Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#7 DYNAMO 5:SINS OF THE FATHER #1-5 miniseries

Welcome my fellow nerdlebrities and otakutaunts to another edition of Comic Book Clash. TEAM BOOK MONTH CONTINUES as out next Match up will face one super powered family vs. another. Yes, after long deliberation, we will be seeing the Dynamo 5 vs. The Fantastic Four. Yes! I know than the FF are now called the Future Foundation but I am going to be dealing with the final storyline of that book.

GET READY as the first part of our bout is about to begin. It's DYNAMO 5 vs. the FANTASTIC FOUR.



   For those of you not familiar, Dynamo 5 is a comic book that debuted back in 2007, created and written by Jay Faerber and artist Muhmud A. Asrar. The team played off the concept of a super hero family but it the literal sense, not necessarily acting like one. The Dynamo 5 came about with a super hero with multiple powers, named Captain Dynamo was killed. His wife Maddie Warner, a former agent for a governmental super human monitoring agency called F.L.A.G., was dealing with being a widow when she found out that her husband was . . . well . . . for lack of a better term, a slut. Upon his death, Maddie found out that Captain Dynamo was tapping booty all over the world . . . and beyond. Dear God! The man ended up tapping more booty that James Bond and Captain Kirk . And it didn't matter what color, race . . . hell, human or not, if you were female, Captain Dynamo would have sex with you.  . . Sorry.
     Anyway, Tower City, the former haven of Captain Dynamo, became overrun by villains of all kinds. While other heroes lent a hand when they could but Tower City needed its own heroes. So what does the widow of a great but sexually greed hero do in this situation? Why look up if her husband has some super powered children. And what do you know? There were at least 5. At least 5.Actually 6 cause of one of the team's villains is actually their sister. And I get the feeling there will be more but none have appeared yet.
      Enter Captain Dynamo's bastard children, I mean illegitimate children. You know, I am not spinning this very well but to be honest, this is humorous to me. No disrespect at all but this is kinda hits close to home for me and I find it hilarious. Forgive me but geez Captain Dynamo. Anyway, 5 brothers and sisters who didn't know who were brothers and sisters all collected by their step-mom  in order to be a super team to replace their dad. Ladies and Gentlemen, a reflexion of the world we live in. And these 5 have super powers: Hector Chang, Bridget Flynn, Spencer Bridges, Olivia Lewis and Gage Reinhart. For the 25 issues of the original ongoing, they made up a team that defended Tower City against their father's enemies and new foes all their own while learning to be a family.
     Despite how much it bothered her to have the living constant reminders of her husband's affairs, Maddie turned these 5 strangers not only into heroes, but into a family. Originally, the Dynamo 5's codenames were Visionary (Hector), Scrap (Bridget), Myriad (Spencer), Slingshot (Olivia) & Scatterbrain (Gage) which represented one of Captain Dynamo's powers of : Laser Vision, Super Strength, Shape Shifting, Flight & Telepathy respectively. During the final storyline of the ongoing series, Maddie's son, from a previous relationship, Michael Gideon, used a machine to strip the team of their powers. Using the same machine, the team got their powers back . . . only each member got a different power than the one they originally had. And this looks like it's going to stick. So now, the Dynamo 5 codenames are Supervision (Bridget), Smasher (Hector), Menagerie (Olivia), Ramjet (Gage) & Wraith (Spencer). Most of the names are self explanatory as to who got what power. And now, we go into our miniseries.


