Review: Cyborg #1 Gets to the Heart of Vic Stone
Cyborg #1 by David F. Walker, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado is a debut and homecoming for Victor Stone. After a run-in with death, Vic Stone is brought back to life but he is changed once again. Not sure how or why he’s alive Vic returns home to see if he and his father can find answers. However, returning home isn’t as easy as it sounds and Vic has a long road ahead as he searches for the truth.
There’s a lot to unpack in Cyborg #1, but the creative team strikes a nice balance between important social issues and superheroics. At its heart, Cyborg is telling the story of a young black man sure of his identity living in a world struggling to acknowledge him completely. Walker has crafted an excellent script absent of common tropes plaguing young heroes of color. Vic’s troubled relationship with his father, Silas, is shown in a mature fashion and isn’t used as the centerpiece of everything wrong in Vic’s life. Vic is fully aware of his hardships, but neither resents his father nor the accident that led to him becoming a hero. It’s so great to see such strength from Vic and with an origin like his it would have been easy to turn him angry and bitter. Walker doesn’t take the easy route and has a definite mindset of the kind of man Vic is. Cyborg is the evolution, physically and mentally, of Victor Stone.
While the first issue touches on the more personal aspects of Vic’s life there’s still otherworldly tones reminding us this is a Cyborg story. Ivan Reis’ art is a perfect fit to showcase the more technical and sci-fi parts of the series. Vic is both man and machine, only this time he looks like it. Reis’ attention to detail brings out the humanity in Vic that harkens back to his original look in New Titans, but doesn’t take away his identity as a man. Prado does an astounding job bringing Reis’ art to life. His colors helped me visualize the differences in the materials that make up Vic’s tech. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the technosapiens. Reis’ unique designs of these symbiotic creatures show a parasitic rather than harmonious relationship with technology. Their appearance is the antithesis to Vic and I really like the contrast Reis displays with his art.
It’s hard to pinpoint what I liked best about Cyborg’s solo debut, but if I had to pick one it would be Vic and Sarah’s relationship—the cornerstone of the issue and hopefully future ones. Sarah’s unshaken belief in Vic’s humanity is sincere, heartwarming and reminds me of Lois and Clark. Vic doesn’t put down Sarah for defending him and it’s not seen as an attack on his masculinity, nor does it paint Sarah as an angry emotional woman. Instead, Vic welcomes and appreciates all the support Sarah is willing to give. She exists as the moral voice in a camaraderie of characters obsessed with Vic’s body and I hope to see her character explored as the story progresses.
Within a single issue, David F. Walker, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado have shown their readiness to tackle important issues while still telling a superhero story. It will be interesting to find out how the technosapiens fit into the story and I hope to see more Vic and Sarah moments! Cyborg #1 is a dynamic start and it will be exciting to see where the team takes Vic next.