Victor Stone was a brilliant student and a star athlete. He was the sort of boy any father would be proud to have as a son. Any father, that is, except for Silas Stone, who was more concerned with his scientific research than attending Victor’s football games.
Ironically, it was that dedication to his work that saved his son’s life during the Apokolyptian invasion. Utilizing advanced alien technology kept under wraps at STAR Labs, Silas attempted to replace and merge Victor’s broken body with the technology he’d devoted a lifetime to studying yet barely understood.
The end result left Victor a changed man in every sense of the word. Nanotechnology and cybernetics fused with bone and muscle to create a being unlike any the Earth had ever seen before. Thus was Victor Stone reborn with fantastic powers, which he used alongside others with equally powerful gifts to repel the alien invaders. They went on to form the Justice League and Victor Stone became known to the world at large as Cyborg.
Five years later, Victor is still a hero. He protects the world from all manner of threats but pays particular attention to those villains whose powers are based around technology. Naturally, he’s quick to act when his father’s lab is attacked by a mechanical menace that calls itself Malware. Their battle will take Victor into the hidden heart of STAR Labs and bring him close to a secret that Silas Stone has kept hidden for half a decade!
John Semper Jr. (best known for his work on various cartoons, including Spider-Man and Static Shock) does a fair job retelling Cyborg’s origin story for the benefit of new readers. This is relayed through a series of flashbacks, taking roughly half the issue, related by some unseen enemy who is pondering Cyborg’s past. The other half of the issue features the same enemy appraising Cyborg’s skills and powers during his battle with Malware. The script delivers both exposition and action economically, though there is little sense of Victor’s character or personality while this occurs.
The artwork is similarly lackluster. Paul Pelletier is a talented artist and I’ve greatly enjoyed his previous work on Aquaman. Unfortunately, much of the fine detail that makes Pelletier’s artwork so delightful is obscured by the inking in several panels. The color art by Guy Major is uninspired, with a muted palette full of greys and browns making the over-inked artwork appear even more muddled.
There is little to recommend continued reading of Cyborg based purely on this first issue. The issue does a good job of explaining Victor Stone’s background and powers but there’s no sense of the personality of the man behind the machinery. Likewise the artwork is technically proficient but largely lifeless. Ironically, it is the mechanical nature of the art and story that makes Cyborg Rebirth #1 a dull, if well-crafted, reading experience.