I’m looking at the man in the machine.
Cyborg is riding pretty high over at DC Comics. Founding member of the Justice League (New 52), co-star of the highly successful Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network, upcoming little role in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and his own solo movie. Life for Victor Stone is so sweet he’s even got his own ongoing monthly series now at DC where things aren’t going so smoothly as it seems.
Cyborg #1 is the last debuting book of the DC You line that began last month with a wide range of books with various heroes, teams, and genres. Cyborg’s big push by DC recently made the announcement of his ongoing book a bit of a no-brainer with top talents such as David F. Walker, current writer of Shaft at Dynamite Entertainment, penning the story with superstar artist Ivan Reis handling the art.
The story here is that Cyborg recently had died yet is mysteriously alive and trying to find answers with the help of his father, Silas Stone and his team at good old S.T.A.R. Labs. They seem to be as confused as us readers are to the situation, but it gets even more confusing when it seems Vic’s own tech is rapidly evolving throughout the issue. The story here seems to be Victor Stone is going through techno-puberty.
Yes, I repeat, techno-puberty. That’s the best way I can describe the change that Victor is suddenly going through in this debut issue. That’s interesting, but really the most attention-grabbing thing in terms of story is the narration by Cyborg about his relationship with his father and the said relationship itself playing out in the issue. Cyborg remarks about how much his father didn’t pay much attention to him until he was near death twice out of the three times he was. The third being the time he seemingly died before the events of this issue, and has a difficult time showing how much he truly loves him, even though he knows he does. The history between the two characters really hasn’t been explored this well in the comics before and it’s rich with storytelling possibilities and it really helps to show the humanity of Cyborg throughout the issue and how while being mostly machine at this point he is still man.
The supporting cast feels a little thin right now with it just mostly being Cyborg’s dad and his team of scientists at S.T.A.R. Labs. We do get long time friend of Cyborg and sometimes love interest Sarah Charles there to help give Victor a shoulder to lean on. He could use her since even Justice League members need someone to talk to that isn’t lifting a whole tank during the conversation. We even seem to get what might be a glimpse into Cyborg’s past life as he catches up with a football player from a former opposing high school outside of the protest of STAR Labs. Cyborg is confronted by amputees with technological attachments about the advancement of his, or at least that’s what I got, the issue was a bit hazy on dealing with that, but I think that’ll be fleshed out come further issues.
The one thing that is also hazy is some war between technosapiens and tekbreakers. They are going to play a part in the book and while I know you got to have something enticing in a first issue, for readers to keep coming back, its placing in the story kinda upends the really well done pacing the book was doing with exploring Vic and his father and his talks with Sarah.
Walker’s writing is as good as ever here with a firm grasp, and deep understanding of Cyborg I haven’t seen since really The New Teen Titans and the Titans run. There have been great moments here and there, but nothing quite as good as this.
Ivan Reis as per usual astounds with the art that really helps to give the book great detail, especially with someone like Cyborg. It’s intriguing and exciting to see how much life he gives to the looks of Cyborg from how he looks at the beginning of the issue and his various changes. His perspective is also something I admire about the artist and his sense of framing and bringing across great emotion too. Even his alien designs are quite the treat to look at along with the inks of Joe Pardo and Adriano Lucas’ colors.
Cyborg #1 offers up something new for the former Teen Titan with an engaging story about his own humanity and what it means to be someone like him with all these advancements and as a superhero even while setting up for something big coming up in a subplot. The writing and the art really help make this book distinct from the rest of the new DC You lineup.
(4.0 out of 5)
Cyborg #1 is available for purchase at your local comic book store and digitally on Comixology.