When DC launched the New 52, Cyborg was the only member of the Justice League who wasn’t a major player in other ongoing series. Now, with his solo movie looming in 2020, the fan favorite character finally gets a chance to stretch his mechanical legs and carve out a place for himself in the greater DC universe.
Victor Stone is a team player. From his background as a high school football player to his roles in various Teen Titans incarnations, Cyborg is used to sharing the spotlight. Fittingly, this is reflected in his personal life, as this first issue delves into Victor’s relationship with his father, Silas, the man who originally saved Victor’s life by making him half-man, half machine. Victor comes to his father to reveal a recent miraculous development in his relationship with the technology that makes him Cyborg. While his father is fascinated by the mystery of Cyborg’s “new operating system,” he is less than enthusiastic to see his son.
David F. Walker excels at writing Victor as an introspective young man who happens to be a superhero. Victor is trying to understand his body (not in the way most young people have to), his role as a son and a public figure. He yearns for attention from his disinterested father in hopes that Silas can help him find himself. Cyborg’s attention craving is entirely appropriate given that this character has been begging for an ongoing series. Beyond this, the writing feels lackluster.
The supporting cast at S.T.A.R. labs are three excellent character choices who don’t seem able to have a believable dialogue. The conversations seem forced and one-dimensional. Hopefully this will be resolved now that they’ve gotten through some exhibition.
Speaking of, there’s a war going on “somewhere in another galaxy.” While Cyborg’s journey of self-discovery feels grounded, the scale of his journey will inevitably be larger than he can expect. The Technosapiens and Tekbreakers (yes, that’s actually what they’re called) share the same thickly laid, mechanical interactions as the rest of the supporting cast. While this might bother some readers who feel like they’ve read infinite variations of the conflict, it does serve to solidify a classic science fiction tone that the DC universe can definitely benefit from exploring.
The art in this book is a triumph of the medium. The penciling and inking done by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado are expertly done, taking advantage of the technology present in the story to move the plot forward while bringing new readers up to speed simultaneously. Colorist Adriano Lucas serves to emphasize the differences in organic and technological subjects. This book could easily have been shiny and chrome throughout; but the people feel distinct, the technology feels diverse and Cyborg himself feels like the hybrid that he is.
My favorite moment of the issue comes when Victor is confronted with an angry protester with a notably low-tech arm, who calls on Cyborg to acknowledge what makes the two so different. If this series explores Cyborg’s role among his fellow man, it will have delivered on an important promise made by DC as part of their DCYOU campaign.
It’s about time, DC!
Classic Science Fiction Tone
Artwork is ambitiously nuanced
Role of technology reflected in both writing and art
Victor’s struggles are relatable, appropriate and important
Writing lacks subtlety
Villains/supporting cast feel uninspired
Final Judgement: 8