Dynamo Joe
Dynamo Joe was a comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 series published by First Comics
First Comics
First Comics was an American comic-book publisher that was active from 1983–1991, known for titles like American Flagg!, Grimjack, Nexus, Badger, Dreadstar, and Jon Sable...

 from 1986–1988. Created, plotted and drawn by Doug Rice, it was scripted first by John Ostrander
John Ostrander
John Ostrander is an American writer of comic books. He is best known for his work on Suicide Squad, Grimjack and Star Wars: Legacy, series he helped create.-Career:...

 then by Phil Foglio
Phil Foglio
Philip "Phil" Foglio is an American cartoonist and comic book artist best known for his humorous science fiction and fantasy work.-Early life and career:...

. Ben Dunn
Ben Dunn
Ben Dunn is an American comic book artist. Although born in Taiwan, he grew up in Kentucky, Taiwan and San Antonio, Texas. It was in Taiwan that he was first exposed to Japanese manga. In 1984 he founded Antarctic Press, an American comic book company specializing in Manga-style titles...

 sometimes filled in for Rice on the art.

The series occurred in the future
The future is the indefinite time period after the present. Its arrival is considered inevitable due to the existence of time and the laws of physics. Due to the nature of the reality and the unavoidability of the future, everything that currently exists and will exist is temporary and will come...

, involving a war in which three star-faring civilizations are being invaded by the alien
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

 and seemingly mindless Mellenares, huge green killing machines traveling in a straight line and destroying everything in their path. The brunt of the human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 defenses are giant, fusion-powered robot
A robot is a mechanical or virtual intelligent agent that can perform tasks automatically or with guidance, typically by remote control. In practice a robot is usually an electro-mechanical machine that is guided by computer and electronic programming. Robots can be autonomous, semi-autonomous or...

s (“battle suits”) called “Dynamo Class Robosoldiers” and crewed by living individuals. These battle suits can be configured for either planetary or space combat, and contain or use a wide variety of weaponry. Dynamo Joe focuses on the crew of one such suit: Imperium soldier Elanian Daro and Tavitan (humanoid feline) mechanic Pomru Purrwakkawakka, and their critical contributions to the war effort. Dynamo Joe ranged in tone from action-packed space opera
Space opera
Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space, generally involving conflict between opponents possessing advanced technologies and abilities. The term has no relation to music and it is analogous to "soap...

 to slapstick humor.

Publication history

The series premiered as a back-up in the series Mars
Mars (comics)
Mars is a 1984 American comic book series published by First Comics that ran for 12 issues. Inspired by the pulp science fiction stories of the 1930s and 1940s, creators Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel collaborated on the story featuring a group of explorers and engineers sent to Mars with the goal...

, then ran as a staple for the five-issue run of the anthology
An anthology is a collection of literary works chosen by the compiler. It may be a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts...

 First Adventures, before moving to its own series. Dynamo Joe was supposed to be a three-issue limited series, but ended up running for 15 issues, reaching a sort of resolution before cancellation. Rice was a fan of Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese giant robot adventures, such as Robotech
Robotech is an 85-episode science fiction anime adaptation produced by Harmony Gold USA in association with Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd. and first released in the United States in 1985...

, and the battle suits were designed in that spirit.

Elanian Daro

Elanian Daro was once a captain in the Imperium Officer Corp, and for some undisclosed reason was busted down to the rank of sergeant. It is known that the Magna Khan himself takes personal interest in Elanian Daro and considers him to be of great value. When busted out of the Imperium military, he was quickly snatched up by the Earth forces and attained the rank of Over Sergeant and placed in a command position. Elanian once held the temporary rank of general when the asteroid used for a command base was taken over by the “dreamers” that had been taken over by the Mellenares. Daro came to be a personal friend of the base commander, who apparently had more data on Daro than he himself did.

Daro had a sister who was consort to the Imperium prince that oversaw the Imperium fleet. She was killed when the prince attempted to overthrow the Magna Khan.

Pomru Purrwakkawakka

Pomru Purrwakkawakka was given great leniency in modifying the Dynamo Joe battlesuit and was known for pilfering objects and performing frequent modifications, despite the fact that he had clearance to nearly anything he wanted. He figured it was easier to ask forgiveness than permission—he also considered petty larceny to be part of the “fun” involved. Dynamo Joe was the most advanced robosoldier suit on the front line as a result of his ongoing upgrades, many of which were derived from observing/studying the extra-dimensional, sentient battlesuit “Wolf-1,” which was operated by a mercenary from the pan-dimensional city of Cynosure
Cynosure is a fictional pan-dimensional city that exists within the First Comics multiverse. It is described as floating in a "bubble" in the "pan-dimensional vortex." Because of its unique situation, Cynosure is an important center of multi-versal commerce and much of the city's government is...


Human culture

The Earth-based human culture was delineated by Earth-colonized worlds, held together by interstellar travel utilizing hyperspace, and the “Blood Nations,” consisting of the Native American diaspora to the stars. The Blood Nations appeared to generally engage in constant warfare and piracy, while the colonized worlds reflected various ethnic settlements and were preyed upon by the Blood Nations.

Previous to the war with the Mellenares, the Earth military forces were engaged with anti-piracy operations against various Blood Nation factions. Upon contact with the planet eating Mellenares the Blood Nations reached an uneasy alliance with the Earth military forces and joined in combat against the mutual enemy.

Imperium culture

The Imperium is ruled by the Magna Khan, who left Earth with his harem in a starship for parts unknown in the 22nd century. The Magna Khan is immortal and uses his various princes and princesses to be his imperial government. As only the Magna Khan is immortal, it is the goal of each citizen to become so famous that the Magna Khan will remember his name, thus sharing in his immortality. Imperium subjects are commanded to be fit both mentally and physically - there are no fat or stupid Imperium citizens. Additionally, the Khan is involved in some sort of breeding/genetics program that appears to involve Elanian Daro, who happens to resemble the Magna Khan a great deal.

The Imperium is extremely advanced in technology and culture, focusing greatly on martial arts training. Imperium citizens are physically distinguished by their hair color (blue, green, white, etc.) and their eyebrows, which are forked as they approach the temple.

Tavitan culture

The Tavitans are a matriarchial society ruled by a “Great Mother.” They are also known for some psychic ability as it was a vision by a Tavitan that foretold of the coming of the Mellenares. Young Tavitans are known to be excitable and seek adventure, and it was not unusual for them to go out into the world/galaxy and sow their wild oats before settling down into married life.

Tavitans place great trust in their instincts and are natural mechanics, engineers, and tinkerers, if not great soldiers. The younger they are, the less reliable, patient, and disciplined they tend to be.

The Tavitan Homeworld, Londree, orbits (ironically enough) the “Dog Star,” Sirius, in a system of planets also threatened by the Mellenares advance. As a species, the Tavitans are nocturnal, so the culture works “the night-shift,” which is something off-worlders who visit Londree find difficult to adjust to.

Apart from being superb engineers (even in null-gravity), other Tavitans in the Alliance have been given duties in Intelligence and Research & Development. Their codes are impenetrable, and they always think “outside-the-box” when designing new hardware. Pvt. Pomru is part of a small contingent of male Tavitans actually part of integrated forward combat units, like the members of the “Lafyette Escadrille” of WWI on Earth.
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