Cyborg: how to fix a crappy character

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OldBoy93

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#1  Edited By OldBoy93

I think that Cyborg is the worst superhero in DC comics but it seems like many people actually love him (because...reasons), so here I am trying to find a way to make him a more relatable character (following my personal taste, obviously)

1) VILLAINS

One big problem with Cyborg is the Rogues-Gallery. He basically doesn't have one. Currently, his arch-nemesis is Grid, probably the most boring villain in comics history. Seriously, they didn't even tried to create an interesting villain for Cyborg, they just used the old "evil AI" cliché. I think Victor's main villain should be reated with high tech powers though. After all, as the old Elijah Price said: "In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain's going to be?! He's the exact opposite of the hero".

So, my choise is The Key:

Why? well, The Key is probably one of the most underrated villains in DC Comics. He gave a hard time to Batman and the Justice League more than once. He's not related to a specific hero, so he can be used as a Cyborg villain without remorse. Why is he a perfect arch-nemesis? well, if you're familiar with this character it won't be hard for you to understand why he should be interested in Cyborg technology (boom tubes, anyone?). Besides, it would be fun to see a villain who wants to be a God (The Key) facing a hero who unwittingly IS a God (Cyborg).

Other possible villains are Dr Polaris (I wouldn't use him though, he's a Magneto rip-off), Bloodsport and Brother Blood. They are all kinda lame, aren't they? Honestly, I think they should just use The Key and create some new villains for Vic. Considering how lazy they were with "Grid" though, I won't hold my breath.

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2) FAMILY AND LOVE INTEREST

Another problem with Victor Stone is the absence of an interesting supporting cast. I mean, he does have some friends and even a girlfriend (kind of), but nobody cares about them. So, here's my idea: why don't introduce Cyborg in a well-loved family? I'm talking about the Irons family:

How many of you remember John Henry Irons, AKA Steel

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NOPE, NOT THAT STEEL !!! I'm obviously talking about the original one. John Henry Irons has been forgotten for a while now, but he was a great supporting character back in the 90's and an important part of the Superman mythos. Maybe it's just me, but I kinda feel that Victor is too tied to Batman, so it would be good for him to visit Metropolis sometimes. Besides, Natasha Irons clearly is the right girl for Vic. She's the daughter of a hero and she's a hero herself. She loves mechanics and computers, she's fascinated by advanced technology and alien weapons. These two are made for each other. It would be cool to see old John being overprotective at first, after all we are talking about his daughter. Then he should realize that Cyborg is a good guy and a great hero. He's on a par with Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman and all the other big guys, something that old John can only admire. He will eventually become a sort of father figure for Victor Stone.

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I think it would be awesome to see these three characters together. With a good writer, this team has the potential to become DC's version of the F4 (well, the F3 LOL).

If you think about it, here we have all the ingredients for some nice old-school adventures: the old retired warrior, the brave and rebellious girl and the classic young hero. Besides, this idea would assure some well deserved expsure to John and Natasha who desperately need a relaunch in DC comics. I mean, Marvel tried (and failed) to appeal to black girls with "Ironheart" (LMAO), so why shouldn't DC promote Natasha Irons? it would be cool to see a successful black couple in superhero comics for once. Yes, I'm a troll, I challenge you to report me to Black Lives Matter (I WAS JOKING, DON'T DO IT FOR CHRIST'S SAKE).

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3) FRIENDS

What kind of superhero doesn't have friends? well...Cyborg LMAO. Ok, ok, enough with bad jokes. I'm not a fan of the Cyborg\Shazam bromance, honestly I find their friendship creepy as hell. I mean, Victor's best friend is a kid? really? why can't he be friend with some adult heroes, like everybody else? here's a list of characters that I'd like to see in a Cyborg comic series:

