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David Walker Discusses Writing CYBORG and the Evolution of the Character

The writer of the new CYBORG series discusses what's coming down the line in this new on-going.

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Cyborg is getting his own on-going series this week, with issue #1 of CYBORG debuting on Wednesday, July 22. Writer David Walker talked to us over the phone about the new series and the evolution of this character through the New 52.

COMIC VINE: What took so long for CYBORG to get his own on-going series?

DAVID WALKER: You got to ask that question to Dan Didio and Jim Lee and all the people that run the ship at DC. I think this is one of those things that sort of just happens. There's the characters that are around for a long time that are really popular with fans but for whatever reasons the right story pitch doesn't come along or it doesn't occur to someone to give them their own solo book, and eventually someone says "hey, how come Cyborg doesn't have one?" I think it's one of those things that just happens.

When you look at the classic line-up of Teen Titans, with the exception of Nightwing, Dick Grayson, I don't know if any of them have had any sort of extended on-going title, up until now since Starfire has one. I could be wrong and if I am, I'll get a ton of emails about it and people will tweet at me "You are wrong! Beast Boy had his own solo series from 1989 to 1994." Off the top of my head, I think it's one of those things which happens all the time with team books where, for whatever reason, you don't see the solo series or it takes forever to break out. Or sometimes it just doesn't work and they try again ten years later and see what sticks.

CV: Cyborg, in the New 52, has gone through an immense amount of change and been involved in a lot of stories. Where's he at now for your book?

DW: He's at a point now where his tech is evolving. He's trying to make sense of the transformation process. We got a sense of it in the 8 page preview from last month where we saw him regenerating parts after seemingly getting killed in action and coming back to life. There's a lot of that exploration going on.

DC's Sneak Peek of CYBORG
DC's Sneak Peek of CYBORG

One of the things I find interesting about the Cyborg as a character, when he was introduced in 1980, he was super-futuristic looking. He was total sci-fi, but when you look at who the character was back in the 80s versus breakthroughs in prosthetic limbs and cybernetics, we're seeing a lot of that stuff in real life. Technology is changing so rapidly and one of the things I wanted to do, when I was approached by DC was get Cyborg to a place where his technology is so far advanced that as storytellers, we don't have to worry about keeping up with what's going on in real life.

We can focus on the stories and the adventures. In real life, there's bionic eyes. This is real life. There's cybernetic, bionic limbs. There's so much incredible stuff. Science-fiction, 20 to 30 years ago, is now science fact. I keep using the iPhone analogy. If Vic is the iPhone 7, we don't want to update him to make him the iPhone 9. We want to update him to make him the iPhone 900. We want to get him so far ahead of current technology that it brings back some of that sci-fi element.

CV: We get a good taste of how futuristic Cyborg is in the first issue. What's one of the coolest things, technology-wise, that you've thrown into the book?

DW: I keep thinking "oh I brought this in" and then I discover something somebody else did. Again, this character has had a 30+ year history. What I'm most proud of are the more human elements and we're really going to start seeing some of those in issue #2. We're really going to flesh those out.

I like the fact that in terms of the technology, and again, I'm pretty sure I saw this somewhere else, in the first issue, we see him playing back his memory, certain things that happened to him and it's recorded. I think that's really interesting because we, as human beings, get caught up in the past. We remember some horrific thing that happened. But Vic remembers them in a way no one else can remember them. They're almost real. They're almost tangible. I want to play with that some more as I play with the character at how he looks at these past moments and has trouble moving beyond them, which is what so many of us do.

We have trouble moving beyond some moment of trauma and there's the line where Sarah Charles says something like "this really isn't that healthy, do be doing this." She gets to play a really integral role, as the story develops. There's a tug-o-war between man and machine and she's on the "man" side and helping Vic stay grounded in humanity.

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CV: A big part of issue #1 was the not only the family dynamic but also as Cyborg as seen as invisible to those around him. Is this something that will continue through the opening of the series?

