David Walker introduced himself to DC in a big way by taking on the task of writing Cyborg’s first solo series in the character’s history. With the help of celebrated artist Ivan Reis, Cyborg was supposed to not only show the strength of the young character, but the internal struggle to maintain his humanity. Is it good?
Cyborg Vol. 1 (DC Comics)
Cyborg documents Vic’s attempt to juggle the responsibilities of being a newly admitted Justice League member while also trying to reclaim his humanity through maintaining relationships with his father and friends. When not only his city, but mankind as we know it is threatened by an extraterrestrial/technological threat, Cyborg is thrown into the middle of the crisis. This first volume introduces us to Vic’s fellow characters, potential romances, and Cyborg’s development—both physical and emotional. It has a healthy mix of action, heart to heart character discussions, and some amazing artwork.
Walker does a great jo establishing Victor’s man vs. machine internal struggle, whether it’s through the hero’s interactions with other characters or his own personal choices when faced with a situation. Cyborg’s frustration and yearning to be normal is palpable throughout the entire volume and I can only hope the theme is continued into the second story arc. This character development is probably the best part of the series alongside Reis’ artwork and Walker is able to take advantage of Vic’s untapped character exploration.
Unfortunately, Walker’s writing falls short on some occasions. There are moments where the action sequences feel a bit dull, not due to the visuals, but from the writing and panel structuring. It’s sometimes too formatted in the sense that any writer could [insert ominous villain threat] then [show visual of character flung through air] followed by [impression of defeated hero while others gasp in horrified shock]. The villains are similarly basic in nature and the lack of character depth makes it difficult to imagine them being anything besides a one-time, short-lived threat to Cyborg. The finale isn’t much of one and we’re left with a somewhat anti-climactic ending that conveniently wraps up the arc. That being said, while it can be very cookie cutter at moments, Walker makes up for it with the emotionally impactful “human” moments Cyborg shares with others.
While I do have issues with how the arc ended in terms of pace and structure, Walker does throw in a major twist to Cyborg’s character as a whole that comes as a result of this battle. I’m personally shocked I hadn’t had this component spoiled for me as it certainly acts as a hook for the rest of the series. Speaking of future issues, before the series was published there were talks of both the Grid and the Metal Men making appearances. Within just a couple of issues we do get one of them featured in the storyline, but considering Rebirth is on the horizon, if the other hasn’t shown up in volume two yet then we missed out.
I can’t comment on Reis’ artwork enough. For any of you who read New 52’s Aquaman or Justice League, you’re familiar with Reis’ work and most likely a fan. We get multiple full page spreads and wonderfully detailed action panels that it’s hard to find anything not to like about the aesthetic of the book. But, as good as it looks visually, the artwork can’t make up for some of the story arc’s shortcomings.
Is It Good?
Walker does a great job exploring the depths of Vic Stone’s character and his personal struggle with becoming a robotic superhero. Unfortunately, the storyline as a whole is a bit lackluster and contains nothing special in terms of villains or action sequences. Reis’ art is as good as you can hope for which may make the volume worth reading in and of itself, but if you’re not a fan of the character you could wait for the next story arc.