Review – Cyborg #21: Not Canceled After All

Cyborg #21 variant cover
Image via DC Comics

Cyborg #21 – Marv Wolfman, Writer; Tom Derenick, Scott Kolins, Artists; Wil Quintana, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 6/10

Corrina: Reunion

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW

Ray: One of the oddest moments from DC in the last few months was when Cyborg, after being canceled for being the lowest-selling Rebirth title, was suddenly revived with a new run by his creator, Marv Wolfman. It didn’t even get a relaunch and renumbering, just a new arc three months later. Wolfman’s now written three of the four major characters he created for his New Teen Titans run almost forty years ago, and as his Raven run shows, he still has some major new ideas on some of these characters. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to extend to Cyborg, as this issue comes off as…while not exactly bad, just sort of pointless. It picks up where the last run left off, with Cyborg doing freelance superheroics for his benefactors at STAR Labs. The issue opens with a mysterious new villain practicing sword fighting with giant robots and dealing out harsh and cruel punishments for failure.

From there, the issue has Cyborg being chased by killer robots in Hawaii, but there’s a secret agenda at hand as well. Scott Kolins and Tom Derenick double up on art duties this issue, and they both do an effective job. What’s lacking is any sort of compelling story to hook us back into Cyborg’s character. There are masked villains, there are giant robots, but it feels like a stock story out of the 90s at most times. By the second half of the issue, we learn a little more about the villains, and Cyborg is captured. Other runs have focused on Cyborg’s angst over being half-man, half-machine, while this run mostly seems to use his cybernetic nature as a trigger for action plots so far. The former can get old at times, while the latter just doesn’t really drive the story that much. We’re left with yet another run that doesn’t feel like it’s going to kick-start a successful solo run for the character, and it might be time to call it a day on DC trying to make it happen.

Cyborg #21 page 1
Confused? We are a little too. Image via DC Comics

Corrina: I was surprised to see this issue show up with the other DC titles released this week, as I thought Cyborg’s series was as dead as the parrot in the Monty Python sketch. Then, as I read, I wondered if DC was burning off some inventory stories from Wolfman about Cyborg.

Which is to say that while I was surprised to see a Cyborg issue, I wanted to read a qualify story, and I was especially intrigued by how Wolfman might deal with his original character and how Vic has been altered so much by the constant reboots.

But, alas, this was a disappointment. The action is fine but Wolfman didn’t crack the problem of Cyborg. Priest came close this week in Justice League with a deep dive into Vic Stone. Wolfman’s solution is a focus on the action but the action, as Ray said, wasn’t compelling enough to carry the issue.

Maybe the answer is to give this book to Priest. But we say that about every book whose characters need a little TLC.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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