Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Cyborg #1 Review

Written by: Morgan Hampton
Art by: Tom Raney
Colors by: Michael Atiyew
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Cover art by: Edwin Galmon
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: May 16, 2023

Cyborg #1 brings Vic Stone back to where it all began - his hometown of Detroit, Michigan - where Vic can reconnect with his roots and process the grief that comes with losing a father.
Is It Good?

Hmm, okay. Cyborg #1 brings Vic Stone back to the store shelves for the first time in a very long time. Mixing the recent comic version of Cyborg with the version of Cyborg from the HBO Doom Patrol series, Morgan Hampton's version of Cyborg is thoughtful and troubled by his past. Will this new series make Cyborg fans out of non-believers and the uninitiated? It's too soon to tell.

Overall, Hampton delivers a well-structured and measured story about Cyborg's homecoming. Most of the issue focuses on character- and world-building to give new readers a clear sense of Cyborg's history, and more importantly, his dysfunctional relationship with his father.

To Hampton's credit, this Cyborg is a fully-developed, fleshed-out character with heaps of emotional depth to provide motivation for Cyborg's actions moving forward. You can relate to Cyborg on multiple levels because his life is layered with the types of complexities we all live with at one time or another.

That said, this issue is going to be a tough sell on a number of fronts.

First, this is a very dialog-heavy issue with only a brief prologue for action. There's a lot of talk about feelings, regrets, resentments, and general angst. Yes, Cyborg is Cyborg because he went through an unusually traumatic experience, but Hampton tips a little too close to wallowing in the angst.

Second, we've been here before. As of this writing, the character of Cyborg has been around for 43 years. Coming to terms (or not) with Victor's resentment over his father's unsanctioned experiment is well-worn territory. Except for the last page that puts a unique twist on Cyborg's visit home, most of this issue feels like a retread of better versions of Cyborg's origin.

Third, the art looks odd. It's not terrible, but the combination of Tom Raney's thick inks and Michael Atiyew's overly bold coloring choices give off a glaring set of visuals. Bold is good. Bold pops. But here, it's almost a little too much. If you gave this comic a quick browse, you'd say the art looks great, but when you stop to examine the details, the stark thickness of the inks and the boldness of the colors combine to push the gain too high (speaking in audio terms).

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Cyborg #1 is a thoughtful, emotionally weighty jumping-on point for new readers to get acquainted with Victor Stone. The issue gives you everything you need to know about Cyborg's troubled past and sets up an interesting mystery for the arc to come. That said, readers looking for Cyborg superhero action will find very little action of any kind, the story is almost all setup we've already seen before (and done better), and the art is serviceable but not appealing.


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