Cyborg #1 review

Hey, Cyborg has a life? Who knew? Not me, and I've been following him in Justice League for three years. There, he's basically a talking Boom Tube with a very loud whisk attachment. Here, he's a guy with feelings, friends, maybe even a bright future.

We join Victor Stone shortly after his latest JL sortie saw him die in battle - a technicality for this half-man, half-robot. He's come back better than he was before. Better... faster... stronger.

Oh hang on, wrong Cyborg. Anyway, he certainly seems to have had an upgrade, and he wants to know what these changes mean. What to do but to visit Star Labs and father Silas, world-renowned robotics expert and the man who saved his life when he lost most of his body during an attack from Apokolips. Silas and colleague TO Morrow (do laugh, the name comes from the Silver Age) subject Victor to a barrage of tests and get so wrapped up in the data that they barely acknowledge his continued presence.

But lifelong friend Dr Sarah Charles does, and she provides the TLC he needs. The pair decide to leave the boffins to their stats and grab a coffee. They need to pass demonstrators outside Star Labs, and that's when Vic runs into a familiar face from his college days, Sebastian Cardona, invites him for coffee and... Sarah who?
At which point, I have to ask - is the post-2011 version of Victor Stone gay? The Justice League title, as I recall, hasn't found room to touch base on the subject of Vic's orientation, but I have to say, Cyborg being gay would be fascinating. Longtime readers like me saw how angsty the original version of Vic would get in New Teen Titans, when then-Sarah was his sometimes love interest. How will his journey be different if he's into guys, and Sarah gets to be simply his valued gal pal?

Even if Vic is straight still, I think I'll enjoy his first ongoing solo book. Writer David F Walker's makes Vic likeable and relatable with his narration, while Sarah is a gem. Sebastian, it's too early to say, but hopefully he's a good guy - Vic needs friends, he needs a Friend ... perhaps the former jock will fill one of these roles. On the other hand, this is comics - he could easily be a villain in disguise!
There's a brief scene with a protestor which echoes a famous Green Lantern/Green Arrow moment, which is cute, but the guy's argument is as unconvincing as his comic book forebear's - heroes can work on a micro or macro level, and someone has to save the world.

What I don't like about Walker's script is the lack of context for the cutaway scenes of warring aliens - robot monsters vs human types in armour - on another world. Given they bookend Vic's recapping of recent events, I first thought we were seeing the aftermath of the JL mission from the Cyborg Sneak Peak DC released awhile back. Looking again, I believe that's not the case, but the robotmen do look to be the same aliens who accused Vic of having stolen his body tech in the preview. Are these scenes happening now? Ten years ago? I dunno.

So, a bit of script tightening-up would have been appreciated, but Walker, overall, does a more than solid job here. After decades of Vic being solely a team figure, I was doubtful he could be a marquee character, but he proves very engaging. Complex too - he's almost happy he was forced into a robotic shell; I'm all for reaching for positives, but that's rather sad.
The art, by penciler Ivan Reis and inker Joe Prado, is picture perfect - easy to follow storytelling, good character work, excellent alien designs. Reis and Prado became fan favourites with Aquaman and their presence here can only help the book's chances of success. Colourist Adriano Lucas is a new name to me, but I like what I see - rich reds and orange for the alien world, natural hues with occasional pops on Earth. Letterer Rob Leigh also deserves praise for a sharp, consistent job, while Tony Harris provides an intense alternative to the gorgeous main cover by Reis and Prado.
While it didn't blow my socks off, Cyborg #1 is a fine start to a series I hope will improve and flourish.


  1. I read his interaction with Sebastian as Victor being taken back to his glory days: sports. He was a high level athlete before becoming Cyborg, so it's a short hand to establish his history and identity while giving him a life outside of being a superhero.

    As for the ignoring his ignoring of Sarah Charles, in that moment Victor becomes exactly like his father, focused on his obsessions instead of the people important to him.

    1. Hi, and thanks so much for the comments. You make loads of sense - you're probably right. Mind, we could both be right.

      But I think you're going to be solely right!

  2. Oh, I just realized you did review this. I think I wrote a comment asking if you did. Noice!


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