"Dynamic Defender - An Interview with Dr Dynamo"
by Janice Jones
(excerpt from the September 2010 edition of Cosmic Magazine)
The brightly lit lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel here in downtown Millenia was surprising quiet when I agreed to meet the subject of our interview. Outside, a typical Floridian thunderstorm deposited gallons of swampy rainwater into the streets and gutters, painting the outside world a dark gray. As I sat waiting for my hero to arrive, pools of the rainwater ran off my coat and collected at my feet. Not a good start.
Thankfully, I didn't have to sit in my self-made puddles long. As if generated by the thunderstorm itself, a streak of lightning suddenly erupted from the front doors of the hotel. A moment later, there in front of me was Dr Dynamo, protector of Florida's supercity and member of the newly reformed Cosmic Knights.
Unlike the gray day outside, the man who stood in front of me shone with, dare I say, inner light. I can quite definitely say that I was in awe of the glowing figure in front of me. He's easily six foot tall, with a strong, square jaw and a Roman nose. The mask of his golden costume covers his hair and eyes, but one can imagine short, dark hair and blue eyes sparkling with energy beneath the strange fabric. The skin-tight costume also shows off his muscled, athletic build to swooning effect.
He's not at all what you'd expect from a typical doctor of science.
Dr Dynamo, known by some as the Living Lightning, greeted me warmly, if a little apprehensively, before we made our way over towards the bar. The hotel had been made aware of the interview and so had cleared the area to ensure no one else, other than the barman, was around to distract us. We sat and I ordered a soda whilst the golden god in front of me ordered, perhaps surprisingly, a cool beer. Once my heart had sufficiently settled, I began my questions.
Cosmic Magazine: First, may I ask, are you any relation to the original Dr Dynamo, active in the 60s?
Dr Dynamo: (looks somewhat shocked) There was an original Dr Dynamo?! No, I didn't know I was the second with that name and I've never met the man or heard anything about him, I'm afraid. I just chose the name because it indicated my scientific background and because dynamos generate electricity, like myself.
It's not like I've trademarked the name nor am I considering releasing a range of action figures, like some cosmics. So I hope he doesn't mind, if he reads this.
Still, it's good to know that the Dr Dynamo name has been around since the advent of cosmic beings.
CM: So you've not been around since 1961? How long have you been Millenia's protector?
DD: Well, now...(thinks for a moment) Probably since the end of 2001. I gained cosmic powers in '95 but didn't actually start in the hero business until the spring of '97, after the Cosmic Powers Registration Act had been dropped. That was up in South Carolina. I was young then and made a lot of mistakes. It wasn't until I moved here to the newly built Millenia that I finally found my feet, as it were.
CM: So you've been a hero for 13 years now? That's quite some time. It doesn't seem that long.
DD: (laughs) No, it doesn't. Thirteen years, eh? To be honest, the first few years were quite low key and, thankfully, no one remembers the stuff I was doing back then. But still, yeah. Long time.
CM: And, may I say, you don't look a day over 21. So has it all been good? Do you enjoy your life as a superhero?
DD: Enjoy being a superhero? Well, it has its moments. But I'm not in it for the enjoyment. I do it because I can. Because I have these cosmic abilities and, rather than abuse them, I've decided to use them to help others and protect those that need protecting. Those rewards are more than ample, Miss Jones. Anyway, I do have another life to enjoy.
CM: Yes, you're one of the few cosmics who keeps his identity secret. So what about those other enjoyments? What hobbies and interests do you have when you're not being a hero?
DD: Well, as people may have guessed from my name, I'm a scientist. I'm interested in new scientific advances and technologies. Stuff like cosmology and research into the bursts of exotic cosmic rays. I'm also interested in the New World project on Mars and all the exciting advances in space exploration. During any downtime, I'm a big fan of science fiction and love to read whenever I can. Or watch old sci-fi shows like, you know, reruns of Star Trek. God, that sounds a little geeky, doesn't it? (smiles)
CM: Only a little, maybe. Being a hero is somewhat surprising for a scientist and the living conduit of lightning. Why aren't you helping to power Millenia or something similar?
DD: (lightning briefly flashes from his raised hand) That's a good point. I'm afraid my lightning powers don't lend themselves to continuous operation. They work best in short bursts. I can fly lightning quick but only for a short length of time. I can fire bolts of lightning, but these last only a second. If I sent a blast of electrical power into the power grid, it would probably fry the transformers and blow fuses.
Still, I have used my powers to provide electrical energy a few times, but usually only when it's really needed. Such as just after the Monstro disaster that destroyed Miami and also to cover during the occasional blackout in this city. However, since the recent advent of fusion reactors I'm glad to say my talents as an energy provider are rarely needed.
CM: Your other talents, by which I mean stopping villains, are still required though.
DD: Yes. It seems there are more and more villainous cosmics created every day. Sadly, my work countering them will probably continue for some time.
CM: You said earlier that you liked to watch TV. Have you ever seen the show Cosmic Reality? Would you be interested in being a part of something like that? Perhaps increasing your fame?
DD: Cosmic Reality?! God, no. Yes, I watched some of the first season of that rubbish, but really, I'm surprised it does so well. It's just so boring watching these sell-outs sitting around all day arguing. They should be using their gifts to help people not to be famous and make money.
No, I'm not interested in fame. Although, of course, what I do comes with a certain amount of publicity. You can't help but attract attention when you're fighting people like that Red Baron and his Red Brigade.
CM: You've now started mentoring another young hero known as Kid Kinetic. How is that going?
DD: (winces and pinches bridge of his nose) Oh, Kid Kinetic. Well, yes, erm, things are going slowly, which considering the speed of the kid is kind of surprising. He just won't stand still for more than a second. Always running off without listening to plans or tactics. Still, I think he's improving. And his heart's in the right place, if you know what I mean. Eventually, he'll make a good hero. I'm sure he will.
At this point in the interview, I was about to ask another question when Dr Dynamo held up his hand whilst tilting his head as if listening to an inbuilt radio. A moment later, the golden man stood, apologizing. The Masters of Mayhem were attacking the Cube, Millenia's cosmic prison, for the second time that month.
With a wave, Dr Dynamo transformed into the familiar bolt of human-shaped lightning and zapped off into the gray downpour outside. I didn't even get the chance to say thank you (or to ask the golden hero for his phone number). Instead I'm left in the hotel bar with the remains of my glass of soda and the smell of ozone in the air, hoping that Millenia's most energetic hero can save the day once again.