Imagine being Cyborg and being turned off. You’re essentially dead! Well, you can be flipped back on, so I suppose it’s more of a coma. Cyborg is in deep trouble and this issue explores his getting help from an unlikely stranger. Is it good?
Cyborg #8 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
“Kill Switch”! Cyborg has been deactivated! Now, Vic Stone must rely on help from the outside to break into S.T.A.R. Labs and switch the Justice Leaguer back on. But can Cyborg rely on a clever but luckless streetwise thief whose only claim to fame is an arrest record a mile long?
Why does this book matter?
John Semper Jr. has captured the unique nature of Cyborg well from the start of Rebirth. The character is fighting to prove he’s human, but he can barely convince himself. It’s made for a compelling story, which has included a new female Cyborg, the kidnapping of his father, and a story that has cornered the character.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If you’re being chased by the cops you’re probably not that great of a thief.
While it’s a bit odd how much time is spent on a new thief character (who we probably won’t see ever again), Semper Jr. does a good job establishing his personality. He talks with a bit of slang, knows his ways around the streets (which we learn via his captions) and is certainly not a hero. Cyborg seeks his help and they basically go on an adventure to break into S.T.A.R. Labs. Some questionable actions are taken to do just that, and while you’ll be scratching your head as to why Cyborg is in need of help, it all adds up and makes sense by the end. It’s also a bit of a clever twist and it shows a new feature Cyborg can employ if it gets really bad.
The art is split up between Will Conrad and Paul Pelletier–Conrad starts with the first half and Pelletier takes over for the last half. The split works seamlessly due to Conrad drawing a darker tone and grittier outdoor scenes and Pelletier taking over inside S.T.A.R. Labs, giving everything a high sheen. Pelletier gives Cyborg’s villain quite an organic and crazy look and once again he kills it when Cyborg busts out the giant arm cannon.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue doesn’t pull off all that it’s attempting to do mostly because it feels so ordinary. The villain pops up just at the right time, the reveals aren’t all that interesting, and so much time is spent with Cyborg breaking into the labs which aren’t all that interesting. So much time is spent developing this hacker who befriends Cyborg it’s hard to buy in. Maybe this character will be important later on, but the circumstances that bring them together seem forced. The character isn’t all that unique either as much of the development of the character is focused on his ways as a thief rather than who he is personally. With so much time spent on him, Cyborg gets no character work either, which had been a highlight of the series. All of this adds to a rather average superhero comic.
Do you always talk with such big bubbles?
Is It Good?
A rather average superhero affair that looks nice, but feels very much by the numbers.