Day 23 of 28 Days of Black Super Heroes, today’s hero is the DC Comics’ character Cyborg.
Cyborg is one of those very unfortunate characters in comics that make you say “damn, enough is enough already“. He reminds me of the Hulk, the Thing and other heroes that just get eternally crapped on by writers and by their in-story lives as well.
WHO IS HE?
Cyborg is Victor Stone, a young athlete growing up as the son of two scientists.
One while at their lab, an interdimensional creature came through whatever experiment they were running. The thing killed Victor’s mother and seriously mutilated him.
In order to save his son, Victor’s father was forced to attach all kinds of experimental cybernetic parts to him. As a result, Victor was more machine than man, and his cybernetic parts weren’t able to be hidden (for some reason), so he was forced to endure the stares and pity from the general public.
This state of affairs left Victor pretty angry. Especially since, as an athlete, Victor always loved to compete. Now his cybernetic appendages granted him an unfair advantage over normal people. Because of this, Victor was disqualified from competing and was even more royally pissed off.
After foiling a terrorist attack on the United Nations, Victor was invited to join the Teen Titans (at that point in time they were The “New” Teen Titans) and essentially remained affiliated with the group ever since.
WHAT DOES HE DO?
Man, Cyborg seems to have a gadget or doohicky for almost every situation. No matter what comes up, Cyborg always pulls an attachment or something out of his ass (probably literally).
The basics are that he’s superhumanly strong and durable. He can pick up cars and throw them or survive punishment that would pulverize a normal human (although sometimes Cyborg is pulverized, but he can be repaired more easily than a human could be healed).
I think his most famous attachment is his “white sound generator”. It’s a pretty powerful concussive attack that usually sends enemies flying all over the page. Somehow the other Titans never get caught up in it, though. It used to show up all the time. I guess if it works, then stick with it…
Over the years, Victor has become more proficient at repairing and upgrading his own cybernetics. Only in cases of severe destruction to his body does he need anyone else to step in.
THE TEEN TITANS
I didn’t have a solid run of these issues, but I had quite a few of them (and read almost all of them since my friend was a diehard Titans fan).
I have to say Victor was almost always an angry, gruff type of no-nonsense character. Now this is a character that for once has every reason to be pissed off, though.
Of all the Titans, Vic was closest to Garfield Logan, also known as the Changeling. Garfield was always the clown and the cut-up, while Victor was always a bit somber and morose, not one to lighten up easily.
The two had a very “Fantastic Four Johnny Storm/Ben Grimm” type of a relationship, where the two would constantly give each other a hard time, but in reality were the best of friends.
Also in the series, we met Victor’s girlfriend Sarah Simms, who was able to look past all the shiny cybernetics and see the real person.
From reading the Wikipedia, I see someone’s claiming that creator Marv Wolfman only meant for Vic and Sarah to be close friends. I don’t know if that’s true or not (I see a citation is needed there), but in my book…HELL NO, they weren’t just friends.
I mean, give the guy something. He’s got it bad enough as it is, don’t torment the poor man with a hot blonde friend. Sheesh!
To be fairly blunt, though…I’m not sure if all those parts were working or not. I never could figure out if that tunic he was wearing were actual clothes or if that was part of his cybernetics. It sure seemed like it was all metal, because he would take some hits there that might kill someone else.
Well, I’m just gonna go ahead and believe that he was getting some action that entire time. It makes me feel better about the character.
AFTER THE TITANS
When I say “after” the Titans here, I mean after I stopped reading it, which was pretty much right after the big Trigon battle when New Teen Titans moved to the deluxe format.
It’s not that the book was necessarily bad, it’s just that the deluxe format was a bit expensive for a brotha at the time and I had more entertaining comics to spend my money on. So after I saw how the Trigon thing went down I said “all’s well that ends well” and I peaced out.
JLA vs. TITANS
So after that I didn’t see this guy again for years.
I picked up this JLA vs. Titans just because everybody likes it when the heroes fight each other. I had no idea it was all about Vic.
Apparently after I stopped reading, Cyborg became less “organism” and more “Cybernetic”. As he took more and more damage, he had to add more and more machine parts to survive.
Then some alien techno-being showed up. I never read the tale but Vic ended up going off into space, and he took Changeling with him. Well, the road trip didn’t quite work out, and since Victor was actually becoming less and less human, Changeling said to hell with all this and broke back to Earth.
Years later, Victor came home, except now he was the size of a planet, and he didn’t even remember he was Victor Stone anymore. All he knew was that he was alone, and he wanted his “family” back. So he snatched up every perosn who ever called themselves a Titan
When he showed up and caused all kinds of gravitational issues with the Earth, the JLA wanted to destroy him. As you can imagine, the Titans wanted to save him. A bit of a ruckus ensued.
But afterwards, Vic’s soul was saved and placed into some kind of living armor. He still wasn’t completely human but at least his mind was intact.
After I read this one I stopped reading any more DC for awhile so I didn’t see the character until some of the big crossovers like Infinite Crisis and the like.
It looks like he’s still out there today and had actually joined up with the JLA.
Also it looks like there’s major action coming his way according to the info on this upcoming Flashpoint event.
THE WRAP UP
Characters like Cyborg are kind of hit or miss with me.
I can see what the writers are trying to do. They want to make a deep, thoughtful character who has some substance to him. The only problem is that Cyborg isn’t very fun.
He’s a tragic character that never really gets a break. Yeah the heroes can’t always be skipping through fields of daisies holding hands and singing in the sun every day, but give the guy a break.
Here’s what I can’t stand about these types of guys: All the crazy super-science and big-brains out there and no one can figure out how to turn this guy completely human again? Can you at least cover up the damn metal? Make it look human? Hell, Metallo‘s been doing that bit for years!
I read in the Wikipedia that Cyborg only looks like Cyborg when he wants to now (ie in battle). Well, I have no way to verify that. Any Titans/Cyborg fans out there who know the deal? I also read he’s dating Sarah Simms again…play on, player.
I’ll leave this entry with the raw pencil art I drew. Enjoy and check back for the next hero!