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The Family Dynamic #1 Review

In case you missed it last week, I recommend you pick up a copy of J. Torres’ new book, The Family Dynamic, at least if you’re a fan of well-written superhero comics with a traditionalist bent (and that SEEMS to be what people keep on complaining about there not being enough of out there). Heck, even if you’re not a fan of traditionalist superheroics, you should give it a shot for the strong artwork by Tim Levins and the interesting story by Torres.

Very cool Sean Galloway cover, by the way.

The comic is about The Family Dynamic, a superhero quartet who each control a different element. The father (Pyralis) controls fire, the mother (Sirocco) wind and the two sons water (Troylus) and earth (Terran), respectively (by the way, how terrible are those names?). We learn in this issue that this is the second Family Dynamic – the first one was made up of Pyralis’ parents as well as his two uncles (one maternal and one paternal).

Some villain killed Pyralis’ mother, leading to the break-up of the original Family Dynamic, and since the break-up, the same villain has hunted down and killed the two uncles, leaving only Pyralis’ father still alive (and even he has survived two previous assassination attempts).

Their powers come from magic rings.

Meanwhile, Torres has laid some heavy hints that Pyralis’ sister and her daughter are ALSO crime-fighters, just lesser-known one who fight crime powerless, a la Batman and Robin.

This issue drops a load of exposition on the reader, but I think Torres does a nice job diffusing the exposition throughout the comic, so that no one part feels overwrought with exposition.

Tim Levins, meanwhile, does a fantastic job with a style that is cartoony, but not too much so. Torres gives him a decent amount of action to draw, although most of the comic is spent talking rather than fighting bad guys – Levins does well there, too, but he’s definitely better when he can cut loose on action scenes – such energy and vitality!!

This is a great All Ages comic – particularly because it does not PORTRAY itself as being written for kids, which is the sort of approach I think works best – just tell a good, straightforward superhero story and the kids will follow (if the book stays around). I just fear burying it in the Jonni DC section of DC will lead to this title’s disappointing sales. I think this project might do better as an independent comic (although, naturally, I can’t begrudge Torres for taking it to one of the Big Two – a lot more security and publicity at DC), but since it is done, try supporting it a bit!

Recommended.

16 Comments

Thanks for the support, Brian!

Love that cover.

The set up sounds like a fun jumping off point. Here’s hoping it lives up.

I do actually quite like the names “Sirocco” and “Terran”… But I can’t quite hear the other two being used in the heat of a battle… Don’t roll off the tongue quite as easily…

Troylus was not our first choice. We had to go several rounds with DC’s legal department to clear all the names, and the water elemental’s name was the biggest challenge. I think we got rejected a half dozen times on that one until we eventually settled on Troylus (Troy meaning “water” or “soldier,” and Troylus meaning “from Troy)…

My understanding was that this is a 3-issue mini-series, not an ongoing. Is that not the case?

I found the comic somewhat “been there, done that”.

This is not to say that I didn’t think it was a good comic.

But a bunch of the concept felt very familiar to me….I just can’t place from where.

(Astro City comes to mind, but what I’m not remembering feels more…light…than Astro City tends to be

Oh yeah, sorry if I didn’t get that across – the comic treads on very familiar territory. It’s a lot like Astro City in that regards – a good comic that feels like an old school Marvel/DC comic (more like Marvel than DC).

It’s a good comic, very nicely done. Perhaps it’s not an earth-shattering concept, but it’s quite enjoyable. And Levins artwork looks great.

looks great, i hope they still have some copies at my LCS today. Torres – any Avatar influence going on here?

I’m a big fan of Avatar, but this is more superhero homage than a fantasy riff…

My son and daughter both really liked this book, and while there were for sure some concepts that were familiar to me, it all came across as fresh to them, so that was fun to experience.

I picked up Family Dynamic this morning. I was scared it was sold out because they removed it wasn’t in the new release stacks, but much to my embarrassment they moved it to the kids section. BUT I can’t wait to read it. I’ve only been hearing great things about it.

Johnny DC has really been kicking ass. I just wish “All Ages” didn’t carry such a negative connotation.

I got a copy today. Haven’t read it in full yet, but had two immediate thoughts as I left the store — the $2.25 price point was really nice (I could handle seeing more comics printed on the non-glossy paper if it meant that kind of reduction in more titles), and it was kind of interesting my local comic shop had copies in both the regular row of titles and in the kid’s section (I grabbed a copy from the kid’s section because I spotted Family Dynamic there first — not sure if the dual placement was a mistake or if they meant to have them in both though).

I’m very impressed with the look of the book. I’m with Mauro — It’d be a shame if it gets overlooked because it’s part of the “all ages” line.

Have a good day.
John Cage

Now there’s an idea! Stocking an item on both relevant shelves! If only all stores thought like that!

[…] Man. The second was Family Dynamic #1, which shipped the previous week but I picked it up off a Comics Should Be Good! recommendation. AWESOME issue! The odd thing is that Family Dynamic is under the Johnny DC imprint, but it feels […]

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