Cyborg #1 Review

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Posted July 24, 2015 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: David F. Walker

Art by: Joe Prado and Ivan Reis

Publisher: DC Comics

Despite being a member of the Justice League ever since the start of The New 52, Cyborg has struggled to find his footing. Outside of a few issues during Forever Evil, Johns has never brought Cyborg to the forefront of the team, instead keeping him in the background while the rest of the team, many of whom were getting their due in monthly ongoings, took center stage. Now, Cyborg has his own series, and I didn’t really realize how necessary that was until I read this issue. My feelings about Cyborg were largely a product of his under-utilization in the DC Universe over the course of The New 52. Having read the first issue of Cyborg’s solo book, I’m convinced that the book is warranted. I can’t exactly say that Walker understands Cyborg’s character because, well, there wasn’t much to understand. But what he’s done with the character in the space of one issue has me convinced that I actually quite like Cyborg.

The book bounces between two concurrent stories. The first is, of course, Cyborg’s. The bulk of the book is focused on his story, specifically the changes his suit has been undergoing. His inner monologue tells us a lot about his character, some of which we already knew, some of which we didn’t. That being said, it’s the external dialogue that really fleshes out Victor. And it’s not even his dialogue that tells us the most about his character – it’s the supporting casts, specifically the two friends of his introduced in this issue. I don’t know what I was expecting, but this story isn’t it. There are absolutely no superheroics in this issue, and it works. It’s not exactly a “day in the life” sort of book, but it is much more personal than anything we’ve gotten starring this character recently.

The second story is pretty much the exact opposite. Not quality-wise, of course, but this is where all of this issue’s action comes from. At times, it does feel somewhat unnecessary to the rest of the book, until the last couple of panels. This component of the book is basically a sci-fi action sequence, concerning two alien groups clashing, one filling the role of invader, the other fighting with their backs against the wall. The stellar art in these panels result in these sequences being exceptionally well realized, despite being less dense with dialogue than the rest of the book. The few bits of dialogue that we do get are largely there for the purpose of setting up what will undoubtedly be the antagonist for the first story arc of this series.

As enjoyable as it is, this does feel like back up material, with a lot of the care and nuance going into Cyborg’s story and characterization. The tag line on the cover – “Man Inside the Machine” – pretty much says it all about what this book is. Even though we’re likely to get a physical antagonist in the next issue, there is definitely a psychological antagonist that has already been established. This inner turmoil for Cyborg is something we’ve seen before, but it’s been brief. Here, his struggle to find relevance and companionship comes to the forefront. His desire to be noticed by people he cares about is a massive part of this book, and allows for Walker to add some interesting irony to the mix. While the character dynamics are merely set up in this issue, they all seem interesting enough to be carried through for a good, long run on the character.


About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.