Dynamo5 is a comic book created by writer Jay Faerber and artist Mahmud A. Asrar which focuses on the five illegitimate children of Captain Dynamo, "the greatest superhero in the world". After he is found dead in another woman's bed, his widow tracks down the confirmed offspring, hits them with the same Applied Phlebotinum that gave their father his Combo Platter Powers, and persuades them to follow in his footsteps as the protectors of Tower City.
The Five-Man Band consists of:
Slingshot (Olivia "Livvie" Lewis): An earnest aspiring lawyer who manifested her father's ability to fly. As of issue 25 is now known as Menagerie ( shapeshifting- limited to animals )
Scrap (Bridget Flynn): A failed film student who became a Cute Bruiser with superstrength and near-invulnerability once her powers were activated. Now called Supervision (X-Ray vision & laser eyes)
Visionary (Hector Chang): A shy, nerdy high-school student who can now see through walls and fire lasers from his eyes. Now goes by Smasher (Super Strength and near invulnerability)
Myriad (Spencer Bridges): A drifter, ladies' man, and metamorph. Now called Wraith (Telepathy)
- All Your Powers Combined: Synergy, their evil half-sibling, got all of Captain Dynamo's powers.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: And then promptly flooded.
- Asshole Victim: Zigzagged. The more we learn about Captain Dynamo/William Warner, the more despicable he appears to be. It is revealed in the series that he was a habitual womanizer who cheated on his wife, Maddie Warner, even when it compromised his crime-fighting duties. He also was not above using his shape shifting power to impersonate married women's husbands in order to sleep with them. He had an affair with one of his enemies, a supervillain named Chrysalis, and had a daughter with her named Cynthia, and led a second life to help raise her. The worst thing he did was when he fathered a child with an alien woman that he had met in outer space, after coming to the aid of her malfunctioning starship. When the mother gives him the child because she can't raise him herself, he leaves the infant at a F.L.A.G. research facility, where the child grows up without parents. When one of the scientists bonds with the child and begs Captain Dynamo to free him, Captain Dynamo refuses. However, his wife Maddie Warner and best friend Augie Ford still very much respect his memory and miss him, despite learning about his faults. It is implied that Captain Dynamo/William Warner truly did love his wife Maddie Warner and his best friend Augie Ford and aside from the cheating and womanizing, he took his crime-fighting duties as protector of Tower City seriously.
- Bastard Bastard:
- Cynthia. Out of all of Captain Dynamo/William Warner's illegitimate children, she was the one most interested in using her powers for her own gain rather than helping Tower City. It is implied that she and her mother were taking advantage of Captain Dynamo/William Warner's death to impersonate him to increase their power base.
- Father Gideon/Michael. The son of Maddie and her former fiance Tom, from when their relationship fell apart and Maddie left Tom two weeks before their wedding. While Maddie wanted to be in Michael's life, Tom sued for full custody, and after a ugly custody battle, Maddie backed off. According to Maddie, Michael was a troubled child in boarding school who did horrible things to the other children. He was angry at Maddie for abandoning him and blamed her for his father's death because Tom became an alcoholic and his liver gave out. He takes the alias Father Gideon to get close to Cynthia, restore her memories, seduce her to get her to work together with him to kill Dynamo 5 and his mother while promising to help free Cynthia's mother, which he does not plan to do.
- Badass Normal: Not as scary as Batman or some other examples, but don't mess with Maddie Warner.
- Bed Trick: Captain Dynamo was fond of this. It's even how the kids were (most likely) conceived.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In public, Captain Dynamo/William Warner boasted a public image as the greatest superhero in the world. In private, he was a habitual womanizer who cheated on his wife Maddie and fathered numerous children, even when it compromised his crime-fighting duties.
- Broken Pedestal: Captain Dynamo to anyone who learns the truth. The noble, stalwart defender of justice was a philandering hypocrite who cheated on his wife constantly.
- Canon Welding: This comic, Noble Causes, Firebirds, and Venture make up a loose-knit "Faerberverse". Captain Dynamo's death occurs in the pages of Noble Causes.
