Current Reviews


Dynamo 5 #22

Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2009
By: Ray Tate

Jay Faerber
Mahmud Asrar, Yildiray Cinar, Ron Riley (c)
Image Comics
Dynamo 5 meet the Brain Trust. Brain Trust, Dynamo 5. "Get ready to rummmmmmble!"

I have a soft spot for disembodied brains in film. I have forgotten how many times I have pulled out the Mystery Science Theater experiment The Brain That Wouldn't Die for a reviewing. Ah, Jan in the Pan. I love the Doctor Who story The Brain of Morbius. The evil brain massacre that occurred in Lexx reduces me to a puddle of giggles. One of my favorite Silver Age villains is in fact the Brain from The Doom Patrol. Giving him a Batroc accent was pure genius, and Grant Morrison breaking taboos with his seminal, "Kiss me, Monsieur Mallah," moment still brings out tears of joy.

Fay Faerber created a villain impossible for me to dislike. Five scientists get together and decide, hey, wouldn't it be cool to combine our intellects into one big dude that's festooned with brains under glass. You had me at brain. They have a plan. Rob a bank. It's like The Italian Job, if Charlie and the rest of his crew decided to take out their brains and Crazy Glue them onto Hulk Hogan's body.

Any project that features disembodied brains isn't going to win any awards. You're not going to see Meryl Streep present the award for best picture to a remake of Beast of Blood Island even if Sir Ben Kingsley lent his voice to the vegetable man's head. This subject belongs in trash cinema and comic books. It's scientifically ridiculous. It's inane and I love it.

Faerber plays Brain Trust fairly straight, and that makes the comedy all that more rewarding. Even the kids find the Brain Trust to be a hoot. Myriad sums up the situation best. Having the Dynamo 5 express disbelief in the Brain Trustís plan cleverly reinforces their verisimilitude. At heart, most super-heroes are impossible, but their characterization can be realistic. Such depth allows a reader to really sink her teeth into the story, even one that can be boiled down to costumed young adults beating the snot out of a giant with a breakout of fish-bowled brains.

The art team puts the heroes through their dare I say dynamic paces, with Scrap taking the lead in pounding the monster and Slingshot following up with an inventive strategy. The others attempt to impede Brain Trust, but the ladies exhibit the most successful strategies.

This issue is more about just disembodied brains. Faerber also entertains with a surprise visit from an old Dynamo 5 menace, and how he manifests is most unexpected. Another old enemy facilitates a future takedown of the team, and Asrar, Cinar and Riley beautifully illustrate the entire narrative.

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