Cyborg is a character that is a tough sell. While he’s always had fans, his powers aren’t terribly flashy, and he’s never headlined a comic before now. With that in mind, “Cyborg” needs to grab readers who were curious enough to pick up a comic but not so die-hard that they’ll keep purchasing it regardless of the content. Unfortunately, I feel like David F. Walker, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Ray McCarthy and Scott Hanna’s “Cyborg” #2 doesn’t quite deliver on that front.
“Cyborg” #2 picks up from the debut issue with Vic meeting up with his old high school friend Sebastian, while Sebastian’s friend Bobby gets some dubiously-sourced cyber technology that makes him a target for the strange cyber-aliens lurking on the fringes of the comic. If that doesn’t sound like a lot happens, you are unfortunately correct. This is a pace that could work for a long-established comic, one that has found its audience and isn’t afraid to slow down every now and then for some character work and backstory delivery. We’re only on the second issue of “Cyborg,” though, and this early on it feels like the book has ground to a halt. There’s some hinting and teasing of big things to come but, for the moment, those big things aren’t arriving.
The biggest fault along those lines is that Vic is our protagonist and hero but he’s yet to interact in any significant way with the antagonists that keep to the fringes of the story. Instead, he continues to figure out his internal upgrades that occurred without any prompting and talks to an old acquaintance and his cat. Again, these aren’t necessarily bad things, but it’s not inviting. There’s a balance to be found between learning new information and having something exciting happen, but Walker’s script hasn’t found it yet.
Reis’s pencils sure look great when it comes to the technology, though. He loves creating a ridiculous amount of detail on that front, bringing to life the moments where cybernetic limbs open up and extrude pieces. Cyborg has had different appearances over the years, some which felt like they existed solely to provide less parts to draw. Here, Reis is heading in the other direction, playing up all of the moving parts.
While the technology looks great, everyone’s physiques seem a little too exaggerated. When Bobby heads in for his surgery, it turns out he has a rippling chest and massive muscular thighs that many superheroes would feel inadequate next to. Sebastian has the excuse of being a former high school football player but, at times, Reis’s drawings make you wonder. It’s hard for someone to look physically imposing if everyone has the same body.
“Cyborg” #2 makes me worry about this book retaining readers. I want it to succeed but I can see readers using this issue as a jumping-off point. If Cyborg is going to have his own book for the months and years to come, a stronger hook needs to appear, and quickly.