Comic Book Review: Cyborg #19
Another new story arc for Victor Stone. He’s saved Detroit, and he’s saved the Digiverse as well. Those are some big victories under Cyborg’s belt as a superhero on his own. Moving on from here you do wonder what more you can do with him after everything he has accomplished and experienced. Though at the same time you look at this new issue with anticipation because there is so much at the same time that has not been done with Cyborg on solo adventures.
First off, I was caught off guard to see that we would once again have a change up in the creative team for this book. Change isn’t bad, though with a hero like Cyborg you always want the best team on the job for him to flourish. As usual I went into this with an open mind for what Kevin Grevioux can do as the new writer. When I looked this guy up to realize who he is, suddenly I was more excited than I thought I would have been. He has been around outside of comics and a hand in writing for some notable characters.
As the start of a new story arc, I enjoyed how welcoming this could be to a new reader. Anyone following this could easily sit there wondering why Victor could still feel the way he does about being Cyborg, but new readers even at this stage still need to understand the struggle that he goes through to convince himself that he is human underneath all the tech. There’s very little room to assume the person reading this issue read the issue before. A writer having that in mind for a new story arc and first issue is a great start.
For this new story, it didn’t take long to get into this exploratory scientific mission in Africa that Victor has set himself on. The fact that this is something he does with STAR Labs is good to know. A lot of things up to this point have kept Victor working with them within the walls, and something more exploratory is a step in the right direction to shake things up. The idea that someone like Cyborg can experience trouble with magic is awesome. So much of his problems currently have dealt with technology. Not a problem since that is his area of expertise, though every once in a while you can feel a bit more engaged when your hero is thrown out of their element. Now with that said, you do go into this knowing exactly what it is this ancient African Jinn grants him when speaking of his heart’s desire. So the next thing was anticipation what can go wrong in this situation. A good predicament to put Cyborg in at this point in his life since he doesn’t fully appreciate what it means to be who and what he is during an age of heroes.
One thing I did like about this change to the creative team off the bat was the art team put together for this issue. Cliff Richards and Ivan Nunes are excellent artists, and even better when working together on the same book. Both create this realistic style to their artwork that engages you on a different level. I enjoyed the quality and detail that went into rendering these characters and a different setting. This time around it wasn’t about showing how cool it is to be Cyborg and the digital effects that come with his brand of action. They set him in a different location that got the same result, but through the interactions with the world around him. Especially when it came to such things as this meteor that brought them to Africa, and this ancient African Jinn that was an appearance you would never have expected to take place in a book like this. There wasn’t anything flashy about this Jinn rather than giving the look of someone who is powerful, yet humbled. Overall with stronger visuals also came things that connected you to this story emotionally only because of the artwork. The little things mattered that they nailed between showing sickness, pain, expression, and much more.
Cyborg #19 is the start of a story which defines what being a hero means for Victor on a larger scale. Before it meant being a hero to Detroit, being a hero to those who are machine/ai, now we are addressing the importance of that word when you take away the location or the labels. It was only a matter of time before someone took that bold step to help Victor see that a lot of his problems really are just in his head, for better and for worse.