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).
BTW, something I've noticed about Cy is that he's one of those unlucky heroes who doesn't really have an archnemesis (ya gotta have at LEAST one lol), he has plenty of enemies, but mostly baddies to the titans as a whole, & Brotherblood, despite being responsible for the death of his ex-girlfriend, went on to be a foe for the whole team or Raven specifically (being a Trigon worshipper I believe, dun dun dun lol).
What do you think of these baddies as potential arch foes for Cy? Any takers? This kind of stuff is fun to discuss :3
1) Dr. T.O. Morrow (loved this guy in YJ, I know he's Red Tornado's evil maker & all but he'd make a good mad scientist foe for Cy & while I like Red, he's usually not a major player in DC comics...& I think he used to work in Star Labs, like Silas Stone, Vic's dad)
2) Red Volcano (this dude was a BEAST, there are plenty of evil robots who seek humanity's end but YJ made him particularly unsettling with his demeanor, design, powers, & use of the word "meat bag" when describing organics, just pure remorseless disdain for non robots, Cyborg would be an abomination in his optics I imagine)
3) Professor Ivo (for obvious reasons, famous robot maker villain, I'm sure he could cook up deadly machines to threaten Cy, or even be interested in becoming like Cy to become "immortal" like in the comics, only bionically rather than chemically...Plus it could lead to the titans & league vs Amazo down the road lol)
4) The Brain (yeah, he's usually a BB foe or the doom patrol, but I think a guy who willingly gave up his body to become a brain in a metal shell would be quite unsettling to someone who'd give anything to be fully human again...Plus, Cy is a more intellectual match for BB, & they could fight tech against tech)
5) Vandal Savage (man of the past with a perfect immortal body vs man of the future with cybernetic augmentations, could work, the parallel did well in Justice League Doom at least)
6) Indigo/Brainiac 8 (seemingly cute android gal actually a Brainiac offshoot from the future, I could see her re-imagined as an android reverse engineered from Brainiac tech but goes rogue on earth)
With Cyborg getting his own film, there will no doubt be an opportunity for him to have his own nemeses. Now that he's a member of the Justice League and one of the big guns for DC Comics, I'm certain we'll be seeing some kind of Rogues' Gallery for him eventually. Sadly, it does seem like he is kind of the Martian Manhunter of the group so far in the respect of not really having a memorable Rogues' Gallery.
It's difficult to make any of those bad guys nemeses for Cyborg since they're already tied to certain characters. It makes it very difficult to make that transition for them. While it happens sometimes (I'm reminded of Mystique and Deathbird becoming X-Men villains, despite originating as Carol Danvers villains, as well as Black Mask temporarily becoming a Catwoman villain when he was a Batman villain), it's difficult to do. The one that would arguably work best would be Indigo, though perhaps only if her origins were fiddled with a bit to remove the Brainiac elements, if only because Brainiac is so heavily tied to Superman. A character you might want to consider is Cyborgirl. She was a short-lived Wonder Woman villain who was, more or less, an evil female version of Cyborg. In fact, she was part of a team that was put together to specifically takedown Cyborg in a mini-series called "DC Special: Cyborg." The other members of the team (dubbed "Cyborg Revenge Squad") were Girder, Magenta, Gizmo, Thinker and Shrapnel. You can read more about Cyborgirl here: dc.wikia.com/wiki/Cyborgirl
While I'm no New 52 fan, I can admit if this is Cy's latest design in the comics its an improvement over any of the ugly, cluttered, over designed looks I'd seen earlier. I prefer Cy's designs to be sleek and simple with his gadgets hidden away until needed rather than hanging off of him, makes him look more heroic & less threatening. You did good drawing it despite machinery not being your specialty, keep at it, practice makes perfect! lol
I have a soft spot for his original design, but admit its dated by today's standards, my fave looks for him are the cartoon version images2.fanpop.com/image/photo… , the Justice League Doom movie version static.comicvine.com/uploads/o… and the one used for the DC Nation promos & apparently Flashpoint th00.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/i… That design is AWESOME, athletic and tough but sleek and simple, and I can believe he still has flesh under some of that armor instead of being a human head attached to a robot body lol
BTW, what do ya think of Cy being nanotech based or rather the method used to turn Victor into Cyborg being Nanotech like in Justice League War? I suppose nanotech makes sense if you're going for a more biomechanical version of Cy, a true fusion of man and machine rather than metal parts attached to fleshy parts, & it is a convenient way of explaining how he could survive surgery long enough to have all that stuff attached to him...BUT, with nanotech writers often have a hard time resisting giving characters Borg style abilities like regeneration, adaptation, or assimilation, which comes off as too OP for me, at least in regards to most heroes (its a good villain power, a threat to overcome, rather than a convenient way for the hero to win every fight against tech villains). Plus, part of Cy's struggle is learning to deal with the issue of being half machine, having to repair & maintain his own systems, change his power cells to stay alive, or losing the ability to become stronger by working out like during his athlete days. Know what I mean?
Yes, this look is based off of Jim Lee's concept art for the New 52. His appearance has varied a little in the New 52, but this is more or less what it looks like.
Out of those three, I'd say the DC Nation promo look is the best. In general, I really hate Cyborg (and most of the treatment of the Titans in the kids' cartoon) so the look makes me shudder every time I see it. I still feel like most designs require some kind of "symbol" in the middle as they've done in the New 52. It just looks empty without one.
I thought it was a brilliant plot twist to make Cyborg's tech part-Apokaliptan. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the character and it allows him to harness Mother Box technology to teleport the Justice League wherever they need to go. This more organic approach to his machinery is really smart and modern in my opinion.
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.
I can't really find any interviews from Geoff Johns that supports that theory and I'm not sure if we ever got a straight answer as to why he was chosen as a founding member of the team. Some say it's because DC felt they needed an "Iron Man" on the League, others say it could be for diversity purposes, and some just say it's because Johns likes Cyborg. It could be any number of things.
If you read the artist comment box, you'll see that I said it's the New 52 design. It's drawn from the original design sketch done by Jim Lee. You know, the one that's in the back of the first volume of the Justice League trade paperback.
That's not the finalized version. That image is an early promotional image for the Justice League. Cyborg, Flash, and Wonder Woman appear in altered versions of the costumes they're wearing in that image. Also, the characters on the side either don't appear at all or are heavily altered from the art.
For the most part, Cyborg's design differs a little bit from artist to artist and depending on what cybernetic component he needs for the situation. The default version of his suit more or less looks like what I've drawn. It helps when you read the title, since promotional images and cover art can often be misleading.