Saturday, March 28, 2015

Secret Origins #5

Marv Wolfman Writer
Edgar Salazar Penciller
Jay Leisten Inker
Thomas Mason Colorist
Dave Sharpe Letterer
Lee Bermejo Cover
Amedeo Turturro Assistant Editor
Brian Cunningham Group Editor
Cyborg created by Marv Wolfman & George PĂ©rez

There's not a whole lot going on with this cover, but it is a really strong image, none the less. Despite being promoted to the Justice League with the start of the New 52, Cyborg has actually received very little love. This comic helps put some spotlight on him, and now we'll apparently be getting a Cyborg on-going series and maybe even a movie in, like, seven years. I support all of this, especially since Cyborg is one of the few ethnically diverse heroes DC has to work with. But not only that, he can also appeal to anyone with a prosthetic limb or who requires the aid of a machine to stay alive.

Here's DC's original promo for this Secret Origins series:

"Since the dawn of the New 52 ... fans have been asking to see how all of these changes affected the origins of their favorite characters. And now we are happy to say that those answers are forthcoming — every month in the pages of the entire New 52 by examining the histories of several characters!"

I suppose that's an honorable intention. This series started off with Superman and Batman, which made a lot of sense since there was a lot of confusion regarding which aspects of those two characters did and did not carry over from the pre-52 universe. But with Cyborg, a simple retelling of his origin feels unnecessary since Geoff Johns very clearly laid everything out during the first six issues of Justice League. Well, let's see how Cyborg's creator handles this.

Our story begins in S.T.A.R. Labs in Detroit, Michigan. Cyborg is in a heated discussion with his father about some formula they're working. A new employee is shocked to see a member of the Justice League arguing with the lab's head scientist, but his co-worker tells him they're not really fighting — it's just their usual friendly father-son banter. Cyborg overhears this and remembers his relationship with his dad wasn't always like this.

We then get a brief retelling of Cyborg's origin, how he was a star football player in high school, but his dad didn't want him to accept an athletic scholarship. We get the added detail of Victor Stone moving in with his friends as soon as he turned 18, then we see the fateful day when he was nearly killed by the arrival of Darkseid's parademons. Dr. Stone saved his son with advanced and alien technology, then we see an odd scene of him taking Cyborg out to the high school track to get used to his new body. And then Cyborg went off with the Justice League to battle Darkseid and Spore, saying his dad stayed with him until he had a purpose again.

But that's not how it happened. If you re-read those Justice League issues, you'll see that Cyborg initially was freaked out by everything and ran away from his dad as soon as he could. He was immediately thrust into the fight with Darkseid, and still had a tenuous relationship with his father five years later. But this retelling implies that Cyborg was able to bond with his dad a lot sooner than that. Oh well.

There are two other stories in this issue, one for Jason Todd and another for Mera, the wife girlfriend of Aquaman. Flash doesn't appear in either of those, so I'll skip them.

The Good:

Not a whole lot to say here. This was only a 12-page story, and it didn't tell us anything we don't already know. The emotional moments were handled well, but we've already seen them. And since so little was added to this story, I wonder why DC even bothered publishing this story.

The Bad:

Little to no Flash. He only showed up in one flashback panel, which isn't necessarily a knock against this issue as a whole, but a knock against this issue's "Flash"-iness. If you're looking for a good Flash story, this is not an issue to pick up. And the sad thing here, is there actually was a great opportunity for the Flash to play a major role in this issue. Some of the quieter, more tender moments of the Justice League series had Flash talking to Cyborg about his relationship with his father. I all wanted to see from this issue was how Cyborg and dad became friends again. And Wolfman could have easily thrown in one of those Flash conversations to help prompt Cyborg to try to patch things up with his old man.

Final score: 4 out of 10

Next time, we'll begin a big Superman story with Superman: Doomed #1.

No comments:

Post a Comment