Wednesday Comments – Cyborg: One Step Forward…

The New 52 was a big deal. It literally reshaped the DCU. There were some successes (most notably Batman) and some failures (the aborted attempt to fully integrate the Wildstorm U into the DCU). But for my money, one of the biggest casualties of The New 52 was Vic Stone, Cyborg.

On the surface Vic Stone came out pretty well with The New 52. As opposed to being a founding member of the second version of the Teen Titans, he’s now a founding member of Justice League. And as an added bonus that whole Cyberion stuff never happened.

And making Vic Stone a founding member of the Justice League solved a ton of problems for The New 52. It not only provided DC’s premier super hero team with some much needed diversity, but it also allowed DC to keep one of it’s most prominent Black super heroes at the forefront of the line. And it allowed for the character to in play without having to explain the Dick Grayson lead Teen Titans, which is something that’s still kind of murky over three years into the relaunch.

But on closer inspection Vic Stone was victimized by the great DC reboot. Let me explain.

Vic Stone used to be a well-rounded character. Vic had a personal life. He had friends, family and relationships. Vic Cage was a character that had wants and desires and was not just a prop or a tool.

Back when Vic was in the Teen Titans he had love interests, including Sarah Simms and Sarah Charles. He had connections with characters who weren’t superheroes, including being a role model to children with prosthetics. Basically, he had a life and a role outside of the Teen Titans.

But even within the Teen Titans he had friends. The Vic Stone/Gar Logan friendship was one of the classic DC friendships, right up there with Hal Jordan and Barry Allen or Ted Kord and Michael Jon Carter. The friendship between Vic and Gar was one of the strongest platonic relationships that the DCU had .

And of course as those “new” Teen Titans aged, Vic became a mentor to the generation of heroes who came behind him, serving a leadership role in subsequent versions of Titans teams.

In the New 52 all of that is gone.

Because Justice League is one of DC’s most important titles, there’s very little time devoted to personal moments. So those moments of character where Vic gained depth in New Teen Titans simply can’t happen in Justice League.

We don’t get to see Vic trying to be normal, because there’s never any time to be normal when the there’s always a crisis that requires the Justice League’s attention. There’s no time for Vic to date or have a walk in the part or even be anything other than Cyborg.

Vic doesn’t have any friends; at best he’s a teammate and at worst he’s a tool. A recent storyline in Batman & Robin saw Vic literally being manipulated into opening a Boom Tube to Apokolips. He was literally used for his Mother Box technology. Is that really any better than the whole Cyberion arc?

Imagine that you had the opportunity to reach the pinnacle of your chosen profession, but the cost was that you had to sacrifice all of your friends and relationships, everything that makes you who you are? Would you do it? It sort of sounds like Faustian deal, doesn’t it? It almost sounds like a plot to a comic book in and of itself.

On the plus side, in a couple months Cyborg is getting his very first ongoing series. Hopefully it’ll rectify some of the problems that have plagued Vic Stone since The New 52.

And on that note, it’s Wednesday, so go out and pick up some fresh new comics from your local comic shop.

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