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New Family in Town

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Coming from Image in March is Dynamo 5, a new ongoing series by Jay Faerber and Mahmud Asrar. Dynamo 5 sports a team comprised of the five illegitimate children of the late Captain Dynamo, who was killed last year in the pages of Faerber’s other Image superhero book, Noble Causes.

Now, these five illegitimate children are brought together by the late Captain’s widow and team up to fight whatever the forces of evil throw at their faces. In anticipation of Dynamo 5’s first adventure, BF turned to Faerber and Asrar to find out what the book is all about…

BROKEN FRONTIER: In Dynamo 5 , the five illegitimate children of deceased superhero Captain Dynamo are brought together by his widow. How does she find out about his escapades?

JAY FAERBER: Cap’s widow, Maddie Warner, finds Cap’s “little black book” when going through his belongings in his secret headquarters. She’s rooting through the stuff, deciding which stuff to keep and what she should donate to other super-heroes, when she stumbles across the names of all the women Cap fooled around with over the years.

BF: Since she brought the team together, will she act as some kind of mentor or the go-to person for moral support?

JAY: Maddie is the team’s mentor, but she’s not exactly someone they’ll turn to for moral support. She’s a bit of a hard-case, and let’s remember—these kids serve as walking reminders of her husband’s infidelity.

BF: Time for a little introduction to the five stars. Who are they, and what are their powers?

JAY: In no specific order we’ve got –

Scrap – She’s the oldest on the team. She’s in her early 20s and is struggling to make it as a writer in Hollywood. She inherited Cap’s super-strength.

Scatterbrain – He’s a popular high school jock. He’s on the football team in one of those Texas towns where everyone cares about high school football team. He inherits his father’s ability to read minds, which he finds pretty useless. He’d rather hit stuff.

Myriad – He’s a loner by nature, having grown up in a series of foster homes. So to him, the Dynamo 5 kids are just another group of kids claiming to be his siblings. It means nothing to him. He has limited shape-shifting abilities, allowing him to impersonate anyone.

Slingshot – She’s an overachieving college student, and she inherited her dad’s ability to fly at tremendous speeds.

Visionary – He’s a nerdy high school kid who possesses all of Cap’s vision-related powers. He can see great distances, see through stuff, he has laser-blasts, etc.

BF: Mahmud, you’re based in Ankara. How did you get in touch with Jay?

MAHMUD ASRAR: Well, actually Jay got in touch with me first thanks to our mutual friend Ryan Ottley. Apparently Jay spoke of his ideas on Dynamo 5 to Robert Kirkman and Ryan at a convention. Jay also mentioned he was looking for an artist to collaborate with and Ryan, who I’m acquainted with through the internet, was kind enough to instantly name me as a potential collaborator.

Jay didn’t waste much time and got in touch with me. It couldn’t have been at a better time on my side. This project had everything that I could wish for and Jay Faerber was offering to co-create it all with me. How could I refuse? Jay is a great guy and an even greater inspiration.

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BF: And what about your side of the story, Jay? What makes Mahmud a good choice to render your scripts?

JAY: Just look at his art! It’s gorgeous! Mahmud’s a fantastic artist and a gifted storyteller. He “gets” the concept and he gets the characters. I mean, the characters wouldn’t be who they are without him. He’s breathed life into each and every one of them. And he’s incredibly dedicated, as well as fast. In an industry where late-shipping books seem to be the norm, Mahmud’s way ahead of schedule. It’s mid-January as I write this and Mahmud’s already halfway through issue #3. And issue #1 doesn’t come out until March!

MAHMUD: Did I mention Jay was one of the kindest guys to work with?

BF: Jay, in Noble Causes, you’re having fun with soap opera stuff and some of the cornier elements of comic stories, like people turning out to be robots, brain transplants, etc. Will we see some of that too in Dynamo 5 ?

JAY: We’ll see a lot of super-hero traditions in Dynamo 5, but they won’t have the same “tone” as Noble Causes, where I set out to give stuff an ironic twist. Dynamo 5 will play stuff a little more straight. I’ll be trying to put a new spin on things, of course, but I’m not taking the same approach I do in Noble Causes. With Dynamo 5 , I want to embrace all the super-hero team traditions—the secret headquarters, the signal watch, all that stuff.

BF: I’m sure part of the drama in this series will come from the fact that five youngsters who’ve never met each other suddenly find out they’ve got the same father, have to put up with one another all of a sudden…

JAY: Yeah, these kids all come from separate families. They never knew the others existed. But it’s not like they’re going to abandon the families they came from. The Dynamo 5 team won’t be living together under the same roof or anything. They’re keeping their powers a secret from their families, so now they have to keep up the “everything is normal” façade for their “old” families, while fighting crime alongside their “new” family.

Click to enlargeClick to enlargeAnd remember that Captain Dynamo could impersonate people. So in some cases, the women he slept with thought they were sleeping with their husbands. These women have no idea their children are illegitimate. We’ll be dealing with that fallout as well.

BF: What will give this new series its own unique voice and place next to Noble Causes , even though they share the same ‘universe’?

JAY: As I touched on earlier, the series stands apart from Noble Causes . They do occupy the same little corner of the Image universe, but it’s not like they’re companion series or anything.

BF: Is a showdown or team-up between both teams in the cards?

JAY: Stranger things have happened…

MAHMUD: Indeed.

BF: Noble Causes is one of the few superhero team books in the industry not released by Marvel and DC that keeps on going. What do you attribute its success to?

JAY: I think it’s just my own stubbornness more than anything! But seriously, I think we’ve got a small, devoted audience that enjoys reading a super-hero book that stands on its own. I mean, it’s nearly impossible to pick up a single Marvel or DC title these days.

To understand most stories, you have to read the big crossover stuff. And while that stuff certainly has a sizeable audience, there is a segment that would rather follow a single group of characters, rather than dozens of series.

BF: The Nobles and Blackthornes are all very aware of public perception—the Blackthornes like to spin it every once in a while too. Will Dynamo 5, as a team, embrace a public role as well?

JAY: Dynamo 5 will not be embracing the public like the Nobles did. They will closely guard their secret identities, and they won’t stick around for interviews after they beat up the bad guy. That’s for two reasons. One, because the team is more concerned with fighting crime than getting famous, and two, because I don’t want the book to go over the same themes as Noble Causes . I’m making a conscious effort to make sure we cover new ground.

BF: How does the public react to the fact that they’re all illegitimate children?

JAY: The public has no idea what Dynamo 5’s connection is to Captain Dynamo. As far as the public is concerned, these kids are just a group of heroes who’ve taken on Caps’ name to honor him or something.

BF: Their father was killed by Widowmaker in Noble Causes #18 . Since she hasn’t been captured, is the team’s first mission going to be to track her down and bring her to justice?

JAY: Not their first mission, no. Readers of Noble Causes (and this interview!) know Widowmaker killed Cap, but no one else does. Maddie and the kids want to find out who killed him, but it’s not their first priority. Eventually, Widowmaker and the kids will have to meet up, of course, but it’s not going to happen right away.

Dynamo 5 fires on all cylinders in March, only from Image Comics.

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