Dyna, the Damsel Dynamo!

The act of creation will not be denied...

January 22, 2003, approximately 1:00 AM: I was doing a quick sketch inspired by a pic I saw at the "Diana the Valkyrie" website. I was going specifically for the look of a woman whose arms (especially biceps) were very large in proportion to the rest of her physique. The result you can see here. (WARNING: Nudity)

By this time it was about 1:30 AM and I was starting to get sleepy... and something went "click" in my head. I think it was all the influences I'd been absorbing lately...

... and I had to grab another sheet of paper and start sketching out a new character that was forming in my head. Once again, an emphasis on hugely muscular arms (and huge..."other attributes"). I went with a power belt instead of wrist bands (that "Sinbad Jr." influence)...

Then it occurred to me (not for the first time) that among the heroines I've created, none of them transform (that is, switching back and forth between a "normal" form and a "super" form a la Captain/Mary Marvel), so I decided hey, why not for this one? So I put a button on the belt that she'd press to get "super".

Realizing that I'd already stolen, I mean "borrowed" so many concepts from so many sources, I decided to go whole hawg. I gave her a very "Shazam!"-ish origin, where an old lady tells our heroine that she is the one chosen to wear the belt; the old lady reveals herself to be Athena in disguise, and explains that Deena has been deemed worthy to wear the Belt of Athena. (in an idea borrowed from the Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonis" I decided that Athena and her ilk are hyperpowerful "beings" who were worshipped as gods by the ancient Greeks.) The belt would grant Deena superhuman strength, invulnerablilty (up to a point), the power of flight, and maybe some other powers she has yet to discover (translation: that I haven't thought of yet). So...

"When EVIL threatens...
she presses the button on her POWER BELT...

"...and becomes..."

Well, that where I was stumped. As many before me have lamented, all the "good" superhero(ine) names are already taken. At first I was inclined toward either a "real name" name like "Janna" (even toying with the title "Janna, Defender of Justice!"), or an out-and-out "comic book" name like "Dynamo Damsel" or "Damsel Dynamo". Call her "Dyna" for short... suddenly that became her "official" name:

"DYNA - The Damsel Dynamo!"

The tone of the series is proudly, unashamedly Golden/Silver Age superheroics: where there's no mistaking who're the good guys (girls) and who's Evil! Where the villains all have plots to A) take over the world, B) control all the crime in Whatever City, C) destroy Dyna once and for alllll! (Or D) all of the preceding.)

But there was only one problem: no time for this!! The last thing I needed to do was create yet another female competing for my attention! As those who've read my stuff for awhile already know, one of my most frequent whines is that I don't have time to do a decent job on the series I'm already doing (Tetsuko, Satin Steele et al)

*sigh* But, as the title of this essay says, "the act of creation will not be denied." So I started to scribble down more stuff, about her powers, the Belt of Athena, even a couple of plot summaries; I began sketching her "look": body type, hairstyle, costume...

First sketches of the superheroine who would come to be known as DYNA

More first sketches of DYNA

...and then I threw the door open to suggestions from the creative bunch at the Wreck Shop message boards. And there were some great ones!

mangamuscle wrote:

Mhhh, I will dare to suggest a nemesis for Dyna (she will need plenty). How about an evil magician from the lost city of Atlantis, an undead creature whose magic has anchored his spirit to his corpse in this earthly domains, with an irrational hate for all living beings, bent on the destruction on life in this planet. No evil would be to little or too senseless for him: sunking oil tankers, depleting earths magnetic field, acelerating the greenhouse effect to melt polar ice and sunk big extensions of the earth below the ocean, using an atomic device to send a big meteor plunging towards earth, you name it. You can call him anything you want, how about Mezaros?
I loved the character, and the name! So did others... cowprobe responded to mangamuscle's suggestion with a conceptual sketch which portrayed Mezaros as only half the man he used to be: the upper half, specifically:
The whole "Flying torso" thing could also play into the silver age comics code enforced lack of grisly death. With Mezaros firing off deadly bolts of eldritch power from his Chakra Wand an interesting bit of comedy could come fromt he fact that while he may float and fly he cannot root himself to aim properly. Also since he can fly that's one arena where Dyna girl can't trap him easily allowing the "Bane of All Above Sea Level" to escape to plot another day MUH HA HA HA. Also allows some odd magical artifacts for him to covet such as "Noah's Anchor".

Sorta like a necromantic irredeemably evil Carmen Sandiego.

Well, that was enough to send me off onto creating a couple of sample pages that attempt to give the flavor of a "typical" Dyna adventure.

Then animemusclelover weighed in with this suggestion for another great villain:

Aries: Since they could remember, Athena and her brother have fought and argued against one another. Seeing his sister's attempts to create peace after the fall of the Roman Empire (the last known civilization to worship them and the rest of the Olympian Gods), Aries has tried creating the opposite, war, his most desired state of the planet. He has assumed many disguises to bring about battling between nations, whether it be an assassin, an advisor to a monarch, etc. He also has helped prolonged war whenever necessary, manipulating the black market and businessmen to his will; If Hitler needed more tanks, Aries was there.

Presently he has assumed the form of the owner of a large company, Sparta Enterprise, which secretly sells weapons of mass destruction to those he sees war-hungry enough.

Even worse, the company has just formed their headquarters within [Dyna's] home city...and NOT by coincidence.

"So Athena, my bitch of a sister, you used Hera's own trick to find you a new soldier of justice, have you? Well, your ideals are just false hopes! Man was meant to fight AND kill himself...AND THIS CITY WILL BECOME A PRIME EXAMPLE OF JUST THAT!! "

So Dyna, the Damsel Dynamo!owes much to the enthusiasm and creativity of a very talented group of artists and writers who are just as certifiably insane as I am! Seriously: if you enjoy my work, and superheroines and muscular ladies in general, join the "Wreck Shop Message Board"! It's free, and they won't spam you. Once you've joined, you can read the original thread introducing Dyna and her origin story, and the comments about the sample pages.

And one of these days, there wil be more than just a couple of "sample pages" to enjoy...

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