  Sins of the Father opens the Dynamo 5 dealing with some robots in the middle of a street in Tower City; with the team going on about how they are not used to their new powers yet. The team defeats the robots while being watched at a secret F.L.A.G. location where another team, the Primaries, are standing by without the Dynamo 5's knowledge. As they return a robot to be inspected, the Dynamo 5 and Maddie wonder who sent the robots to Tower City. Hector and Bridget leave, which seemingly bothers Spencer. Come to find out, Spencer is the son of  Captain Dynamo and an alien woman who, after the teams powers were switch, now looks permanently like an alien. So, he's . ..  feeling emo. Yay! But without quality shots to see more emotion of that, we get one panel and are told the rest.
    Bridget meets up with her boyfriend who talks about being on top of a big story and how they are having sex. Meanwhile, Hector is making out with the younger Firebird in the Reed Residence. Hector, being the youngest, is a teen like his girlfriend, Emily. They make out and Hector is worried about being caught by Emily's mom.
  Upon examining one of the robots the Dynamo 5 defeated, Maddie gets visibly scared. The three remain members of the team ask her what is wrong, Maddie explains she knows who sent the robots . . . an alien who came to take over Earth called Dominex. In a series of flashbacks, we see Captain Dynamo, joined with Omni-man, the father of the hero and Robert Kirkman title Invincible, and Supreme. Yes. Rob Liefield's Supreme. After a verbal exchange between Captain Dynamo and Omni-man over who was Earth's Champion, Supreme flies in to battle against the alien juggernaut known as Dominex.After some  . . . posturing by Supreme, Dominex slaps him and the battle goes in earnest. Before Maddie can complete the story, Tower City trembles as three Aliens that look like Dominex have arrived on Earth.
     Issue #2 opens with a great shot of Maddie looking like she is about to have a nervous breakdown and spoil her pants at the same time.(As you see to your right) Creeping out Gage, Olivia and Spencer, they ask more about what had happened and what's going on. Maddie refuses at first but relents when Spencer reminds her that he will just go into her mind and rip out the information in need be. OK . . . I like Spencer right now. Knowing the 3 new aliens are somehow related to Dominex, Maddie continues with her story. It seems that to defeat Dominex, it took the combined might of Captain Dynamo, Omni-man & Supreme, who are Superman level powerful . . . and the original Firebird, the Savage Dragon and . . . honestly . . . a hero I don't know. Once they defeated Dominex, the alien asks the six heroes to kill him. Captain Dynamo refuses. Dominex goes on about how this shame would taint his family and Captain Dynamo says tough cookies. Supreme states that maybe they SHOULD kill Dominex and argues with Captain Dynamo. Yet, the captain stands firm that they don't cross that line. Captain Dynamo warned Dominex not to come back cause if he did, they would be waiting.
    Fast forward to today. Maddie explains that those 3 aliens need to be stop and for the Dynamo 5 to suit up. As the three aliens get national attention, Hector and Emily both get scared. When Hector calls, Emily insists on going along. Maddie even calls in Cecil Stedman, also from Invincible, to see if his Global Defense Agency , will provide help and work with her coordinating things against the 3 Dominex aliens. And while the Guardians of the Globe are off planet, Stedman agrees to see if he can get a hold of Invincible. After a nervous pep talk about how the Dynamo 5 and Firebird are now Earth's Champions after the 3 Dominex aliens call them out. Invincible joins the group of heroes in time to meet up with the 3 Dominex's face to face. Come to find out, they are Dominex's sons and they want to avenge Daddy's defeat. Smasher, in his infinite wisdom and against his girlfriend's wishes, proclaims that he is indeed one of the children of one of the heroes to beat Dominex. Which one son decks Smasher . . . threw several buildings and quite a distance away.
    And thus the battle begins in earnest. The 3 sons of Dominex vs. 5 of Captain Dynamo's children . . . and the daughter of the original Firebird . . . and the first son of Omni-man. Wow. Yeah. Lots of love and kids popping out there. As the battle starts, there are a few exchanges such as Firebird wanting to find her boyfriend who . . . yeah . . . go knocked through several buildings and has not been seen yet. Maddie stops her. One of Dominex's sons states why Invincible's dad's race, Viltrumite, hasn't conquered Earth yet but Invincible scoffs it off. They recognize the race Spencer seems to be showing. Spencer aka Wraith reaches in another son of Dominex's mind to find some of his mother's race, a Khandrian, torturing someone in some kind of kinky S&M tie up in the ceiling. Wraith saves the camera man and a woman who knows it's Spencer is surprised by how he looks. The feed is good as the children of the Savage Dragon, Malcolm & Angel watch the battle, deciding to head over to help.
