What is Cyberpunk? It’s a proverbial retrofitting, an advancement of science and technology spot welded to the shambles of society — literally, Cyber Punk. Cyberpunk is oftentimes a melding of genres, be they Sci-Fi with Noir, Transhumanism with Robots, or John Woo with Robots. You know Cyberpunk when you see it, and these 15 comics are some of the purest, cyborgiest, bizarrely-sexiest Cyberpunk works to originate in comics, just screaming to be injected right into your canthus.
To clarify, we will not be counting magna in this comic list, leaving out works like “Ghost in The Shell” and “Akira.” Likewise, Cyberpunk works in question had to originate as comics, meaning that shoe-in adaptations like “Neuromancer: The Graphic Novel,” and the “Blade Runner” comics do not qualify.
15. THE TRUE LIVES OF THE FABULOUS KILLJOYS
It’s hard to ignore a Cyberpunk work that has a companion electro-punk album by My Chemical Romance. Written by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon with art from Becky Cloonan, “The True Lives of The Famous Killjoys” focuses on a band of four ray gun wielding rogues trying to free Battery City from the bland oppressive grip of Better Living Industries. There’s also Draculoids, who give you the choice of death or wearing a rubber mask that makes you see nightmare spiders. But don’t forget about the BLI sex-robots that just want to love other sex-robots — when they’re not preparing for the arrival of the machine messiah, Destroya, of course.
“Killjoys” is just all over the place — a lot of overdeveloped ideas with no cohesion. To assist you in this information overload, every issue ends with torn pages from BLI instruction manuals, providing necessary exposition for stuff you just read. Regardless, even if you’re na MCR-H8R, you’ve got to give Gerard Way some props, as the music video for “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)” by MCR/The Killjoys has Grant Morrison playing the primary antagonist.
14. SINGULARITY 7
Ben Templesmith’s “Singularity 7” (2004), is a post-apocalyptic Cyberpunk horror story where nano machines are the form of the destroyer. Alien nanites infect one Bobby Hennigan, who improves the world with his nano-bots before razing it with them Bobby dubs himself “The Singularity,” forcing humanity underground. Only two types of humanoids can now operate topside: “Gosiodos,” man/machine hybrids who have bonded with The Singularity hive mind — yet couldn’t just be called “Singularities” for conceptual clarity — and the more pragmatically named “Specials,” who have special interactions with the nanites, bonding with them to gain powers.
“Singularity 7” falls into a common pitfall of basing a plot around nano machines: equating nanites to machine magic that can hand wave away all problems while simultaneously operating on an arcane set of rules. What kind of statement is being made about nano machines? Sure, there is limitless potential in them, succinctly demonstrated when they fix/destroy civilization in one issue. Additionally, nano machines can make human duplicates, but become Gosiodo when interacting with biological humans, provided that human isn’t a Special, who for some reason assumes control over the nano machines. This all makes sense… because nano machines.
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