- The Faerberverse is at least tangentially connected to the "Kirkmanverse" of Invincible and The Astounding Wolf-Man, since Invincible is in The Pact with Zephyr Noble.
- Likewise, they're free to call on elements and characters from the other Image super-hero titles, or not as they see fit. For example, in Faerber's comics the current US President is Rusty Noble. In most other of the loosely connected Image super-hero line it's Barack Obama.
- The Faerberverse is at least tangentially connected to the "Kirkmanverse" of Invincible and The Astounding Wolf-Man, since Invincible is in The Pact with Zephyr Noble.
- Car Fu: Scrap seems to be fond of this, frequently using cars as projectiles or clubs.
- Cuckold: A rare Gender Inverted. It is implied that throughout their relationship, from when they started dating until his death, Captain Dynamo/William Warner constantly cheated on his wife Maddie Warner, with Maddie being in the complete dark until after his death. Chrysalis also counts. For years she had a affair with Captain Dynamo/William Warner, even having and raising a daughter with him. She thought they were in love and was told that Captain Dynamo/William Warner planned to leave Maddie Warner for her. She was shocked to learn that she was not the only woman he was sleeping with and that Dynamo 5 are his illegitimate children.
- Daddy's Girl: Implied. According to Chrysalis, Captain Dynamo/William Warner was close to Cynthia and told her that flying with her was one of the happiest times of his life. Cynthia outright questions if Dynamo 5 is worthy of inheriting their father's name and points out that she was the one he raised.
- Dating Catwoman: Deconstruction. Captain Dynamo had an affair with one of his enemies, a supervillain named Chrysalis, and had a daughter with her, who he help raise. While Chrysalis herself said that they were in love, that did not stop her and her daughter from taking advantage of his death to impersonate him to increase their power base. Ultimately, Chrysalis, a amoral and ruthless criminal who is willing to murder anyone in her way, who only escapes justice because of her affair with Captain Dynamo.
- Discard and Draw: The end of the ongoing series has the kids all attacked with a weapon that counters the radiation that activated their powers in the first place, removing their Dynamo powers. When they manage to get exposed to the radiation again, the five powers are distributed differently, and one of them actually changes (where Myriad could become other people, Menagerie now changes into animals).
- Disappeared Dad: Captain Dynamo had no idea that any of the Dynamo 5 existed. Except Spencer, who he quite readily abandoned to a research institute.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Female mother and daughter supervillains team Chrysalis and Synergy appear to be close to each other, and Chrysalis claims to have been in love with Captain Dynamo, the father of her daughter Synergy.
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite never trying to catch Chrysalis because of his affair with her, Captain Dynamo/William Warner still tries to stop her crimes, as Chrysalis noticed. Despite their relationship were (she claims they were in love), she could never turn him to her side and he did everything to stop her criminal career.
- Fantastic Drug: The Whiptail serum. After the first arc with only one person using it to transform, the serum eventually gets diluted and sold by actual drug dealers in a later story.
- Five-Man Band: Despite the use in the description, this doesn't really work- Spencer, Hector and Gage have shades of The Lancer, The Smart Guy, and The Big Guy respectively, but they're not perfect thanks to the semi-ironic power distribution, and Olivia and Bridget can't really be split into The Hero and The Chick.
- Flying Brick: Cap was one, but the "flying" and "brick" parts got split between Livvie and Bridget, so they make do with Fastball Special maneuvers. After the Discard and Draw, Gage gets a suit of armor that seems like it'll make him a more traditional version.
- Half-Human Hybrids: Spencer's mom wasn't from around here. He only looks human thanks to the shapeshifting, which he already has thanks to government experiments that included exposing him to the radiation that gave Cap his powers.
