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– by Emmanuel Gomez

   In a weekly podcast that I recorded earlier this week for “The Comic Source” I picked “Raven” as my DC Book of the week, which I still 100% back but I can’t help but highly recommend picking up “Cyborg”. In my opinion it is one of the best second issues that has come out of Rebirth so far. It does a great job at following up the first issue where we learned about Cyborg’s origin and even some additional information about his background. Semper does a phenomenal job at developing Victor Stone’s character while also presenting us with some of Cyborg’s cool abilities. If you haven’t read his Rebirth issue I suggest you pick it up and read these two books back to back to really get to see both Cyborg the machine as well as Victor Stone the young man.

   The book begins with a monologue by who will no doubt be the antagonist in the story arc, followed up by Cyborg stopping a classic armored truck heist. Through these panels we get a look into how Cyborg uses his unique access to information during his apprehension of the thieves. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs as he interacts from his father during his systems check, we see his attitude change as he most likely remembered the words of his father which were in a recording he found as he fought Malware. Did he really save his son Victor, or had he created an illusion? This has Cyborg questioning his own humanity. Sarah decides to take him out for a walk and ice cream, where they run into a group of kids who ask for a photo with Cyborg. During which, one of the kids says that Cyborg has no heart and that he is just a machine and thus does not need a girlfriend. This of course worsens Vic’s current mood and it leads to Sarah taking him to a jazz club.

   At the Jazz club Sarah introduces him to Blue a blind army veteran jazz player who she claims could uplift Vic’s soul. He claims that he doesn’t need to listen be there as he can access all songs ever recorded and listen to them simultaneously. Sarah and Blue both try to explain to Vic they impact of a performer’s ability to improvise and be spontaneous. That in those moments, even the performer could surprise himself and in those moments you have find the human spirit. Vic seems unimpressed with these jazz lectures but agrees to listen to the performance. It is throughout these panels that Paul Pelletier does a fantastic job at showing us the rest of that scene with only illustrations. I only wish we could see this in a movie scene, listening to the music that is recharging Vic’s sense of humanity. His sudden good mood is cut short by the arrival of a machine named Killgore, who has been sent to rip out Cyborg’s humanity.

   Not a lot of action in this book, but for me I like that fact that Semper has taken the time to properly re-introduce us to Cyborg. He has many appearances in animated television shows and movies, not to mention his addition to the Justice League in the New 52 and the upcoming Justice League film. If Semper wouldn’t have written the book this way I think it would have had similarities to the Blue Beetle Rebirth book which kicked off with a lot of action and not a lot of character development, which for me lost my attention as I didn’t feel as invested in the character. It may be that for some people this book works better in a trade, but I personally cannot wait for the next issue where it seems that the action is going to heat up. Let me know your thoughts.

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: John Semper Jr.

Artist: Paul Pelletier

Inkers: Tony Kordos & Scott Hanna

Colors: Guy Major