Inspired by the Marv Wolfman and George Perez era of the New Teen Titans, I've drawn a series of drawings imagining the characters under a contemporary context. In other words, what would this classic team look like in today's modern society? Third in this series is Victor "Vic" Stone AKA Cyborg.
Let's be real here, in the pages of the New Teen Titans Victor Stone was an ass. Best described as angst-ridden and ornery, Victor was constantly pushing people away and treating them in an aggressive manner. He initially refused to mend the rift in his relationship with his father, he opted to call Raven "Witch" instead of actually calling her by her given name, was frequently stand-offish with his teammates, and even coldly cut his crush Sarah Simms out of his life when he came to believe that she was engaged. For someone who was so scared of being nothing more than a machine, Victor acted heartless for much of the first three years of his career with the Titans. While some angst is understandable due to his circumstances, Victor often seemed to go out of his way to push people away and hurt their feelings. As one of the older Titans, this made it even stranger due to the fact that his youth could not even be blamed either. As you can imagine, I'm not the most enthusiastic about the character from this time period. Thankfully, he matured in the Post-Crisis environment and grew to become one of the wiser members of the Teen Titans. Unfortunately, this wisdom and maturity was wiped away when Cartoon Network adapted him into their Teen Titans cartoon. Just the fact that "booyah" became part of his vocabulary is worthy of an eye roll. It's as if the writers thought it was 1992 again.
When DC Comics announced its relaunch as the New 52 in 2011, Cyborg was "promoted" to the Justice League and became one of the group's founding members. Under this new continuity, Victor is a much more accessible characters and his inner struggles are much more human in nature. The angst is no longer melodramatic, but palpable and realistic. He's much more compassionate towards his teammates and he is a character who I've come to actually enjoy reading. For many, being in the League is somehow a "step down" for Cyborg. However, I've viewed this as a positive development. As a founding member of the League, this gives him greater prominence and grants the League greater diversity. It shows DC Comics' commitment to promoting a greater variety of characters. In other words, they're investing in Cyborg more than they have before. While I'm far from being a champion for Cyborg, I will say I've come to appreciate him much more. As such, under a modern context I'd much more imagine him being characterized the way Geoff Johns does in the pages of Justice League rather than Marv Wolfman in New Teen Titans.
For Cyborg's appearance here, I obviously went for his New 52 look. I find it to be his best to date and I really enjoy the overall aesthetic of it. It's sleek. Jim Lee did a great job with it. I especially like the improvements made to the suit and its capabilities as well. The fact that he's a teleporter now is great. Of course, drawing mechanics and all of that jazz isn't exactly my forte. It's not the easiest thing for me to draw so I hope I did the character and his design justice here (no pun intended).
Even before the reboot, the Teen Titans were a little insufferable. A lot of that has to do with the fact that a lot of writers devolve into a lot of bad melodrama that comes with hormonal teenagers. I don't think I'll ever quite get over that kiss Cassie and Tim shared so shortly after Kon's death. It was in such bad taste and made them out to seem like bad friends. In general, Cassie is considered (by many) to be the inferior Wonder Girl anyway. Why they didn't just nix the Cassie/Tim/Bart generation in favour of modernizing the Donna/Dick/Wally generation is beyond me.
Once upon a time, Wonder Woman was not associated with the Justice League of America. She was a member of the Justice Society of America and was part of that team for decades before the JLA was even founded. Obviously she's now most closely associated with the League.