DW: We're going to be seeing elements of it. The relationship between Vic and Silas [Stone] is always going to be complicated just as most of us have complicated relationships with our parents. Just as we think things are getting better, something comes along and makes it worse and that is a big thing for Vic. A lot of people treat him like a science experiment. They're not doing it intentionally. That's just how they are. Over this first story arc, there's some great moments between Vic and Silas. Over the second story arc, we're going to start dealing with the recent trauma, the loss of Elinore[Vic's mother] and things that have never been really touched upon: Vic having a level of PTSD. He was blown up at 12 years old and turned into a machine. I really want to get into some of that and you obviously can't get into that without getting into how he interacts with Silas and their relationship and the complexity of it.

CV: Looking back through Victor's past in the New 52, Grid is a huge part of it. Could Grid make a comeback in your series?

DW: I love the concept of Grid and I have a list of villains and heroes I want to try and figure out how to work into the story and Grid is at the top of that list. It just has to be very organic. That's the thing. Cyborg has had some great interactions, a lot of them with other heroes. People keep asking me about Shazam. Is he going to team up with Shazam. They also ask me about other members of the Teen Titans, even though within the New 52, he doesn't have a relationship with them. As long as the book is a hit and DC keeps me around, there's a ton of material to work with.

Thanks to David Walker for answering our questions and make sure to check out CYBORG #1 which will be in stores on July 22. If you missed it, check out the rest of the Sneak Peek for CYBORG below!

38 Comments

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ms__omega

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Can't wait for this.

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dan12456

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I really hope Grid does end up showing up, he really could be Cyborg's arch-enemy.

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Lurkero

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Please make Cyborg more like Brainiac. I have been wanting that ever since new 52 began.

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derekvang

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Been waiting for this since the announcing of an on-going Cyborg series

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CaptainHoopla

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I'm looking forward to this. Walker seems to have a good grasp on the character and the direction he wants him and the story to go. Can't go wrong with Reis on the art either.

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JLFan15

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Sounds like a great read, but in the New 52, he couldn't have been 12 when he became Cyborg could he? I mean wasn't he in high school in the first arc of Justice League?

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dondave

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@lurkero said:

Please make Cyborg more like Brainiac. I have been wanting that ever since new 52 began.

Like Brainiac how?

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superior_prime_maybe

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I wonder if this is a temporary look. I hope not. Unlike all the other costume changes Cyborg, Wonder Woman and Constantine are my favorite.

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dondave

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@jlfan15 said:

Sounds like a great read, but in the New 52, he couldn't have been 12 when he became Cyborg could he? I mean wasn't he in high school in the first arc of Justice League?

Probably a typo.

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DonFelipe

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@jlfan15 said:

Sounds like a great read, but in the New 52, he couldn't have been 12 when he became Cyborg could he? I mean wasn't he in high school in the first arc of Justice League?

Yup, I remember him being on the high school football team... with his father not attending and watching his games. He definitely looked like 17-18, or so.

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Outside_85

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Hope the Titans show up sooner rather than later.

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Ando123

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A must buy¡¡

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tensor

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After reading this interview I really like this direction.

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MadeinBangladesh

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Cant wait

~MiB

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Lurkero

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@dondave said:
@lurkero said:

Please make Cyborg more like Brainiac. I have been wanting that ever since new 52 began.

Like Brainiac how?

I guess that does require some clarification. I would like Cyborg to be able to absorb computer information from any signal, communicate with technology using radio signals, morph his techno-organic body into certain devices, read organic electrical signals, and basically become an pseudo-organic computer. I guess he would be more of a mix of Generator Rex and Brainiac if I had my way.

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BatteredArmor

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Edited By BatteredArmor

Great interview, I can't wait to pick this up

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kfabz-23

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Very interested, hope he builds a good rogue gallery for him. And I hope to see a issue where him and Shazam team up.

