Cyborg is the type of character DC just can’t seem to get right. The sheer number of reboots and new #1 issues is indication enough, but the character has so much damn potential there shouldn’t be any reason he can’t succeed. Let’s see how his Rebirth issue goes–is it good?
Cyborg: Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
Check out our full preview for the official summary.
Why does this book matter?
Considering we’re getting a full movie of this character for the very first time next year we should all be keeping our eyes on the character. More than likely this Rebirth series will be close to the film version which might give us clues on the movie. Plus, who doesn’t like an origin story?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
That thing is huge!
Writer John Semper, Jr. sets out to achieve a few things in this issue and I think he succeeds on all counts. He not only establishes how his scientist parents made his childhood complicated and revealed a secret of his father’s that might hold key information about his humanity. “But Dave,” you might be saying, “Cyborg is half human half robot…hence the name!” The question is, which has been a reoccurring theme for this character over the years, how much humanity is left? Semper, Jr. establishes this well with bookended sequences showing Cyborg peering through code.
The general action of the issue is satisfying as well (Malware…really?) pitting Cyborg against a rather awesomely designed beasty. The creature can augment and change himself on the fly too which makes him adaptive–something Cyborg has trouble with.
The pencils by Paul Pelletier (with inks by Sandra Hope and Tony Kordos) give the issue a darker detailed tone that suits the technological look and feel of the series. They handle the flashbacks to Cyborg’s parents well too, which helps convey the conflicted feelings some kids have when their parents love each other so much. The colors by Guy Major do well to give the flashbacks a different tone and his colors on Malware are quite nice. The baddie looks organic, but also highly volatile due to the colorful electricity shooting off him.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The McGuffin of the issue–which is something in the story the characters are all chasing but ultimately doesn’t usually matter what it is–turns out to be an intriguing element that doesn’t quite make a lot of sense. Why this object is in S.T.A.R. Labs or why Cyborg’s father isn’t worried about Cyborg getting close to it is confusing. Maybe we’ll learn more about it later, but its purpose seems untethered from explanations which leaves you feeling a bit disappointed.
Readers who have followed the character won’t find a ton of newness in this issue (aside from the McGuffin of course). Having enjoyed the last few issues of this series I was left a little underwhelmed since much of it retreads what we’ve seen from this character before.
Killer action sequence.
Is It Good?
This is a good Rebirth issue establishing who Cyborg is for new readers and supplying a satisfying amount of action and introspection to make it worth a look for fans. Cyborg’s biggest weakness is his identity crisis, which is reupped in this issue.