Dynamo 5 #21 (Image Comics)

dynamo5_21-header.jpgJay Faerber and Mahmud A. Asrar set two of heroes up on a date, but, like many things in this excellent superhero series, they refuse to stoop to the standard clichés.



32 pgs. full color; $3.50

(W: Jay Faerber; A: Mahmud A. Asrar)


It’s Visionary’s first date with Firebird and we all know what happens when two superheroes go out for a night on the town, don’t we? Villains attack, romance is sidelined, and hijinks ensue.

The cover to Dynamo 5 issue 21 by Mahmud Asrar. Click for a larger image.It’s a tried and true comic book formula, but you won’t find that here. What happens on that first date? Surprisingly, not much. This issue, the meat is all in the cutaways. Just as Faerber has refreshed and redefined other characteristics of the typical teen team, he handles young love amongst the capes and tights crowd with disarming normalcy. Sure, they get bored and eventually head to the Shark Tank (D5’s answer to the Danger Room) for entertainment, the same way their real life counterparts would use video games as a tool of modern courtship. Getting to know each other while you blast stuff in relative safety, the prelude to a kiss. Nice stuff, but it’s the other developments I find more interesting: super-strong drug addicts, the source of Myriad’s extra oomph, an end to the trail of the missing scientists, and a new villain to top it off.

Of course, it could just be love is in the air. Aside from Visionary and Firebird’s budding romance, goth-flavored fan-favorite Scrap is testing the waters of online dating in this issue and the recent Valentine’s issue featured a lovers spat between two supervillains. All of which should be expected in light of Faerber’s "Between the Sheets" column, where he has discussed how much relationships impact comics as a whole and his writing style in general. The art is solid and tight, slick as anything you’d find in an issue of X-Men or Teen Titans. Asrar’s style pleasantly calls to mind Mark Bagley and looks modern with a classic Bronze Age flavor.

All in all, I’m tempted to say this is the kind of superhero comic I wish Marvel was publishing, but why bother? All new characters, all new stories, no tons of continuity to learn. Everything you need to know about the series is in the blurb above the logo on the cover: "The children of Capt. Dynamo bound by fate and a father they never knew." Dad’s dead, villains are running amok, and the rest you can learn as you go. This series comes highly recommended, and this issue in particular is a great place to jump-on. | Greg O’Driscoll

Click here for a preview of Dynamo 5 #21, courtesy of Comic Book Resources!

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