In Review: Cyborg #1

This was a surprisingly just "okay" book.

The covers: The Main cover is done by the interior art team of Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Adriano Lucas, who are the penciller, inker, and colorist. Victor stands before Leonardo da Vinci’s The Vitruvian Man, his right hand open to reveal the new technology his implants are capable of. Several wires are attached to his arm, showing that he’s been tested or examined by others. This is a good image to show the character to new readers and the coloring is also good. An odd note though, the background color that I found in every example online of this cover is a tan color, but my physical copy that I purchased is in lime green. I like the latter better because it highlights him much more. There’s also a Variant cover by Tony Harris. I couldn’t find a very clear image of it online, but I did find one. The bottom half of the illustration shows Vic screaming with his chest open. To his left is a large image of his face screaming, and to his right is an exposed brain. I don’t like the illustration and the coloring is muted. This might be due to the image I found online, but from what I see, I don’t like. Overall grades: Main — Tan B, Green A, and Variant C-  

The story: This is a split story from writer David F. Walker. The issue opens “Somewhere in another galaxy” as a group of spacesuit clad individuals are attacked by a group of mutated, skeletal hulks — think a bit of H.R. Giger crossed with Star Trek‘s Borg. Their story is given in short two page spurts, as the majority of the book focuses on Victor Stone, Cyborg, in Chicago’s S.T.A.R. Labs. He’s being looked over by a group of scientists, lead by his father. His father is disregarding him as a person and is more focused on his newly evolved abilities. Vic’s narration supplements the present with what brought him to his current state and what he thinks of his dad. There are no real surprises in this story, with Vic doing the expected on Page 14 and seeking momentary sanctuary with the one person who’s treating him like a person. What I did like, and found surprising, is what he does on 16. This scene goes on for two more pages and brought a nice sense of humanity to Vic that was missing in the earlier pages. This is the point that Walker is going for: he’s not a machine, he’s a man. What state he’s in as a man is questionable, but, for now, he’s a man. The villainous robots went through their expected paces. I’m hoping there’s more to them when they inevitably meet up with the title character. This story was just okay. Overall grade: B-

The art: Penciller Ivan Reis and inker Joe Prado do good visuals on this book, but the story doesn’t give them any opportunity for exceptional moments. The scenes set in another galaxy have the most interesting art, though the battle between the forces is short. The leader of the group looks similar to some other roboticized character I’ve seen elsewhere, but I can’t remember where. Vic’s story involves a lot of standing and sitting and talking, with the occasion morphing of his appendages. It looks good, but there’s only so much this pair can do to make things interesting. They move their point of view around well, but, again, this is in a modern laboratory, so there aren’t many objects to create outside of computers and walls. The characters encountered on 16 look good, but they don’t get too much time this issue. This looks fine, but nothing exciting. Overall grade: B

The colors: As with the art, the story locks Adriano Lucas into what he can with his coloring. The outer space setting gives him some opportunities for some exciting colors, but they’re forgotten with the metallic interiors at S.T.A.R. Labs. The setting on 16 also has ultra realistic colors, but nothing to “Wow.” Overall grade: B

The letters: Scene settings, two types of alien dialogue, signage, dialogue, Vic’s narration, story title, and closing credits come to life thanks to Rob Leigh. What he does is good, with the alien speak and Vic’s narration being great, but the conflict between the two forces is oddly silent. Overall grade: A-

The final line: This was a good introduction to the character, but nothing new for veteran readers. The visuals are good, but not spectacular. This was a surprisingly just “okay” book. Overall grade: B

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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