Mr Terrific:Michael Holt is one of the most underrated character in DC comics. He has an impressive variety of skills and gadgets. Sadly for him, all these qualities confuse the writers, who don't know how to approach him. Is he an arrogant billionaire like Tony Stark and Oliver Queen? is he a humanist genius and master strategist like Lex Luthor and Batman? or is he just a street leveler angry black man like Luke Cage? IMO Mr Terrific should be an antihero. He shouldn't be an official member of the JL, but a valuable ally of the good guys. Have you ever seen Sherlock? there's an episode where Moriarty mocks the great detective saying "You're ordinary, you're on the side of the angels" and Sherlock replies "I may be on the side of the angels but don't think for one second that I am one of them". This is how Mr Terrific should be written IMO. He's a solitary genius who trust nobody. I'd like to see him as a sort of High Tech Indiana Jones. Do you remember how Donald Duck was unexpectedly dragged around the world by Uncle Scrooge? that's the kind of relationship Mr Terrific and Cyborg should have. The rich friend who puts you in trouble.

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Martian Manhunter:After all the backlash Cyborg received for the replacemant of Manhunter as a founding member of the JL, a friendship between these two characters is needed ASAP.

Actually, if you think about it, Victor and J'onn J'onzz have a lot in common. They desperately want to be humans despite their powers and abilities.

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Nightwing;Ok, I'm a little nostalgic here, but c'mon...you can't really pretend Titans never existed. Besides, I see Nightwing as a more relatable Batman, so it makes sense for Cyborg to be friend with Dick Grayson

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4) LOOK AND COSTUME

I don't have much to say here, actually. I think that Cyborg should not be a lame version of Robocop or Terminator. Walker's vision was a step in the right direction, but that Cyborg still wasn't iconic enough to be part of the JL. IMO Cyborg should be more similar to Genos and Adam Jensen. Cyborg should have mechanical arms and legs, but his torso and his basin have to be made of flesh. He should be able to dress with casual clothes and make love with his girlfriend. When he's in "superhero mode" he can wear an armor\costume, like every other character in the league.

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TheComicCrafter

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#2  Edited By TheComicCrafter

Most of these are pretty great ideas, though I don't agree with him looking more human, as one of the main points of Cyborg is that he can't fit in with the rest of society. He also already had a love interest in Sarah Charles, who was a STAR Labs scientist helping him adjust to his cybernetic parts, but Natasha is a pretty good choice as well.

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The_Hajduk

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@thecomiccrafter: I think a balance between robot and human is necessary. That is, after all, the definition of a cyborg. JL took it way too far, what was even human about Victor anymore at that point? His tongue?

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Tomkatie

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#4  Edited By Tomkatie
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IMO this was Cyborg's best look ever. Not much good came from DCYou, but this was it.

Cyborg should be a character that uses the vast resource of the internet and tech at his disposal. He should be simultaneously plugged in to everything, hearing and seeing everything, he should make the NSA cry themselves to sleep. There was one Cyborg solo comic where he stopped a plane hijacking by moving through the grid, controlling traffic cams, phones, and even the plane itself, all while he was "asleep" at Star Labs. This is the kind of Cyborg we need, not the boomtube taxi for the League he is now.

This character has so much potential do be done right, especially today.

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Tomkatie

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@oldboy93: I see you're also a fan of the Earth-27 series

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ITouchedTheBoat

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Cyborg is in no way a crappy character. It's just that some characters shouldn't be elevated to the height that they are on. I usually don't entertain these type of arguments, but If Cyborg was white he wouldn't be in the JL. DC needs to really look at their roster and find a character that is a minority and that is interesting enough to be as famous as Cyborg is. Nobody hated Borg when he was in the TT because he wasn't really in a league he didn't belong.

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mrmonster

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I think Cyborg does great as a supporting character, but I don't think he works well as a solo character. He's a great addition to either the Justice League or the Teen Titans, but I just don't see him ever taking off as a solo hero. I know he has his own title, but I've never read it, nor do I really want to.

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deactivated-5c8fd6cb3e4f4

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Nobody cares about him

#BringBack'onnJ'onzz

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stormshadow_x

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#9 stormshadow_x  Online

Give him to bendis. If Bendis can make someone like Luke a credible Marvel Character he can do it with some who has far more interesting powers and abilities in Cyborg.