    Meanwhile, the Primaries are introduced to their new member  . . . which turns out to be Captain Dynamo . . . or a clone of him. What?! The Dynamo 5, Invincible and Firebird pound on the Dominex boys as Smasher returns and are joined by Malcolm and Angel Dragon. As some quick panels that . . . I will get to these panels later. The heroes feel beaten and Supervision is thinking about surrendering as the 3 Dominex sons are proving a bit much for them. The Primaries arrive on the scene and join the fight. The Primaries help civilians and then tell Supervision that they are there to clean up the Dynamo 5's mess . . . ooo, BURN! We see that Captain Dynamo is being . . . operated by the guy who got the Primaries together? Um . . . what? Flagstone, the guy who looks out of grey rock with an army helmet on his head, goes on about teamwork but the younger heroes quickly follow along with teamwork of their own. Ramjet saves the one Primary who was about to be killed by one of Dominex's boys; and it happens to be a character that the Dynamo 5 actually put back in jail named War Chest. The two have a quick exchange with War Chest liking Ramjet's new look as he hinted at his old one. Angel and Hector aka Smasher have their own exchange in mid fight as Angel states her mother was called Smasher but the codename suited Hector. Firebird gets jealous and tells the two to pay attention and fight the enemy. She then tries to deep fry one Dominex's sons . . . blast it Faerber, you couldn't name them? . . . . For her flash fry attack, said son of Dominex takes out a stress sign and harpoons it through Firebird's chest. Ramjet takes Firebird to the hospital and Hector is enraged. So enraged that . . . he retreats?! Huh? Actually, issue 4 sees Smasher teleporting away and ending up at a laboratory where he asks about a strong suit that would give a normal person super strong. The doctor tells him that the super strong suit on a person who is already super strong would make him the most powerful begin on the planet. Smasher states "Good."
     Issue #5 opens up with Smasher returning to battle with the super strong suit on. One of Dominex's sons mocks him, stating that does he think that the outfit will make a difference. Then we get a full page panel of Smasher  . . . smashing apart the son of Dominex's face with his fist.  OMG!  Seriously, you see the eye ball pop out and his mouth and teeth rip and break apart . . . . Ok. Enough of that right. War Chest states that Smasher is wearing the suit as the other heroes stop in their tracks. Another Dominex bastard comes to Smasher to attack . . . Only to get his head punched off for his trouble. WOW. And mind you . . . Hector is the baby of the team. He's the youngest and he's doing all this. Maddie goes on the comms to tell Hector to stop but he shuts it off. Captain Dynamo is about to talk when Smasher threatens him to shut up or he will do the same to him. Smasher's sister try to talk him down and even show the final son of Dominex surrendering. Yet, Smasher states that if he did, will his children come to do the same as he and his brothers. Then . . . on national tv . . . everyone sees Smasher completely pulverize the final son of Dominex's head. His mother looks on the tv horrified. Other supporting cast are mortified by Smasher's actions. While the other Dynamo 5 siblings and heroes discuss the mortality or need for the actions of Smasher, he is confronted by Supervision to talk about what happened and the fact that he just killed 3 people. Smasher, in his infinite wisdom, decides to be racist and calls them aliens and that she can't stop him from living. When Supervision states that is he threaten his own sister, Smasher snaps out of it She then asks him to remove the super suit and Smasher just takes it off saying that he's not being corrupted. The Primaries help civilians and tell Menagerie that they have to see if Tower City is big enough for both the Dynamo 5 and them.The heroes help with clean up while Hector, in civvies, sees Emily in the hospital only to be thrown out of the room by her mom. After saving more civilians, War Chest and Ramjet flirt and Supervision and Menagerie decide to destroy the super strong suit. Maddie goes to her former F.L.A.G. colleague to find out what is going on with the Primaries and "Captain Dynamo only to be followed by Captain Dynamo coming back to a lab where the guy that sent out the Primaries takes off his helmet and lets Captain Dynamo sit. Finally, the Dynamo 5, scans Smasher, sit and talk about what has happened, Hector's action and where it was right or wrong. The two sisters think that Hector crossed the line while Spencer thinks that the action was justified meanwhile Gage is still in disbelief about what his youngest brother has done. Hector arrives, over hearing the conversation, looking rather dejected. His other siblings tell him that it will be ok and ask how Emily is doing. Hector tells what happened and apologizes for his actions; claiming he regrets them and for his family to forgive him. He turns to leave as all but Spencer reassure him that he's fine. Once he is gone, Olivia states that they were over reacting till Spencer corrected her. Our miniseries ends with Hector walking out while Spencer tells the others that he read Hector's mind while he spoke; Hector was lying and that he does not regret a single thing he did.


