Writer: Jay Faerber
Artists: Mahmud A. Asrar, Ron Riley(c)
Last issue, super-patriotic organization F.L.A.G. arrested the Dynamo 5. Visionary learned that Captain Dynamo, father to the Five, was missing from his coffin. Maddie tracked down the false Captain to the lair of Chrysalis, and there she found another of the Captain's illegitimate children, a product of his liaison with former arch-nemesis Chrysalis. Badly outgunned by the super powered, Maddie takes a drastic measure to even odds. Using a far from secret formula, she becomes the saurian beast Whiptail.
Faerber spins a number of plates this issue, but he doesn't let any of them fall. He entwines the characterization to the plot, and as a result the story becomes ever more engrossing. In addition, the plot can be reduced to simple super-heroics that eschew the decompressive bias so many authors choose to follow. Faerber simply employs the conventions imaginatively and lets the character interaction guide the plot.
A seeming betrayal leads to re-establishing the sides, and some witty dialogue. The result of this collusion frees the Dynamo 5. Tracking down Maddie triggers a slam-bang fight against Chrysalis, her daughter and Whiptail. Mahmud A. Asrar and Ron Riley translate the language of action into team oriented power punching and fantastic mayhem. Scrap plows through multiple levels of concrete. She tackles what's essentially a dinosaur, and she looks good doing it. Slingshot flies at incredible speeds that make her in battle the equivalent of a human peregrine falcon. Visionary blasts the snot out of the less experience vision-powered antagonist. The attention to anatomy and individual physiques combined with an understanding of cinema forge arresting images themed in blue and red.
Faerber could have ended the story tragically. He could for instance have had Scrap accidentally kill in order to lead to some false pathos, but instead, he naturally teases out a happy ending. Nobody dies, and a mind-wipe, of late given far too much realistic credence in comics, leaves behind one character with a second chance. Maddie's love for Captain Dynamo proves to be a motivation in her actions, and I'm beginning to wonder if she doesn't believe that in another world these children are the children she could have had with Dynamo.
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