Victor Stone Unplugged a “Cyborg #1” (Review)
Written by: David Walker
Art by: Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Victor Stone, the man inside of the machine, a machine that DC has pushed to the front of it’s publishing line since their New 52 imprint. From Teen Titan to founding member of the Justice League, the character of Cyborg has not lacked publicity in the past few years. While Stone has been an intriguing complimentary character to the Justice League, it seemed that more often than not he was used more as a plot device for when the League needed to tap into a piece of machinery, than he ever was a truly fleshed out character. No doubt that DC was receptive of the complaint’s, choosing to give Cyborg a solo book focusing more on Victor Stone than his mechanized alias in the final new #1 of their “DC You” publishing initiative. So could DC find the flesh within the machine?
As much as credit as you have to give DC for giving Cyborg a true opportunity to flourish with his own title and under the pencil’s of all star artist: Ivan Reis and the more than capable Joe Prado, it just feels like writer David Walker can never really make you care about Victor Stone. Instead Walker writes him in a way that portrays the character as borderline whiny. It takes a special talent in comics to make a relatively unknown character relevant and interesting. Names like Geoff Johns and Jason Aaron immediately come to mind as possessing that unique skill set, as they have made characters such as Hawkman and Jane Foster fan favorites during their time with those respective characters. While Johns managed to make Cyborg relevant in his time with the character while writing Justice League, he never was truly able to do Victor Stone justice while dealing with the inherent challenges of writing a team book. Ultimately if DC ever want’s to give Cyborg the definitive run that he is currently lacking considering where they place the character in their current marketing, they are going to have to invest in A-list talent, even if that means looking toward the competition. A definitive run that based on the first issue, that seems highly unlikely in this current iteration.
If it was not bad enough that this issue fails to make it’s title character interesting, it also fails to establish an interesting threat for Cyborg. Instead Walker chooses to hint at a potential battle between Cyborg, and what looks to be foes inspired by the alien’s of TNT’s Falling Skies. When it comes to supporting characters things are about as bland as you can imagine, as Cyborg finds a generic love interest inside of S.T.A.R Labs who still see’s him as Victor rather than Cyborg.
Walker’s one major success in this #1 comes when he begins to explore the lack of quality control of replacement limbs that S.T.A.R Labs has been providing to the general population. Raising the question of why can’t Cyborg’s tech be used as a catalyst to improving technology for the good of all humankind? If Walker explores this thread in subsequent issues then perhaps it is a bit early to press pause on this series, but judging on how Walker wrote Cyborg’s creator and father: Silas Stone in this issue it seems to be treading the familiar territory of a failed father-son relationship. When perhaps the more interesting and original approach would be to focus on the negative impact that failing relationship is also having on others.
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