If the cover to this issue is any indication we’re about to get a female version of the character. Is this something people wanted? Regardless, is it good?
Cyborg #5 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The full summary reads:
“THE IMITATION OF LIFE” part six! Led by Silas Stone, S.T.A.R. Labs takes drastic measures to decommission Cyborg! Confound inside his immobile body, Cyborg seeks help from an unlikely ally who, with help of virtual Victor, must break into S.T.A.R. Labs to reactive Cyborg.
Why does this book matter?
John Semper Jr. has made me care about Cyborg more than I ever have because he’s reached down and connected him to characters that feel real and thus, have made him feel real too. He’s having an existential crisis and that’s been a fascinating thing to read.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Get that dude some moisturizer!
This issue connects quite closely to the judgemental nature of the streets and progresses the villain’s plans at the same time. Cyborg takes a stroll, encounters gang bangers and a prostitute (all the while judging), and Semper uses a new blind character to reveal not all is what it seems. Eventually this leads to Cyborg having a confrontation with police and it’s clear Semper is making the point that we can’t avoid being judged unfairly. Meanwhile, the villain is pushing his plan forward and it appears to involve a Motherbox. That can’t be good for anyone and unfortunately for Cyborg his father is not who he says he is and is manipulating him to progress the villainous plans.
Semper also introduces a new female character who has an interesting past, one that should make her all the more compelling once she becomes superhuman. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but let’s just say Cyborg may have a new match.
The art by Allan Jefferson and Derec Donovan work in their own ways. Most will probably love Jefferson’s pencils the most due to the high detail and extra creep factor he gives the villain. Technology throughout the issue looks phenomenal and realistic due to the incredible detail. Donovan takes over the second half of the issue with a cel-shaded look that’s ultra cartoony, though a good amount of detail is used in his stuff as well. There’s a panel for instance, with Cyborg’s arms turning into needles that’s out of this world.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The art styles are so contrary they’ll take you out of the book however and that is unfortunate. The styles imbue different attitudes — Jefferson’s more stark reality and Donovan’s more fun and cartoony feel — together they just don’t work all that well, however.
It doesn’t help that the plot is racing way too quickly. The issue opens with the intro of a new character and by the end they’re fully formed with barely enough time spent to have Cyborg convey his own thoughts. Even though this series is bi-weekly there’s just too much in this issue to chew over and allow to marinate. Much like the seemingly abandoned powers of Cyborg to make his body look normal, there are actions and events here that move too quickly to resonate. It doesn’t help that she seems to be yet another female version of a main character rather than an entirely new one.
Enter a new hero!
Is It Good?
Cyborg on the street should be a weekly occurence as he allows readers to see the difficulties of being black in America. Cyborg #5 does that quite well. A new character is introduced well enough, though the actions to transform her delivered too quickly to allow it to resonate.