Wednesday, 19 November 2014
T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents: Dynamo
More great comics first seen by UK fans in the pages of the great Alan Class b/w reprint comics, but originally from Wally Wood's wonderful Tower Comics line of spy / superheroes, the T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents.
( The Higher United Nations Defence Enforcement Reserves, thanks for asking )
Jointly inspired by Marvel's burgeoning success and TV's Man From U.N.C.L.E. Woody drafted friends like Gil Kane, Reed Crandall, Mike Sekowsky & George Tuska to help him with the art, while he wrote
( most of ) the scripts and edited the line.
Here, you had a bunch of great, fun characters like Noman ( Mad scientist transplants his mind into a series of creepy androids with invisibility cloak ), Menthor ( traitorous psychic with costume borrowed from The Atom ), Lightning ( super-speedster who ages rapidly every time he uses his powers ), and back-up sidekicks The Thunder Squad, plus great hissable villains like The Warlord and the super sexy Iron Maiden. And the subject of today's post, the Joe Shmoe of superheroes, Dynamo!
Dynamo was Tower Comics version of Superman, but with a twist.
The great thing about Dynamo, was that he was just an ordinary working schlub, clocking in on his day job as a superhero, and having no real emotional investment in saving the world beyond his next pay cheque. A great concept I'm amazed hasn't been used since.
The other great thing about him was that he was, in all honesty, a bit of a dumbass, constantly forgetting to recharge his Thunder Belt before going into battle, getting his ass whipped, then getting reamed out by his boss after the mission. At times, he's so thick, you almost feel Woody is parodying muscle-bound tough guys.
Plus he's named after a real person: Len Brown was working for the TOPPS chewing gum company, and providing Woody with work such as the Mars Attacks trading cards, when they came up with the idea for Dynamo. Struggling to come up with a secret identity, Woody just said to Brown ' Ah, let's just give him your name! ' Hey Ma! Wally Wood named a superhero after me!
Here's Woody in top satirical & artistic form. And why don't I know any women called Kitten?