Tag Archives: Jay Faerber

Team Turmoil and Dynamo 5

I was recently looking through old scans and ran into an image of Team Turmoil. Readers from the 1990s will recognize them as a group of generic villains who would show up anytime Mark Waid needed the Flash to have a short battle as part of a larger story about something else.

The funny thing is that their costumes reminded me of another team — a much more developed team with actual characters: Dynamo 5. Continue reading

Quick Reviews: Ignition City #2, Detective Comics #853, Dynamo 5 #21

Some thoughts on comics I picked up this week:

Dynamo 5 #21

Dynamo 5 #21Jay Faerber, Mahmud A. Asrar, Yildiray Cinar, Ron Riley.

A fun in-between issue. It’s amazing how much actually happens, now that I think about it. The team takes on a group of thugs hopped up on super-steroids, Scrap goes on a date with a guy she met online, Visionary goes on a date with the younger Firebird (and of course, both of them being super-heroes…), Maddie investigates a series of disappearances, Myriad reveals a secret, and a new villain makes his appearance.

I particularly liked the banter between Bridget and her date about the importance of sentence structure and grammar in a prospective date.

On a related note, I’d like to recommend the 2004 one-shot Firebirds by Jay Faerber and Andres Ponce (there’s a preview on Faerber’s website). It tells the story of how a teenager discovers that her mother is actually a super-hero, and the mother discovers that her daughter has inherited her powers. It’s one of the few one-shots that I finished and thought, “Wow, I really wish that was the start of an ongoing series.” It’s nice that the characters have shown up in Noble Causes and Dynamo 5.

Detective Comics #853

Detective Comics #853Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert
“Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” Part 2 of 2

On first read I didn’t like this as much as I did the first half of the story — at least not as a story — though I did like the themes it presented. As I’ve thought about it, I’ve found myself comparing it to Alan Moore and Curt Swan’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” which this is obviously meant to evoke. It approaches the end of an iconic superhero from a completely different direction, though: While Moore told in detail the final adventure of a specific version of Superman, Gaiman instead tells in general terms the way every version of Batman would end: he goes down fighting, because that’s what Batman does. In some ways it reminded me a bit of the Planetary/Batman crossover, only taken more seriously.

I’ll have to dig out Part 1 and re-read the whole story at once.

Incidentally: Wholly appropriate for a Coraline ad to appear on the back cover.

Ignition City #2

Ignition City #2Warren Ellis and Gianluca Pagliarani

Warren Ellis is really hit-or-miss for me. I absolutely loved Planetary, and usually enjoy his work when he’s doing out-there science fiction (Orbiter, Ocean, etc.) So the idea of writing about the breakdown of the retro-future, taking all the pulp space heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers and showing what happens when they’re robbed of their reason for being, sounded fascinating. The meta-element of revisiting a (mostly) dead genre also reminded me of his Apparat book on aviation heroes, Quit City.

But the first issue seemed like little more than scatalogical humor and swearing.

I picked up the second issue. Partly because I had an idea what to expect, and partly because the story has actually gotten going, I enjoyed this one a lot more. It also made me rethink the first issue and realize that it was primarily scene-setting: set up the glory days, then show just how far these people have fallen. They’ve gone from winning interplanetary wars to drinking themselves to death and bragging about the contents of chamberpots.

Interesting to note: The other two books both gave the and artist(s) equal billing. This one is clearly all about Warren Ellis, whose name appears above the title in about twice the size type as Gianluca Pagliarani.

Also This Week: Noble Causes and Irredeemable

There are a couple of other milestone releases coming out this week along with Flash: Rebirth that I’d like to highlight: The first issue of Irredeemable and the final issue of Noble Causes.

Irredeemable #1 Noble Causes #40

Noble Causes

Jay Faerber‘s series about a wealthy but dysfunctional family of super-heroes wraps up with #40. The first miniseries opened with the family’s speedster, Race Noble, being killed on his honeymoon, as the narrative focused on his non-super-powered widow Liz. Eventually they brought Race back*.

The series went through a major change last year, jumping ahead five years and dropping Race and Liz from the cast to focus more on super-heroics. The revamp wasn’t the hit they’d hoped for, and the series has been moving toward a resolution over the last few issues. CBR has a preview (beware spoilers). One of the selling points for long-term readers is the return of Race and Liz.

It seems appropriate that Noble Causes should be bringing back a speedster on the same day as Flash: Rebirth!.

I’ve really liked Noble Causes, and in fact everything I’ve read of Jay Faerber’s that he’s done at Image has been excellent. If you only know him from his disastrous run on The Titans a decade ago, it’s worth checking out some of his creator-owned stuff. The first Dynamo 5 trade is only about $10, so it’s a good place to start.

Noble Causes #40, Image Comics. Written by Jay Faerber, art by Yildiray Cinar.


Long-term Flash writer Mark Waid’s new ongoing series about what happens when the world’s greatest super-hero becomes the world’s greatest super-villain. It’s been compared to Kingdom Come and Empire. The first issue comes out tomorrow. CBR has a preview and video trailer, and Major Spoilers has an advance review.

Empire and (more recently) Potter’s Field have shown that Waid can definitely write dark when he wants to, so this looks promising.

Irredeemable #1, BOOM! Studios. Written by Mark Waid, art by Peter Krause.

*To be more precise, they brought Liz back, as she traveled to an alternate reality in which he had survived, but she had died. They wisely never mentioned this again until another storyline required it.

An End to Noble Causes

Noble Causes ends in a few months with issue #40. Apparently the “Five Years Later” relaunch didn’t bring in many new readers, and on top of that, series writer and co-creator Jay Faerber “started feeling like [he] didn’t have much else to say about the characters.”

It’s disappointing news, but hey, it’s always better to leave on a high note than fade into obscurity. And it’s been a pretty solid run: three 4-issue miniseries, two specials, and a 40-issue ongoing.

Noble Causes is about a super-hero team as a dysfunctional family. There are elements of the Fantastic Four, but with personal secrets, double-crossing, affairs, family feuds, cover-ups, and celebrity scandals. The series initially focused on Liz Donnelly-Noble, an ordinary woman who married the family’s resident speedster, Race Noble, and found herself immersed in their bizarre world. (Every once in a while there are some interesting Wally/Linda parallels.) Over time, the scope broadened. A few months ago, the story jumped forward in time five years, and the former viewpoint character has been conspicuously absent.

If you only know Jay Faerber from his disastrous run on The Titans, it’s worth taking a look at some of his creator-owned books. The first Dynamo 5 trade is a good introduction to that team (and it’s pretty cheap), and Gemini is only two issues into a five-issue miniseries.