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Ampthunder

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I wanna see a crossover between Grayson and Cyborg

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JLFan15

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Edited By JLFan15

@donfelipe: I always thought that was kinda weird because in an issue of WW, she said she was only 23, which would make her approximately the same age as Cyborg since it was set 5 years into the new 52

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CaptainMarvel4Ever

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@dan12456 said:

I really hope Grid does end up showing up, he really could be Cyborg's arch-enemy.

I think Ron Evers would work better

@kfabz-23 said:

Very interested, hope he builds a good rogue gallery for him. And I hope to see a issue where him and Captain Marvel team up.

He already has a rouges gallery

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CaptainMarvel4Ever

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It's pretty obvious why he didn't have a book, he's an important character who was still relatively new to readers and DC probably didn't want his book to be canceled. It makes more sense to build up his character, and a demand over time for his book, so that when he finally does get one (which would be now) it'll stick.

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kfabz-23

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CaptainMarvel4Ever

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kfabz-23

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@captainmarvel4ever: pretty small, he can build up on them and add depth maybe seperate them for different arcs too.

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CaptainMarvel4Ever

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@kfabz-23: There's more then just them, like Mr. Orr and the Phantom Limbs, and a bunch of other existing villains.

(Not that I'm against making new ones as well)

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kfabz-23

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CaptainMarvel4Ever

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kfabz-23

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Edited By kfabz-23
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_ANDY_CAN

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Still waiting for a series with Shazam and Cyborg called Science + Magic or like brave and bold.

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JewishDork

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Was throughly impressed by that 8 page preview and lovin' the new look.

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derf_jenkins

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Everything looks awesome! Here is what I don't like about the idea. The sales needs to stay up over 35-40k issues a month or else the series is expendable. DC had an amazing series with swamp thing, but it was only selling 18-20k each month...that doesn't cut it when batman sells 130k+ on a consistent basis. Harley Quinn has been a great hit...the sales are up over 60k, so that'll probably stick around for awhile. I love cyborg, but I am leery of getting attached to a book that is great but simply doesn't hit the numbers they have in mind and gets whacked. I have seen it way too many times in my years of reading comics. I'll still risk it because that's what we do, but so many great stories go untold because of the greed. Imagine if after the 4th Harry Potter book it just ended because sales were not what was hoped for.

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adamTRMM

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Edited By adamTRMM

I like that they went all transhuman with him, I will give it a chance. But that ridiculous ahm I'm sorry, iconic, half metal head has to go. It's just plain awul, and now also pointless. Hopefully, they'll do something interesting and creative with his "techno-organic" body.

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StMichalofWilson

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Glad Cyborg is getting his series. Can't wait to read this. Boo-Yahh!

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DonFelipe

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@jlfan15: It is weird indeed, which is the reason why I'm usually not paying that much attention to age and appearance (how young or old some character may look) especially not across different series and stories that are not directly connected. Most of the DC/Marvel characters have already been around for decades and are seemingly forever young. It'd be a good thing if they wouldn't even mention how old they are or feel like. Unless it's a pun.

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w0nd

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@lurkero said:
@dondave said:
@lurkero said:

Please make Cyborg more like Brainiac. I have been wanting that ever since new 52 began.

Like Brainiac how?

I guess that does require some clarification. I would like Cyborg to be able to absorb computer information from any signal, communicate with technology using radio signals, morph his techno-organic body into certain devices, read organic electrical signals, and basically become an pseudo-organic computer. I guess he would be more of a mix of Generator Rex and Brainiac if I had my way.

I think he does that now. He already spoke to machines, in martian manhunter he was morphing weapons, and his body seems to be slowly healing the organic parts.

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w0nd

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@jlfan15 said:

Sounds like a great read, but in the New 52, he couldn't have been 12 when he became Cyborg could he? I mean wasn't he in high school in the first arc of Justice League?

he was playing football and on his way to college, hope that was a typo

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mrkareemruiz

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Cyborg #1 was a great read

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The Impersonator

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