Can we all just stop for a second to enjoy this cover? How trippy and deft is that, considering the story is how Cyborg can’t get out of his own head? We check out this latest issue that delves into Cyborg’s nightmares–is it good?
Cyborg #4 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? For the full DC summary just read this:
“THE IMITATION OF LIFE” part five! Cyborg loses control of his robotic form when it begins attacking his friends and family at S.T.A.R. Labs. Trapped in a virtual maze of ominous visions and forgotten memories, can Vic Stone hack his way through the cybernetic gauntlet that is his own mind?
Why does this book matter?
John Semper Jr. has done a lot of fantastic things with this series, not least of which is the Cyborg’s humanity up into a well written conflict. So far we’ve seen a very human side of him, but he has more doubt than ever. Building off that there are so many great opportunities to explore from here.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
That’s an awkward looking squabble.
This issue ends with a very touching and emotional last two pages. It’s a solid period on the end of the issue as it will make you reflect on everything that lead up to it. It also reminds us Cyborg’s current state is a bit tragic as his identity is in full crisis. That goes along with the first few pages as he attempts to avoid death via his nightmares.
Semper Jr. also checks in with Cyborg’s dad who has been kidnapped in quick and effective scenes. That subplot is still building, but it’s nice to see it hasn’t been forgotten. We also get some key details as to why Cyborg’s nightmares are going on which are interesting, but also tie into the previous issues.
Timothy Green II’s pencils do well to make Cyborg’s powers look super cool. Take for instance one scene where he blasts his enemies and the detail in the wiring that pops out is pretty darn cool. He also nails the emotional resonance of the last two pages.
Didn’t they do this last issue?
It can’t be perfect can it?
That said, Green II’s pencils are way too simple throughout this book, especially in the opening action sequence, making Cyborg look so simplistic it’s like we’re looking at a cartoon. The faces of characters shift too much too, with Superman in particularly looking strange in most panels. In another panel, Cyborg’s face looks like a young girl which totally threw me off.
The story doesn’t help matters either. The main nightmare action sequence runs on too long and is basically a retread of what we’ve seen in previous issues. Though the plot does progress a bit, much of this issue is Cyborg running around in his own head trying to figure out what is wrong. Like a movie that ends telling us it’s all a dream, much of this issue is rendered pointless rushing around.
Is It Good?
This issue doesn’t do enough to be good, though it’s close with an emotional and impactful ending. Much of the plot has Cyborg running around fighting nightmares to pointless effect and the art is way too simplistic to carry what should have been such a visually stimulating story.