In Cyborg #11, Victor Stone escapes the clutches of the evil Rat Lord, hoping to rescue his father and save Detroit. Unable to control the Boom Tube he triggers, Cyborg arrives in a digital world controlled by the villainous H8-Bit, a former friend now turned bitter enemy. H8-Bit has achieved godhood from reprogramming a Gameboy and…
Okay, I’m going to stop this summary right here and just say: WTF?!
Please note, I don’t use that term in my normal daily life, so you know it’s got to be something pretty out-of-the-ordinary which would make me say it. So think about this.
The villain created a digital world… OUT OF A FREAKING GAMEBOY!!!! No super powers, no magical gimmicks, he simply reprogrammed an old Gameboy and became a god. A god with possibly the worst groan-inducing pun for a name ever and this is a series which gave us MalWare. But, hey, it’s a comic book so there has to be some suspension of disbelief.
I’d like to point out here that while the flipping between artists with contrasting styles is distracting, neither does a bad job. On any other day, their work would be fine. But when the style changes so drastically every couple of pages, it’s annoying. But that really isn’t the problem with Cyborg #11. The blame for this mess instead has to rest squarely on the writer.
So Cyborg’s old childhood friend became a supervillain. It happens. Look at Kenny Braverman and Hush. Hell, they probably didn’t even have a Gameboy and they became villains.
However, here it’s such a stretch that it’s impossible to accept. Even with H8-Bit’s motivating factor of blaming Cyborg for getting sent to a youth detention centre – something he keeps moaning on about like a scratched record – it simply doesn’t work. This villain has been doing nothing but waiting for years in isolation on another world, all in the hope that his old pal would gain superpowers and be flung across space to battle him.
Riiiiight. But he got sent to a youth detention facility, dammit! That’s reason enough for everything! And he had a Gameboy!
It doesn’t help that an ongoing storyline has been halted mid-stream for a pointless filler issue with forced chunks of clunky exposition. Cyborg still narrates his own story just so he can complain about, you guessed it, how he doesn’t even know if he’s a man or a machine. Just as he has for, oh, pretty much every issue so far. There’s a difference between philosophy and whining, and it’s definitely the latter.
So you’ve got a stupid villain who whines, fighting a boring hero who whines, in a badly-written issue which has nothing to do with the actual current story arc. I pity the artists. Cyborg #11 isn’t just the worst issue of the series so far, it’s one of the worst issues of any comic book ever.