If I learned anything from Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice it’s that almost no one but the most hardcore of comic fans have any idea who Cyborg is. That leaves me to believe setting his character up is going to be the hardest, which makes his comic all the more important. Cyborg #10 is here; is it good?
Cyborg #10 (DC Comics)
So where is Cyborg at in his personal journey? DC Comics’ solicit reads:
The government has confiscated Cyborg’s technology by imprisoning him. But they have no idea just how powerful Vic Stone has become—and neither does Cyborg himself! New abilities are revealed as Vic makes the prison break of the century! But even with his newfound powers, can he stop what’s going to happen next?!
Why does this book matter?
Something not mentioned above is Cyborg dealing with his mother’s loss, or in his science fiction case dealing with a computer A.I. that’s supposed to be her. He still has his father, but together they question how machine she really is and that’s compelling. Meanwhile, Cyborg gets a new power and who doesn’t want to see that?
A mother and her son. Or is she?!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Writer Marv Wolfman does a fantastic job with Cyborg and his father dealing with this A.I. construct as they attempt to make their family whole again. A very intriguing idea is put forth about how human Cyborg is in relation to this computer and, really, are they that much different? It puts into question Cyborg’s humanity, but also what it means to be human. The fact that Cyborg and his father want this computerized mother to be real makes it all the more heartbreaking as they tell themselves she’s the same.
It’s not all dialogue and emotional conversations though as Cyborg must free himself from a government cage. The government thinks he’s a threat as he becomes less and less human, but there’s a surprise twist behind all that which is a big idea that should pique sci-fi fans’ interest. That leads to big action sequences, as well as the reveal of Cyborg’s new power, but more importantly leads Cyborg to learning the truth about his mother. Wolfman keeps the big reveal rather uncertain though, which puts into question what Cyborg ultimately does. This further creates some moral ambiguity that makes the character a little bit more complex.
The art–by Ivan Reis on layouts with Felipe Watanabe, Daniel HDR and Julio Ferreira on pencils–works, which is a feat considering how many cooks were in the kitchen. Some pages are better than others, but the style and quality never dip or change so much that it’s jarring between panels and pages. Most importantly the last three pages do well to cap off the issue and hit the emotional side of the story hard with good character acting. The splash page to end it all is simple, but I dare you to not say “Aww.”
It can’t be perfect can it?
So what exactly is this new power? I think we see it in a rather cool full splash page, but is it that different than powers we’ve seen before? We’re not really told how it’s different, but at least it looks cool. It definitely makes Cyborg more dangerous, but I’m wondering if it’s a power he already had just in blue now.
While the addition of Shazam kicks up the dramatic turn I’m not so sure it works entirely. Avoiding spoilers here, but it’s all too easy for Cyborg to flip the advantage to his side. It’s like the superhero gods flipped a switch and said, “Now he must win because he’s the hero!” Essentially the script devolves into cliched superhero action which dumbs it all down for a few pages.
Look who shows up.
Is It Good?
Cyborg connects with his mother in a real way and that tethers this issue to some important feels. Meanwhile there’s some fun action thrown in too, but don’t expect the most satisfying explanation of Cyborg’s escape.