Cyborg #2 doubles down on the world-building from the debut and further explores Vic’s desire to reconnect with the regular world.
Opening in the aftermath of the battle between the Tekbreakers and the Technosapiens, Cyborg #2 begins as one of the surviving Tekbreakers makes it back to their base. Here it is revealed that the source of their power is the technology from their universe’s Cyborg. The issue then transitions to the main DC Universe’s Cyborg as he… fights the Technosapiens?
After the brief but exhilarating battle, Cyborg wakes up. It was all a dream, and Victor tries to shake it off by doing something incredibly human: talking it out with a cat. During his self-reflection, Victor discovers the adaptational qualities of his new cybernetics and decides to test them out in his father’s lab.
David F. Walker’s script continues to show a powerful grasp on Victor’s voice. The captions here don’t suffer from the repetitive quality of those in the debut and so the issue maintains Victor’s self-doubt without hammering the readers over the head with it.
The scene where Vic talks with his cat, Smokey, stands as a highlight to the issue. It’s an incredibly natural thing – I have yet to meet a person that owns a pet that hasn’t had a long chat with it – and it humanizes Victor. He’s a superhero, yes, but he’s still a young man with some very serious doubts about himself. The fact is expressing his struggle with his own humanity in this very human manner is credit to Walker’s great writing.
There’s also a continuation of the subplot of Cyborg’s tech (or knock-offs of it) getting out into the world. It’s an interesting exploration of prosthetic body parts that hopefully gets developed further as the series moves on.
Ivan Reis is killing it on Cyborg. There’s really no other way to put it. From the dynamic way he frames action to his lifelike character work, he’s making this story pop in a way few artists can.
Aiding Ivan Reis are inkers Joe Prado, Ray McCarthy, and Scott Hanna. If there is a difference discernible in the inking styles, most fans won’t see it. The inks throughout the issue maintain Reis’ detailed and kinetic linework. Color artist Adriano Lucas does a fantastic job balancing the high science-fiction elements with the normal-life aspects of the story. It’d be very easy to go hard sci-fi with a palette that contains lots of cold blues and greens, but Lucas is able to keep the cybernetic elements blend in to Victor’s everyday life, which is fitting for the story.
Unfortunately, Cyborg #2 feels a bit disjointed. There’s a lot of world-building being done, and while all of that is top quality, the transitions between the sections don’t always work. The big one is the transition from the opening sequence into Cyborg’s dream. I can’t help but wonder if the issue would have been more effective if the opening scene was saved for a later issue and we opened in Cyborg’s dream.
Bumpy transitions aside, Cyborg #2 improves on its predecessor and expands on both the world and Victor’s place in it. Cyborg’s internal struggle makes for a compelling read and Walker’s grasp of Vic’s voice means that it doesn’t feel trope-filled like so many young adult books do. Ivan Reis and the entire team give an excellent sense of momentum to the issue, even when the scene involves Victor talking to his cat.