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Abandoned Love: How Geoff Johns Fixed Cyborg

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer while still acknowledging that the abandoned story DID still happen. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

This time around, we look at how Cyborg was brought back to being, well, you know, Cyborg after being “missing” for a decade…

Okay, Marv Wolfman began it all in 1991 with the Titans Hunt, when one of the Titans own teammates, Jericho, turns on the rest of the team and captures them all. We learn where they’re being held in New Titans #75…


Later in the issue, though, they are sent off in rockets…




In New Titans #77, the Titans head to the U.S.S.R. where they learn WHICH of their teammates was in the exploded rocket…




They bring Cyborg home with them (with Red Star along for the ride) and Cyborg ends up becoming a Titan again, only he does not really interact with anyone. They keep trying to fix him, though.

Eventually, though, in a storyline in New Titans #102-107, a cybernetic alien race uses Cyborg’s body as essentially their interface with the world. Because of the machinations of their evil leader, Vic is returned to full brain functions in New Titans #106…




In the next issue, though, once the Technis’ evil leader is defeated, Cyborg is no longer able to function. However, he is able to instead merge with the Technis world and keep on living as part of them, which is what he does, as they fly off into outer space…



Twenty issues later, the Technis show up again, and they have an agent operating for them independent of their world, named Cyberion…


He meets up with the Titans and reveals that Cyberion is their old friend Cyborg…


Vic is cold and distant, since he is part of the Technis. The next issue, though, the Technis world is destroyed. The grief over the loss of the world kickstarts Vic’s emotions again…


In the end, Vic decides to travel the universe along with his pal Changeling…


And that is how Marv Wolfman left him at the end of 1995.

The journey to getting Vic Stone from “Cyberion” to “Cyborg” was a long and complicated process that took three writers and four years.

First, Devin Grayson used Cyberion as the basis of the JLA vs. Titans storyline, where Vic falls victim to his Technis-side and tries to take over Earth…



In the end, the Titans are able to stop the Technis, but in the process they might lose Vic! They manage to corral his “soul,” but where to put it? Luckily, the Titans had a fancy shapeshifting machine called the Omegadrome. They decide to try to contain Vic’s soul in the Omegadrome…


and it works!!!


So now Vic is back to his normal personality, but stuck in a robotic body…


JLA/Titans led into a Titans ongoing series by Devin Grayson (eventually Jay Faerber started co-writing the book). In an early story, Cyborg (he went back to being called Cyborg, even though he was not a Cyborg at all at this point) is offered a human body by Vandal Savage. Before he can decide, Starfire made the decision for him.

In Titans #20, though (Grayson’s last issue as co-writer), Nightwing makes him a nicer offer…a clone of Vic’s original body…


The operation is a success…




So that was how they left it for a few years before Geoff Johns stepped into the fray.

In 2001’s Flash: Out Worlds at War, Johns first brings Cyborg to Keystone City where Wally West lives…



Here Johns establishes that when Cyborg goes into battle, he uses the omegadrome to approximate his old costume…



Clever idea. Here Cyborg explains it to Wally…


Step one complete! Step two is in a battle with the Flash villain the Thinker from #186-188, Cyborg is attacked by the robotic Thinker while in his “battle mode” and the process, in effect, kills the shapeshifting abilities of the Omegadrome, thus leaving Cyborg stuck in his Cyborg form permanently….




I love the “the process made it change colors.” Johns really just WENT for it.

And thus, after a decade, Cyborg was back as good as new. It is stories like this that got Geoff Johns a reputation for being great at fixing characters whose continuity had gotten too snaggled.

If you have a suggestion for a future edition of Abandoned Love, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!