- Heroic Bastard: Dynamo 5 is a group of five young people who learn that the superhero Captain Dynamo is their father. Three of them: Scrap (Bridget Flynn), Slingshot (Olivia "Livvie" Lewis), and Scatterbrain (Gage Reinhart), are unknowingly born out of wedlock and raised by stepfathers who do not know they are not their biological children because Captain Dynamo used his shape shifting power to impersonate them in order to sleep with their wives. The fourth one is Visionary (Hector Chang). His mother was unknowingly impregnated by Captain Dynamo, who slept with and abandoned his mother, not knowing he fathered a child. The fifth one is Myriad (Spencer Bridges). His mother is a alien woman that Captain Dynamo had met in outer space after coming to the aid of her malfunctioning starship. When the mother gives him the child because she can't raise him herself, he leaves the infant at a F.L.A.G. research facility, where the child grows up without parents and escapes. Despite their flaws and mistakes as superheroes, they show themselves to be good young people who want to protect Tower City.
- It's All My Fault: In Dynamo 5 #17, when Scatterbrain enters Maddie Warners unconscious as she lies comatose, it is revealed that she tends to accept a disproportionate amount of responsibility for various unfortunate events in her life and harbors guilt over those incidents. Be it when a supervillain escapes, when Captain Dynamo is unable to save people's lives, or her personal relationships fail, like when her relationship with her former fiance Tom falls apart because of her secret life and the fact that she could not tell him she was an agent of F.L.A.G., a U.S. government organization that deals with threats posed by superhuman beings, though she used the cover of an award-winning investigative journalist. Or when her marriage to Captain Dynamo/William Warner became strained because of his Dynamo's career as a costumed crimefighter often kept him away from home for extended periods of time, and, unknown to her, Dynamo's absences were partially due to the numerous extramarital affairs that he had. It was by Scatterbrain's convincing Warner of her need to move beyond her guilt that he was able to bring her out of the coma.
- Irony: Out of all of Captain Dynamo's numerous illegitimate children, the one he personally raised and that inherited all his powers became a super-villain, while the ones who never knew him and only got one of his powers became heroes.
- Jealous Parent: Downplayed. According to Scatterbrain (Gage Reinhart), the supervillain Chrysalis is afraid that her looks are fading and she can't attract men anymore. He said that she is jealous of her daughter Cynthia because of her looks and that she probably can better attract men. However, it appears that Chrysalis does not let her jealousy affect her relationship with her daughter, and they appear to be close.
- Jerkass: This series does not paint a good picture of Captain Dynamo/William Warner. It was revealed in the series that he was a habitual womanizer who cheated on his wife, Maddie Warner, and fathered numerous children, even when it compromised his crime-fighting duties. He used his shape shifting power to impersonate women's husbands in order to sleep with them. He had a relationship behind his wife's back with Chrysalis one of his Arch Enemies, and even fathered a daughter with her, Cynthia, who inherited all of Dynamo's powers, and goes by the code name Synergy. According to Chrysalis, Dynamo was a presence in Synergy's life, and led a second life behind Warner's back as he helped to raise her. Unknown to Chrysalis, he was cheating on her as well. Finally, we learn that he fathered a child with an alien woman that he had met in outer space, after coming to the aid of her malfunctioning starship. Because of the taboo of raising a half-breed on her world, she came to Earth to give custody of their son to Dynamo. Because he viewed the child as a threat to his marriage, he left the infant at a F.L.A.G. research facility, where the child grew up without parents. When he began to bond with Dr. Bridges, one of the scientists there, the two were separated, and Dynamo refused Bridges' pleas to free the boy from the facility.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: However, despite his faults, it was implied in the series that Captain Dynamo/William Warner truly did love his wife Maddie Warner and his best friend Augie Ford and cared for his former superhero partner Quake. And aside from the cheating and womanizing, he took his crime-fighting duties as protector of Tower City seriously.
- Jerk Jock: Averted. While Gage shows signs of this in the first issue, he's actually a nice enough guy, and is the first of the five siblings to start bonding with another, namely Hector, the geeky one in the group. In issue 2, they talk about girls while doing surveillance, and later Gage is very supportive of Hector's performance in the fight against Whiptail.
