Welcome to Comics Wiki Adventures, a weekly deep dive into just how unhinged comics can be. I will randomly select a character from comics and read their wiki each week.
I will then take only the choicest bits and serve them to you, over easy. What does that mean? I don’t know.
Anyway, today’s randomly generated character is:
DC Comics Own: Dan the Dyna-Mite
You know, Dan!
You don’t know Dan, do you? I sure didn’t. A little peek behind the curtain here at the ‘ol CWA; when the weekly results come out of the Comicsputer, I like to skim it quickly to ensure it’s a good fit for the format. So let’s go ahead and look together and see if Dan will make the cut. Ok, so he’s a sidekick from the Golden Age. That’s promising. He has vaguely electrical powers. Good, good. And…oh. Oh my. Well, I’ll let the wiki break this one to you in their own words.
“One evening while Thomas and Dunbar are working on an experiment, Thomas’ hand accidentally touches Dunbar’s and both teacher and student find themselves feeling more energized.”
I just…sigh….ok. So Dan and his teacher Thomas share a magic moment and find that they now have superpowers for a bit when they touch. So…actually, you know what? No. Am I really gonna write over a thousand words that ultimately boil down to a series of tasteless SNL shorts from the early 2000s? No way, not happening. Let’s move on. Comicsputer, give me someone, anyone else.
DC Comics Own: TNT
Ok, here we go. This guy’s an actual adult man. The name’s on a similar theme, so I may have to give the Comicsputer a tune-up after this, but I can work with it. Let’s see, TNT has atomic powers that let him emit fire blasts, and he wears an asbestos suit to protect himself from his own abilities. Of course, that probably also would have been his cause of death if he didn’t die fighting Nazis in Colorado and immediately get swept up by a passing Valkyrie to go to Valhalla.
I’ve never read any comics and never will, and I certainly would not start with this one even if I did. But the way they mention the Valkyrie so specifically (her name is Gudra, and she’s actually helping the Nazis. Yikes.) is interesting. It suggests the comic this happened in mentions this detail as a setup for later. Plenty of characters die in comics, and in DC comics, Valhalla is a real place people go when they die in battle. So I’d imagine many of those went to Valhalla too, but we don’t hear about it. But as far as I can tell, this is all they ever wrote for poor TNT.
That’s It! Nothing Else! We’re Done.
Oh, sorry, there is more detail about his powers here. He evidently had a ring that he used to contain them when not in use. This was necessary as he gained them when experimenting with radioactive salts (italics via the wiki). Was he a nuclear physicist, then? No. An engineer at a power plant, perhaps? Nu-uh. Any of hundreds of possible careers that would put him in contact with that material in any way? Absolutely not.
He was a high-school teacher. Thomas N. Thomas, Dan’s power partner.
Ok, you probably saw that coming. Good for you, you’re so smart. Can’t you enjoy anything?
Comics Wiki Adventures, or How I Learned to Stop But Actually Didn’t Learn That and Just Pushed Through
Anyway, remember how above I said Thomas died fighting Nazis? Well, Dan didn’t. Dan also had a ring to contain his powers; if you recall, his abilities depended on contact with Thomas. They’d touch their rings together to power up. So now that Thomas was gone, Dan was just a normal kid, right? He can return to apple pie and baseball games at the sandlot with the fellas. But no, Dan is so into that ‘kick life that he can’t return. Without his powers, though, who would have him?
Then he just takes Thomas’ ring and touches it to his own, and he’s got powers again. Never mind the fact this makes no sense at all. I guess they just thought it was a happy ending for the child to be able to get back to risking his life. Although to be fair, there still were Nazis about so he did have work to do.
Many years later, Dan joins a group of other former sidekicks and young superheroes called Old Justice. The group contains such luminaries as Doiby Dickles, Merry, the Girl of 1,000 Gimmicks, Neptune Perkins, and even the Cyclone Kids!
You’ve no idea who any of those people are either? Well, yeah, that makes sense. Just like Dan, they are all Golden Era dead-enders. They aren’t a super team, so much as an advocacy group like The American Dehydrated Onion and Garlic Association. Unlike the ADOGA’s well-known efforts to protect the interests of Onion growers to the detriment of all mankind, Old Justice focuses on trying to keep children from being exploited. I mean actual exploitation, not merely being exposed to the idea that people are sometimes gay or change their gender.
So That is Dyna-Mite!
If you ignore many stranger details, this is a triumphant story of a boy learning to conquer a tragedy and control his abilities. Then standing up for other kids in the same position. Sure, if you pay close attention it’s incredibly goofy, but hey, so’s life.
Thanks for reading! If you liked this article, you might also like this previous entry on Morbius, which people seem not to be interested in (I promise it’s good, though)! Or if for some inexplicable reason, you want to check out something I didn’t write, you can check out this feature. It’s about all the upcoming releases in April of this year! I’m most excited about My Name is Mayo coming to the Switch! Per their steam page, it’s “a clicking adventure that simulates the real-life tapping of a Mayo Jar! You will unveil its story and (maybe) you will learn from it!” So…wow! At last, I can keep my real Mayo in the fridge instead of always right next to me on the desk, ready to be tapped.
Let me know in the comments below what you think is the character most obviously right about a political issue in comics and what character I should randomly select next!