Family Dynamic: Jay Faerber on Return of Image's DYNAMO 5

Although the idea of a superhero team that’s a true family isn’t a new concept in comics, the idea by Dynamo 5 is. Over the course of twenty-five issues, writer Jay Faerber and artist Mahmud A. Asrar turned that comic trope on its head with a story of a superhero team-up of five illegitimate children of a superhero known as Captain Dynamo. Although each of them had set out on a life of their own, the widow of their absent father brings them together to take up his torch and defend a city called Tower City. After a two year and twenty-five issue run, the Dynamo 5 series went on hiatus… but good news, readers:

Dynamo 5 is back.

In June, the Dynamo kids return in the five issue series Dynamo 5: Sins Of The Father. In this new miniseries, the children of the deceased Captain Dynamo are faced with a threat from their father’s past in the shape of an alien named Dominex, and go digging into their own family history to find a way to stop him. In the original battle with Dominex, their father had the help of Image stalwarts such as Savage Dragon, Supreme and Invincible’s Omni Man – so they have much to do. And while they’re dealing with a threat from their family’s past, they’re also dealing with their re-assignment of superpowers in the wake of the final issues of their previous series.

We talked with writer and series co-creator Jay Faerber about the return of Dynamo 5 beginning this June, what the kids are up to – and what it’s like to interact with the other heroes in the Image universe.

Newsarama: The subtitle of this new miniseries, Sins of the Father, provokes a lot of possibilities for stories. I see some of the classic flagship heroes of Image on the cover such as Omni-Man and Supreme. What's the story about, Jay?

Jay Faerber: The story elements in Sins of the Father actually begin about nearly 20 years ago in the Image Universe, when various Image heroes (including Captain Dynamo, Omni-Man, Supreme, Savage Dragon, and others) teamed up to combat an immensely powerful alien named Dominex, who's a big, Kirby-style alien warrior. It's no secret that the heroes were victorious, but their victory came with a price, and that bill comes due in the present day aspects of this story.

Most of the mini-series takes place in the present, but there are numerous flashbacks to the epic battle between the Image heroes and the alien threat.

Nrama: With such Image stalwarts as Omni-Man, Supreme and Savage Dragon appearing, will there be another other

Faerber: Yeah, there are a number of cool guest stars coming up, although I guess we can't call them surprising if I reveal who they are right now. But what the hell? I'm going to anyway. Invincible will be stopping by for an extended visit, and Savage Dragon's children, Malcolm and Angel, will also be appearing. The characters I co-created with Andres Ponce, the Firebirds, will also be around.

The basic idea is that I wanted to have a group of second-generation Image heroes team up to combat a threat linked to their parents.

Nrama: Excellent. Speaking of teams, joining you on this book is a new name in artist Júlio Brilha. We've seen original Dynamo 5 artist and co-creator Mahmud A. Asrar pop up all over Marvel lately, so I can understand him being busy - but it's good to see him doing covers. Can you tell us about the switch-up, and new artist Julio?

Faerber: As we approached issue #25 [of the then-ongoing series], Mahmud made the decision to pursue some opportunities at Marvel, but he was good enough to stay involved with Dynamo 5. As you noted, he'll still be providing covers and he's also designing major new characters. He designed Dominex, for instance, along with some new heroes who will be appearing.

Júlio Brilha is an artist I came across online, after pouring over hundreds and hundreds of blogs and DeviantArt sites, looking for just the right artist to take over for Mahmud. He had lots and lots of sequential pages (always a good thing) and his style was incredible.

He has a unique style but it's not light years away from Mahmud, so it shouldn't be too jarring for fans of the book. Júlio's been a dream to work with. He's a great storyteller, he's reliable, and talented.

What's not to like? And wait until you see some of the double-page spreads he's produced. They're just jaw-dropping. Ron Riley, our colorist, really had his work cut out for him with all the detail Júlio put into these spreads, but Ron rose to the challenge and made them really sing.

Nrama: In addition to that story, you also have a bonus feature running through this miniseries called Notorious. What is it about?

Faerber: Each issue of Dynamo 5: Sins of the Father will feature a full-length D5 story, as well as a 5-page back-up serial called Notorious, which introduces a new masked crime-fighter who targets organized crime.

There's a pretty big twist to this story (which I admit sounds kind of generic at the outset), but I don't want to reveal exactly what the twist is. But people who read my super-hero books have come to expect that there's always some sort of curveball thrown into an otherwise traditional premise.

Notorious is being drawn by co-creator Joe Eisma, who's been doing some great work on Existence 3.0, another fine Image title. Joe and I first worked together on a Dodge's Bullets short story that appeared as a bonus in Dynamo 5 #18, and then he went on to do a back-up story in Dynamo 5 #25. It's great fun creating something new with him.

Nrama: Does Notorious have any connections with kids at Dynamo 5?

Faerber: No, no connection. Although both series take place within the same continuity. There's no organic connection, however.

Nrama: In recent months, the superhero comics of Image have been more connected than ever thanks to the Image United series. As a long-time part of this side of the Image line, what do you think of this increased inter-connectivity --- especially since some of the characters are coming to roost in this Dynamo 5 series?

Faerber: I think it's pretty cool. I'm an old-time super-hero fan, so I love seeing various characters cross paths. What I think separates Image's super-hero books from those at Marvel and DC is that at Image, the individual books have priority over the greater "universe," whereas at Marvel and DC, the opposite is true. For instance, it's been established that Obama is President in both Savage Dragon and Youngblood. But in the last issue of Noble Causes, I established that Race Noble is President in my little corner of the universe. However, that doesn't stop my characters from mingling with Savage Dragon now and then again.

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