Writer: Morgan Hampton
Art: Tom Raney
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 16th, 2023
Cyborg, fully loaded with a Boom Tube fused into his body, returns to Detroit in Cyborg #1, immediately facing off against two old enemies of The Teen Titans. Tragedy awaits him there as well, a tragedy that will strike at Victor Stone’s core and alter his life forever.
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Way back in the 1980’s (millennials call the decade “Who cares?”) there was no comic series I loved more than The New Teen Titans. I loved the book and characters in it so much, I always wished each team member would get their own solo book. Sure, it would have stretched the few shekels I earned mowing yards and shoveling snow to the limit, but it would have been worth it. So it’s great to see Cyborg back in a new series. What’s better is that Cyborg #1 has a great blend of action, humor and emotional conflict.
I love that Cyborg now has a friggin’ Boom Tube in his body, allowing him to teleport practically anywhere he wants. It’s going to open up a ton of stories. Here, it’s kept simple, as he uses it to instantly travel to his hometown of Detroit, where he gets some horrible news. What I’ve always liked about Victor Stone is that he’s a blue-collar hero. He helps people wherever he can and does it as efficiently as possible. He’s an every man, like those guys working in a warehouse or on the docks. All that’s missing is his lunch pail. There are no theatrics with him like you’d see with Batman and Superman. In fact, he spends the bulk of this issue in a jogging outfit. When he’s doing battle with two super-villains, he’s a stark contrast to his wildly-dressed antagonists. The battle at the beginning is a blast (literally) and Victor gets to cut loose with his power. Watching him trade punches with a powerhouse villain is always fun to read.
After Victor receives shocking news about halfway through the issue, the rest of the issue shows him dealing with the ramifications of it, really driving home how stoic Victor is. He remains unphased by anything that happens to him, good and bad, and you really feel for the guy, because the abuse he suffered through his life has shaped him into what he is now. We get some great scenes between Victor and Sarah Charles, who seems to have always been in his life. You can feel her pain as she tries to get Victor to open up. The book ends with a great cliffhanger and it makes you wonder “What the hell is going on here?”. I can’t wait to find out next issue.
Tom Raney’s art on Cyborg #1 seems a little too. His art is unique, I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else. It seems to waver between being detailed and realistic to being grotesque and cartoony. His work is downright gorgeous in places, but I just don’t feel it’s a good fit for this book. I feel he’d be a better fit for a more light-hearted character like Booster Gold or maybe even Wonder Woman.
Cyborg #1 gives us some great moments of Cyborg in action, as well as some great dramatic moments too. The book lets Cyborg shine, and even though I feel the art hinders the story rather than reinforces it, the book proves why Victor Stone is one of the more interesting and unique characters in the DC Universe.