A while back, J. Torres started spreading the good word about a little creator-owned title he was working on called “Family Dynamic.” Originally conceived as a title that would be comprised of a series of limited series, “Family Dynamic” was to be published by DC Comics.
For the most part, that’s still true. It is published by DC Comics, and it is a limited series. However, it has been cut by DC from six issues to three and stamped with DC’s Johnny DC imprint, which most comics readers may mistakenly associate with younger reader comics. This is far and away not the case.
The story in “Family Dynamic” is quite dynamic, with elements from the mainline DCU. In “Family Dynamic” the reader is introduced to heroes and villains occupying a shared world with fantastic, yet intimately familiar fictitious cities -â€” in this case Storm City, Canadian home of the Dynamics.
The story in this issue spreads the table and sets the places, introducing a wide range of characters and concepts while, amazingly, avoiding the deluge of information overload that most titles would suffer from if seven heroes, their identities, locations and enemies were introduced in twenty-two pages. The story serves as an active “Who’s Who”, providing the reader with the necessary background foundation of characters to understand this exciting new world.
While I didn’t feel an immediate emotional investment in these characters upon closing the cover to issue #1, I did find myself enjoying the story throughout. The younger characters of the title settle in for some spotlight time, as they are our initial gateway into this world, but the legacy of the heroes therein is placed on display rather quickly.
Pyralis, who controls fire, is the patriarch of the active Dynamics, and the inheritor of the legacy from previous generations of Dynamics. It’s that legacy that allows intrepid Motor City reporter Dwayne Day to ask the questions the reader doesn’t know to ask in order to get a greater understanding of Storm City’s finest.
Other characters in the family are Sirocco, the wind-powered mother; Troylus, able to control the waves to his will; and Terran, a rocky irreverent foil for the team who, in his true identity of Gio, is more focused on the next meal than the legacy he fights under.
Torres is joined on this book by his cohort from “The Copybook Tales,” Tim Levins. Levins brings a whimsy to this story that made me double-check the credits on more than one occasion, as his linework is very similar to that of Mike Wieringo. Levins style is uniquely his, however, as it provides elements of ‘Ringo’s work, but also nods to inferred influences from Todd Nauck and Chris Sprouse. Sharp characters with crisp, detailed backgrounds make this book a visual feast, threatening to overwhelm the mind’s eye as the story itself seems to flow like an abandoned storyboard for an exciting new family feature film in the vein of “The Incredibles”.
This book has been unfairly short-changed, as the story is dynamic, the characters visually engaging, and the concept the closest thing to an “Incredibles” comic that fans have been clamoring for ad nauseum. That said, please understand this comic is NOT a surrogate for “The Incredibles”, nor does it pretend to be. Neither is it a spin in the realm of Noble Causes.
The story in this issue balances action with information, heroic deeds with insightful interludes. It reads like a classic Marvel comic in pacing, but carries the sensibilities of a DC comic in the shared universe. Torres and Levins have given this new universe strong legs to stand on and major potential to strive to fulfill. I only hope that Torres and Levins find a means to continue examining these characters once DC’s commitment to the first three issues plays out.