The life of Victor Stone has hit its stride. Between recent personal reveals concerning his family, fighting crime with Shazam, and using comedy to get through even the most dangerous situations…everything is looking up for Cyborg. Of course, all that means it will come crashing down rather quickly, sooner or later.
The dark times continue in David Walker’s fourth issue of Cyborg with a multiverse sized bombshell that involves Victor, Sarah, and all of S.T.A.R Labs. The issue acts like a breather for everything that’s happened to our cast thus far, and it works to a certain degree. Ivan Reis works his magic on the layouts, and the colors we’ve grown accustomed to from Adriano Lucas and Pete Pantanzis are present. With Felipe Watanabe on pencils, readers are treated to Ivan Reis level art that is more stoic and works for this more dialogue heavy issue. Readers get a clearer, more defined idea of just how exactly the Tekbreakers and Technosapiens fit into the grand scheme of things in this corner of the DCU. It’s a move that may or may not reference Grant Morrison’s Multiversity and the recent Convergence event.
Not only does Steve Orlando’s Midnighter comic star a gay man, it tells blunt, sex-positive stories about that character. The main cast of characters in the upcoming main Avengers comic All-New, All-Different Avengers has a small minority of white dudes.
While there is still a lot of work on the road to a utopia of complete social justice, there is a trend of progressivism in some of today’s superhero comics that is impossible to ignore.
Through David Walker and Ivan Reis’ work on Cyborg #2, one can see how the pull of two worlds can be a blessing and a curse to Victor, and it shines bright in moments like these. Showing your body modifications to your cat and Cyborg’s facial expressions when “working” in the lab show a type of maturity to the issue. Victor Stone isn’t the angry son we saw him last issue, he isn’t the isolated computer we thought he was in Justice League. He’s a full on three dimensional character that is making Detroit his own fully realized corner of the DCU with the city becoming a hub of illegal black market machinery, and aliens infiltrating homes to steal technology that will sing them the song of perfection just like this second issue.
In August 2011, DC Comics changed everything with their line wide reboot dubbed “The New 52”. This reboot started with Justice League #1 and exploded with 51 other titles in September to get things rolling. In the first month of the New 52, every member of the Justice League received their own solo title with the exception: Cyborg. Fast forward four years later, and that issue is rectified with Victor Stone getting his own title written by David Walker and art by Ivan Reis.
JLA #1 is another feather in Bryan Hitch’s artistic cap as he excels at showing superheroes in action along with labs, helicopters, explosions, and even a decent flirty interaction between Clark Kent and Lois Lane. However, his plot maybe suffers from some hypercompression as ideas, threats, and allies are introduced at a rapid pace without proper establishment. There are also a few story logic issues, The Flash and Green Lantern are written interchangeably, and Cyborg is kind of treated as deus ex machina. These misfires make JLA #1 an average comic with great art.
As DC’s next big soft-core reboot begins underway, one of the most troubling facts to acknowledge is that despite the compay’s claims to have a new marketing strategy with a wider target audience in mind, that some of their most troubling decisions dating all the way back to 2011 are going nowhere. Case in point, just about everything involving DC’s handling of Wonder Woman, not just in comics but also video games, animated movies, and very likely the upcoming live action films, seems to be stripping the character of the revolutionary feminist philosophies that she was born from and replacing it with the same toxic masculinity straight out of 300. DC has taken William Moulton Marston and swapped him for Frank Miller and it still remains one of the New 52’s cardinal sins that intends to live on beyond Convergence.
Right from the opening minutes it is abundantly clear that the filmmakers wish to ape the general tone and aesthetic of the Mad Max franchise that erupted on screens for the first time only a decade prior and into the 1980s. From the dystopian world reduced to savagery for vaguely explained reasons, to the quasi-steampunk allure of the costumes and technology employed (what little is left, of course), to the overall personality of the universe.
Created as the flagship title of the New 52 and the opening arc for this new era of comics, Justice League “Origin” is a cringe-worthy retelling of the League’s beginnings. Despite having the talented Geoff Johns handling story and drawn by Jim Lee, Justice League “Origin” is a boring and underwhelming tale.