Dammit, what is it with chunks of stories taking place in dream sequences over this past week or two? Whatever happened to the days when a cover could boast that an issue wasn’t a dream or an imaginary story? We review Cyborg #3.
Alright… if we take out the dreams (which infuriatingly amounts to a fair amount of this issue), Cyborg is trying to get to grips with his life after battling the powerful Kilg%re. The doubt he’s feeling regarding his own lack of humanity is having a troubling impact on him, and so he heads down to the jazz club to try and relax. Except there he learns that some of his memories from before his life-changing accident were suppressed by his father, who feared they might cause extra stress on him during surgery. Upset, he demands that his old memories be returned to him, only the procedure starts to go wrong…
Actually, that doesn’t sound too bad as a story, or at least as part of this story. In fact, it’s a pretty good idea and it’s handled quite well. Unfortunately, there’s a huge amount of unnecessary dream sequence twaddle which is supposed to let us know how disturbed he is about having possibly lost his humanity and how a malicious piece of coding is making him more paranoid. Alright, that sounds pretty good on the surface of things too, but…
Is it just me or does it all seem a little pointless?
We know that Cyborg is struggling with questions about his humanity and his soul. They’ve been banging on about it for what seems like forever. Showing a battle between him and Dream Superman, and an appearance by the Dream Justice League who give him a guilt trip, it’s all sizzle and no steak. The stuff going on with him in the real world is more than interesting enough, and I’d rather have some solid storytelling as opposed to a cheap thrill. It’s possible that some other readers might like that too.
Likewise, the new addition of Vic using his nanites to create an artificial skin to make him look more “normal” feels weak. While one can only hope that it’s to further the storyline, it takes away from one of the most important parts of what made Cyborg a fan-favourite: his struggle to fit into society and feel normal, that insecurity of feeling like a freak in a crowd who everyone is staring at. He was always one of DC’s best tragic figures for that reason. But now… well, he can look however he wants to look, even if it does take him some effort.
Strangely, you might think I hated Cyborg #3. I didn’t. I simply found it weak. I know that Cyborg can be better, and I’m hoping that they deliver on that soon or else it isn’t going to be worth continuing with.