Today, the first issue of the new ongoing comic bookseries starring Victor Stone alias Cyborg hits shelves. As far as first issues go, there’s much left to be desired.
Victor Stone is a rather weird character in the DC Universe. He’s been a staple member of the Teen Titans, then got drafted into the Justice League and after the Flashpoint event that rebooted the entire universe, he became a founding member of the Justice League. Yet he’s never had his own book apart from a few miniseries that all didn’t generate that much of an impact.
Today, this changes. Cyborg #1 with Ivan Reis on art and David Walker on writing duty hits shelves. The book is undoubtedly a push by DC Comics to diversify their heroes, much like their main competitor Marvel is currently doing. No longer does a big hero need to be a white male, but women and minorities get their shot at the spotlight as well. This is cool.
Maybe Not… This Time
As far as first issues go, Cyborg #1 leaves much to be desired. The main problem with the issue are the plot or lack thereof and the fact that this book does not feel coherent at all.
Basically, the book has no story. There are hints at several stories, but there’s nothing worth a comic book in this one. All the characters talk, but not with one another, which they try to make into a plot point. Sadly, this fails because it does not exactly make a comic book overly engaging or gives readers anything to sink their teeth into. In the end, Victor Stone just walks away, ditching everything we’ve read about in the 20 pages before. Maybe that’s supposed to be a bit of comic relief, but it just falls flat.
I’ll give the book this, though: It shows that there’s a chance of setting up a number of interesting plot threads. It’s not like it’s setting up anything, as everything is disjointed, but it does show a bit of promise. Maybe it’s being written for trade – the collection of six issues that contain one story – but this one single issue carries a bit of a sour aftertaste with it.
Nice Look, Nice Art
Meanwhile, Vic gets a bit of a reboot. No longer is he the bulky Cyborg we’ve encountered in the pages of Justice League. He’s sleek, more organic and looks more human, which is nicely rendered by Ivan Reis. So if nothing else, it’s nice to look at.
I did enjoy the bulky look as I enjoy my outlandish heroes to sort of break with the human form every now and then. But this new design does look nice and I could get used to it. Victor does look more human and approachable. What would be awesome, though, if they went for the idea that he can do some kind of modular operations. Say he has a mission underwater: Scuba gear gets applied to his core systems. So he could be specialized for missions. That would be awesome, right?
As far as a push for diversity goes, I appreciate there being a Cyborg ongoing, even though it’s not a subject I’m extremely passionate about. I think that a story should never take the back seat to diversity or some kind of political agenda. This is why I am not overly impressed with Cyborg’s first issue as it just doesn’t deliver what I expect from a comic book.
All in all, Cyborg #1 looks pretty, has the idea of promise and stars someone who hasn’t gotten his moment in the spotlight yet. It fails to deliver on old-fashioned comic book grounds such as telling a good story, though, and you won’t miss anything if you skip this one. Maybe it will be better in trade paperback.