Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Cyborg #2 Review


Written by: Morgan Hampton
Art by: Tom Raney, Valentine De Landro
Colors by: Michael Atiyeh
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Cover art by: Edwin Galmon (cover A)
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: June 20, 2023

Cyborg #2 finds Victor Stone dealing with the worst case of daddy issues when he confiscates the A.I. that thinks it's his father and uploads the code into his system.

Is It Good?

Well, Cyborg #2 is a comic. Everyone is terrible (except for Cyborg), the plot is paper thin, and the art is just okay. If the goal was to get readers on board with one of DC's most marketable characters, this series is falling short.

When last we left Victor Stone, aka Cyborg, he returned to Detroit for his father's funeral. The visit dredged up all the unresolved feelings over Victor's contentious relationship with his father (again) when the visit was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a robot claiming to house his father's consciousness.

Now, the robot's trail leads back to Solace, his father's company, and Cyborg chooses to upload his father's consciousness into himself for investigation rather than leave the data in the hands of Markus and the greedy hands of Solace. What follows is a constant stream of criticisms, complaints, and bickering as Silas's crotchety personality won't keep quiet while Cyborg deals with low-level villains hired to create a messy distraction.

The main criticism leveled at the first issue was the focus on Cyborg's resentful feelings toward his father. That road is well-traveled, and visiting that plot point felt like the worst kind of retread. In this issue, that retread is leaned into and amplified in the worst way as Silas's A.I. consciousness constantly criticizes, berates, and talks down to Cyborg while a secret mastermind starts trouble by hiring low-level rogues to make a mess in Detroit.

Well, if you're going to double down, at least this issue is doing it in a creative way. Yes, Cyborg should have moved past his daddy issues a long time ago, but if this series can turn those repetitive lemons into lemonade, that would be a positive.

The less-enjoyable down point in this issue is the lack of any positive characters to latch on to. Practically everyone is terrible. Silas was/is terrible. Markus is terrible. The criminals are terrible. Talk show pundit Estelle Greene is insufferable, and even Cyborg vacillates between angry, mopey, and frustrated. To be clear, the characters aren't required to be smiling and having a good time in every panel, but when everyone and everything is miserable, it rubs off on you, and the comic stops being entertaining.

Is there anything good or great about this comic? There is an intriguing mystery buried under all this negativity and angst. Nobody knows how Silas's mind got into a robot. A mastermind is hiring villains to stir up trouble, and all signs point to a connection with Solace. The mystery is obscured by clunky execution, but it's there, so it's worth watching.

How's the art? It's fine. Admittedly, Tom Raney's art isn't everyone's cup of tea. There's a slightly caricature-ish feel to Raney's anatomy that detracts from the serious drama in every situation. Still, the line work is clean and consistent, and Atiyeh's colors are on-point. If you like Raney's style, this is more of the same. If you don't like Raney's style, give it a chance to grow on you.

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 #2 builds on the mystery of a robot housing Silas Stone's mind, and all signs point to funny business at Solace. Tom Raney's art is fine, and the mystery of Silas's A.I. is worth watching, but the mystery is buried under an overwhelming amount of negativity as every character, including Cyborg, is constantly angry, terrible, or both.


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