- Karmic Death: For years Captain Dynamo/William Warner was a habitual womanizer who cheated on his wife, Maddie Warner, even when it compromised his crime-fighting duties. He also was not above using his shape shifting power to impersonate married women's husbands in order to sleep with them. So his death in bed by being poisoned by the woman he was sleeping with can be seen as his cheating and sleeping around finally catching up to him.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: Chrysalis was never caught by Captain Dynamo because of their affair before the series, though he did try to stop her crimes. In the series, after her plan with her daughter to take advantage of Captain Dynamo's death to impersonate him to increase their power base failed, she and her daughter were captured. She was finally sent to jail and separated from her daughter, who had the memory of her mother wiped from her mind.
- Legacy Character: The Dynamo 5 are the heirs to Captain Dynamo's legacy. They're not the only ones... hell, given the flashbacks with Chrysalis and Synergy, they probably aren't the ones Cap would have picked.
- Mama Bear: Maddie In the first issue, Maddie kills the Veil and his minion in such a way that it looks like a murder suicide, after they had surrendered because they knew everything about the team.
- Shared Universe: Invincible, ShadowHawk, and Savage Dragon appear at Captain Dynamo's funeral.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Subverted; Maddie is actually an Agent of F.L.A.G.
- Opportunistic Bastard:
- With Captain Dynamo's death, numerous villains are now taking advantage by targeting Tower City for their crimes.
- In particular, it is implied that the mother and daughter supervillain team Chrysalis and Synergy are taking advantage of Captain Dynamo's death (Chrysalis' former lover and Synergy's father) by having Synergy impersonate Captain Dynamo/William Warner to increase their power base.
- Parental Abandonment: A major theme of the comic. Captain Dynamo never knew about, or ditched, his children and Maddie's abandoning her son led to him becoming an evil supervillain.
- Personality Powers: Hilariously subverted in some cases, while upheld in others. The ladies' man character can have a different face every night, but out of a set of powers which includes all sorts of Superman-type abilities, the jock character gets... telepathy.
- Plot-Triggering Death: The thing that starts off the series is Captain Dynamo/William Warner's death and his widow Maddie Warner discovering his black book of women that he cheated on her with. Realizing Tower City still needs a protector, she uses the book to locate five young people she believes could be his illegitimate children. Warner exposes them to the same radiation that Dynamo had been exposed to forty years earlier, unlocking their own latent superhuman abilities, with each one manifesting one of the five powers that their father possessed. Warner trains the five young people not only into a team, but into a family as well.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Scrap (Bridget Flynn) is a pale white woman with long black hair.
- Really Gets Around: If Captain Dynamo didn't, this series wouldn't have happened.
- Secret Other Family: Captain Dynamo/William Warner was not only was cheating on his wife Maddie Warner with one of his enemies (Chrysalis), but he had a daughter with Chrysalis named Cynthia. He had a second life behind his wife's back as he helped to raise Cynthia with Chrysalis. He was there at Cynthia's birth while missing Maddie Warner's award. He and Chrysalis exposed Cynthia to the same radiation that he used to gain his superpowers and he trained Cynthia to use her powers.
- Sinister Minister: The fiendish priest, Father Gideon who devotes himself to destroying Dynamo 5. He's Maddie Warner's son with her fiancee before she hooked up with Dynamo and has a real chip on his shoulder about her abandonment of him.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Maddie Warner is tough, but with a twist: she presents herself as nastier than she really is so the kids will unify together
- Sex as Rite-of-Passage: Subverted, as Scatterbrain and Myriad seem more interested in fixing Visionary's "problem" than he does.
- Shout-Out: To Knight Rider and Da Vinci's Inquest, of all things.
- They Would Cut You Up: When most of the team is taken into F.L.A.G. custody early on, one of the main questions the government spooks want answered is how they got their powers... because they've tried exposing a ton of test subjects to the radiation that empowered Captain Dynamo, and those guys all just died.
- Undignified Death: Captain Dynamo, the world's greatest hero, did not die heroically in some battle or while saving the world. He died in bed, poisoned by the woman he was sleeping with. His body was left with his superhero costumes so people could identify him. Luckily for Captain Dynamo, details of his death were kept secret from the public.