complication. Faerber provides good plot twists.” I would have to agree with him and say that it may not be the most complicated story, but it doesn’t have to be. This is a series about how these DNA related kids interact with the woman with whom their biological father was married. It is also a story about the personal vendetta and personal conflict that Maddie Warner has with her late husband’s enemies and the fact that her husband cheated on her with (at least) five different women and produced (at least) five different off-springs.

This issue finds the team battling a Killer Croc/Werewolf type villain, Whiptail. Through the two battles between Dynamo5 and Whiptail we learn who may be not only the most powerful of the group but also the most humble and darkest. She’s definitely supposed to be the hottest of the group, and she’s got a little bit of a dark, Gothic look to her. I can’t help but think of the suicide girls when I look at Scrap, except she seems a bit more wholesome. Faerber also offers a bit more insight into Maddie Warner, especially when she interacts with Scrap during a stakeout.

Maddie seems to genuinely care about these kids even though she has drafted or forced them into their superhero gigs. She offers to help Scrap get her foot in the door in the Hollywood business and is pretty firm and straightforward about it. If some random lady I just met offered me that opportunity, I’d be all over it. Personally, I think Scrap may be a little reluctant because of some personal secret that may end up being revealed sometime soon.

Back to the story, while investigating Whiptail, the team discovers there is apparently no connection to the original Whiptail who is in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s. It’s a bit strange who Whiptail turns out to be, seeing as how that character was only given a couple panels of appearance. I personally would have pegged the nursing home attendant who seemed to have absolutely hated his job. Nonetheless, it is a decent plot twist that no doubt deepens the plot and the mystery surrounding this series as a whole. What works very well though is the way that Faerber does not spend time pointlessly and abruptly answering why someone would tamper with Whiptail’s power inducing serum. It’s just matter of fact and it works because ultimately, Maddie Warner is up to something big.

Mahmud Asrar’s art is brilliant just as it was in the first issue. He manages to capture the personalities of each character through their overall physical appearances. He also does a wonderful job capturing the abilities each of the kids possesses and how those powers do and don’t match up with their personalities. Ron Riley also does a great job keeping the colors vibrant yet dull enough to fit the mystery surrounding what is going on here.

After reading these two solid issues, I am really looking forward to this series and watching each character progress and, as it would seem, Maddie’s digression into madness. There are a lot of great books hitting the market outside of the “big two,” and this is one of the best so far.

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