    Ok. That felt a lot longer than what it was. And it really shouldn't have. Now, I am going to go with the good before I go with the bad. Jay Faerber gave us a miniseries that is very much lived in with an exciting assortment of characters that would make the Legion of Super Heroes jealous. The Dynamo 5 had a lot to come to grips with and we got to see that with 3 out of the 5. I know there were a slew of guest stars and this miniseries was almost a contained event or crossover just given it's own mini. Lots and lots of action. Some good intrigue with the Captain Dynamo and Spencer subplots. Great characterizations and interplay with characters, including Invincible, the children of Savage Dragon, Firebird, etc. And the sons of Dominex provided some great challenges that brought forth questions on kill or don't kill and facing morality as a super hero in comparison to a soldier.
    And see Hector kinda go nuts after watching his girlfriend impaled was definitely a sight to see. Hector, Bridget and Spencer got the most development during the miniseries and was so well developed throughout that you got the feeling of who they were and where they wanted to go. Maddie was also developed but with little screen time, we saw them be who she were.
     And that  . . . for the most part was the Good.
     Now . . . the bad.
     I am going to start with Faerber before I get into the art. Now, I understand that there are a slew of characters. I am glad that Emily was with the Dynamo 5 to really shine a little with Hector without her mom. Unfortunately, the title is called Dynamo 5; so why did Olivia and Gage were barely touched and they were on the team! They felt like guest stars in their own title. For the love, Emily had more development, as I just pointed out. Angel and Malcolm Dragon had more characterization during the majority of the mini. We only catch glimpses of Olivia and Gage at the end of the mini. We are told that Olivia had come up with an idea using team work. So why were we only TOLD it and not shown it. There was space to but was not utilized as well as it could have been. Heck! That prick Flagstone and Captain Dynamo got more development then 2 members of the title team. Faerber . . . don't make teammates and lead characters of your book look like guest stars. There were a few times where we are told things when we could have been shown instead of big 2 page spreads or crammed 16 panels on one page.
    And now, I am going to talk about Julio Brilha, who pencils and inks the miniseries. Reading and looking over his art, I will say this . . . it is good . . . when the characters are big enough and he is not in a hurry. Ok. I admit. I am not an artist. I don't draw very well. But I have been reading comic books for 20 years (May 11, 2011 is 20 year anniversary). Yes. There are personal things connected to that day which is why I remember it. Anyway, Brilha does some GREAT panel work throughout the series. His main problem is that when he pencils and inks smaller panels, they do not look as good and finished as the larger panels. The inking clumps together more. I don't know if that is cause he was in a hurry or just the size of the characters but it was definitely inconsistent art throughout the miniseries. It was the same artist but the art went from average and a bit hurried to stunning and poster worthy. That gets a bit annoying reading the miniseries. I believe I would need to see more of Brilha's work, given time and patience to see if we have more stunning work as he is capable of. His inks seemed sloppy but it could be, again, either he was in a rush or just bad inking. Yet he inked the whole thing and the larger panels are really spectacular. Unfortunately, the further in the series, the bigger the gap between mediocre to spectacular the art became. Still, a solid, average effort but there just needs to be more polishing with Brilha cause the potential is definitely there.

With that said, a good story and questions of morality are examined while we get a big super hero team up miniseries. Yet, making main characters take back seats to supporting or even guest characters is bad. Inconsistent art hold back this book as your eyes and mouth will be saying WTF on several occasions. These things are what hold back the book from being a real gem. I didn't talk about the colors cause they were fine. Nothing spectacular, nothing mediocre. Just average. Still, it is a good introduction to the world of Dynamo 5 and Image's upcoming heroes in general. Faerber & Brilha's Sins of the Father leave you wanting a little more but not too impressed to be scowing back issues immediately.

That is why I give Dynamo 5: Sins of the Father an X Division Contendership. It is not bad. It's not great. It's ok. You can buy it and enjoy it and then leave it alone.  But what do the rest of you think. Let me know. 

NEXT WEEK: The First Part of this bout is over! Now get ready as next week, I will be taking us on a journey through the final adventure of the Fantastic Four in "THREE!"

And remember, if you are on the side of evil, say goodbye. To all others, good journey!

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