Introduced in 1980 in DC comics, Cyborg has maintained a pop-culture presence in recent years thanks in large part to the animated Teen Titans Go! and Young Justice: Outsiders, and a prominent role in the live-action DC Extended Universe, with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Although he was absent from DC Universe's Titans, the character plays a central role in Doom Patrol as of this week's episode.
Played by Joivan Wade, Victor Stone is an up-and-coming young hero in Detroit whose friendship with Dr. Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton) brings him to Cloverton, Ohio, to find out what the hell happened to the town. Needless to say, it's a difficult question to answer.
Ahead of the premiere of the new episode, "Donkey Patrol," CBR attended a screening and Q&A in Los Angeles, where Wade discussed how his approach to Cyborg separates him from previous depictions, and how his character still has his sights set on the Justice League.
"This is an opportunity to see a version of Cyborg we haven't seen yet," Wade said, "and an opportunity to see Vic grow into his cybernetics. He's been out in Detroit, you know, fighting crime and doing that already. I think it's a great opportunity to essentially have our own spin on him, really. You look at these different comic books, and every writer has a different version of the character, and this is one where we get to play the Vic Stone character within the Doom Patrol world."
"At heart," he continued, "this is the same Vic Stone you've seen before. Jock high school kid [who] has the confidence to be this guy. He's sarcastic, he's very confident. But the main difference is that he's come to terms with who he is. At the same time, he's been out in Detroit fighting crime and he's living in this space where the versions you've seen, like in Justice League where he's just coming to terms with his cybernetics."
A hero comfortable with operating in the public eye, Cyborg meets Niles Caulder's team of misfits, who have lived in the mansion, largely sheltered from society. (Well, except for that ill-fated outing into town in the series premiere.) Despite some initial resistance from Cliff Steele, and reluctance from Rita Farr and Larry Trainor, Vic meshes relatively well with the Doom Patrol, and even remains to help find the Chief. But that doesn't mean he's giving up on his Justice League ambitions.
"I think at the same time as him coming into this group, he still has those ambitions about becoming part of the Justice League," Wade said. "Having that as he's coming into the Doom Patrol, it's a great opportunity for him to essentially work out where he lies, where he does get to be in the Justice League. He uses this as an opportunity to essentially lead. He sees it as, 'Look at these circus freaks. If I can essentially use this opportunity to work out how to become a leader, how to be a superhero amongst a team, then by the time I reach that Justice League stage I'll be ready to go.' These aren't superheroes, these are people who were in accidents, and that's where he relates to them. Even though Vic is a more established superhero, he still shares that with them. Vic will teach them how to be super heroes. It's exciting."
Wade confessed what surprised him most about the part was "the layers to Vic, which is a testament to the phenomenal writing that we get to work with."
"You look at Cyborg, you see this superhero, especially when you look at Cyborg from the comics or Teen Titans," he said. "There aren't as many dimensions as you'd like to think. But through the show and as time goes on and the show progress, you really get to dive into who Vic is and his relationship between being half-robot and being himself. Throughout the series you really get to uncover that, and as an actor being able to experience and redevelop this throughout. One of my biggest thoughts before working on [Doom Patrol] was 'OK, how are we really going to get into Vic and explore that,' and it surprised me every episode, every script we get goes deeper and deeper."
Streaming now on DC Universe, Doom Patrol stars Brendan Fraser as Cliff Steele, Matt Bomer as Larry Trainor, Diana Guerrero as Crazy Jane, Alan Tudyk as Mr. Nobody, April Bowlby as Rita Farr, Joivan Wade as Vic Stone, and Timothy Dalton as Niles Caulder.