Cartoon Stories: The Dynamo Brothers
Cartoon Stories: The Dynamo Brothers
A good while ago, I was making up a story in which a character had a favorite pair of comic book heroes from childhood, who were called The Dynamo Brothers. The gag being their superpower was an electric bolt, but to activate this, they needed to go everywhere with a miles-long extension cord (and couldn’t rescue anyone too far away for the cord to reach). So, the Dynamos were a fictional invention within a fictional invention. But when I started The Cartoon House, I thought of making them real…that is to say, real fiction. The following are excerpts from the story, as it has developed so far.
As we begin, the internet is being attacked by the Cartel of Malevolence, slowing commerce and the exchange of information. The Dynamo Brothers are a cheap outfit, and Maudie, who manages the company, is trying to order used superhero gear from EBay. The (Cartel) Leader begins recruiting his force of evil agents, made up of all the annoying and disruptive people who undermine society. In his waiting room are Tad the Tapeworm and Walking Catfish Man.
The Leader’s assistant, in keeping with standards, is McClean, who speaks entirely in catch-phrases. Vince the Visigoth, rejected because he fails the test of being able to spell malevolence, is hired by the Dynamos, on the theory that he may provide intelligence about the Leader’s plans. He can’t, of course, but is by nature extremely loyal. From the start, he falls in love with Maudie.
We visit the house of Sid and Leon Dynamo’s mother, a wise counsellor and veteran agent known as The Doyenne. Tad the Tapeworm slips inside and attacks Leon. Meanwhile, the Leader sends his worst people to depress the spirits of an internet safety engineering seminar’s attendees.
Leon, out with Peaugault, a possum from the bayou (but without his more famous cousin’s Instagram-friendly alterations), is harassed by Cartel members. He and Peaugault, pursued by a hijacked bike messenger, flee to an understreet club called Hades. Here they discover Milt Brown meeting with Moggie Malloy, putting in motion the next stage of the Leader’s plan.
Vince is sent by Maudie to look for Leon, and gets into a fight with Milt. The club takes emergency disco measures, breaking up the melee by starting a line dance.
The Commando Kittens have a grievance against the Atrocitor, the evilest of all enemies, because he’s been using shelter cats for his experiments.
Peaugault goes home to learn the whereabouts of Walking Catfish Man, the Leader’s stooge for the Brutalitec job. Other members of the Leader’s team test their sonic beam weapon on a plant security guard, who’s stepped outdoors for a coffee break, by knocking the cup from his hand and observing that he blames his own clumsiness.
The Dynamos seek out Milt Brown (who counts himself a superior and chosen type), Mrs. Gropey-Diagnosis (who knows what’s wrong with every stranger she sees), Mr. Filthy-Swine (for whom every stranger becomes the subject of his dirty fantasies), and Mr. Fancy-Pants (who dismisses all attempts at learning and achieving new skills as snobbery) for sessions of reason, hoping to bring them back to healthy social functioning. The Doyenne succeeds (via mutual love of hockey) in winning over Mr. Fancy Pants.
Richenbicher, the billionaire, plays golf with the Leader. He later disowns his elder son Seb, and forces him to take his mother’s maiden name, Sminton. His present will leaves everything to his younger son Karl, still a Richenbicher.
Benny the Gumwad gives the Dynamo brothers the word on the street. The Commando Kittens distract the Brutalipoint Plant protestors with cuteness; the protestors all moving to the fence. The plant guards leave their building to see what the protestors are up to. At that moment the other Kitten squadron causes an alarm to sound, and more guards go to check the source.
The sonic beam makes the guard in the office drop his gun. Walking Catfish Man slips through the door and sneaks past, while the guard is under his desk searching. Sid uses his Dynamo power to project to all parts of the plant a sentimental song about reconciliation, causing WCM to rethink his life choices. But the Leader triggers the device WCM was sent to deliver, and little robots invade the plant.
The plant workers begin to experience mischief, finding their emails altered in embarrassing ways, and receiving strange error messages.
Walking Catfish Man is freed by Tad at his courtroom hearing; Tad having segmented an army of tapeworms, impervious to firearms, and horrifying to human eyes. The Leader reluctantly praises Tad’s proactiveness, causing Tad to become a real boy. The Leader fires him at once. Boy Tad joins the Dynamos.
Maudie meets an agent who explains that the Brutalipoint workforce are being conditioned to dismiss anomalies in the functioning of their software. The new security updates meant to protect the plant after its breach are blamed for the “wonky” effects the employees notice. Walking Catfish Man joins the Dynamos.
Karl Richenbicher is kidnapped by the Commando Kittens, and discovers they’ve already kidnapped the Leader. But the work continues, with the Brutalipoint plant suddenly going haywire, its reactors launching automatic shutdown. Then, just as suddenly, the attack clears up, with a sassy warning.
Governor Sminton, a Richenbicher cousin, arrives to inspect the plant and is told by its deputy director that all reactors will have to be shut down until the software is thoroughly reviewed…
The Dynamo Brothers storyline
(2020, Stephanie Foster)