Also I know people loved him on Titans sure but how many people actually say he was there favorite?

Cyborg has a lot of potential thats been botched over the course of 5 years since the new 52. He's somehow has no established Rouges Gallery with his only notable Enemy being a a one shot character in the Forever Evil Event and with writers you either just aren't hat great or just for some reason keep playing on to his Half Man Half Machine bit when its resolved every arc and he's OVER it.

The issue with cyborg is he's not given the same care as his fellow Leaguers and feels like DC planned on replacing him awhile ago as a JL member, his origin in the New 52 set up great stories and possibilities that haven't been explored.

As far as designs go just give him his arms and don't make him too Human which would be a pretty meh idea.

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deactivated-5d2b83d5a0d79

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Laugh at me all you like, but Smallville had the best Cyborg look and power-set.

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stormshadow_x

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#11 stormshadow_x  Online

@farkam said:

Laugh at me all you like, but Smallville had the best Cyborg look and power-set.

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TheComicCrafter

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@the_hajduk: I agree that it shouldn't go that far, but he should always be visibly half-machine. He should stand out in a crowd or team lineup.

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TheComicCrafter

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@stormshadow_x: They did actually try to give him a rogues gallery in the form of the Cyborg Revenge Squad, which included some great picks in terms of villains, including Girder, Gizmo, Magenta, and Shrapnel, but for some reason they never used them outside of their first 2-issue storyline, which is really disappointing. I feel like his archnemesis should be someone who relies on no technology, like Richard Dragon or King Snake. Someone that forces him to not rely on his cybernetics doing all the heavy lifting.

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The_Hajduk

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@the_hajduk: I agree that it shouldn't go that far, but he should always be visibly half-machine. He should stand out in a crowd or team lineup.

I agree with you.

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stormshadow_x

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#16 stormshadow_x  Online

I kind of like the Idea of Victor and Arthur being the closest on the League. since the others are The trinity and the GL/Flash Duo.

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DeathandGrim

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Cyborg is a cool character ... in theory. It's just writers don't flesh him out. His kinda friendship with Simon is okay but I don't really feel like I'm getting to know him. They need to take risks and go into those areas his life that the reader may not know. Like the Teen Titans cartoon did. They need to not be afraid of giving him an actual personality because he's black.

And honestly... just give him back to the damn Titans (either squad) where he is actually on their level and has a real relationship with the cast members. He doesn't belong in the league. He's a cool dude and all but I'd definitely pick Steel as a frontline in a fight and rather have Terrific as a tech geek in the League. Cyborg just doesn't fit there.

Both Titans teams are lacking a real tech guy too. And I think it'd be funny having Victor show up Damian's gadgetry and have moments where he talks about his past with Starfire as an OG Teen Titan. Considering these two members know what it's like to be ostracized they'd be an awesome partner up for the nostalgia alone but also character development. Especially since Star is alone basically babysitting kids. She'd have another adult to talk to. And in the elder Titans team he'd fit in too. He'd get to know new faces and would actually be of some use in a fight. It'd be interesting to see how he plays into that team dynamic.

But as a member of the League who have a ton of hardcore established characters with no actual connection to him he just stands out as misplaced or completely fades into the background.

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entropy_aegis

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I dont see any of these ideas ever happening because they all rely on the larger universe.

No way are the Bat and Super editorial offices ever giving up Nightwing and the Irons family. Its not happening.

Also Shazam has his own family and mythos. Once his film comes out his writers wont ever look back at Cyborg because they wont need to. Holt will always be tied up to JSA and the Key to JL.

Either Cyborg has to succeed solo or go back to Titans.

Ultimately I dont think Cyborg needs amazing rogues (not like Iron Man is known for awesome villains) or famous supporting characters. He just needs a good writer telling a good story with him. The only way that happens is by stripping his JL membership away. That membership has created baggage. Characters like Animal Man and Swamp Thing didn't have to become JL members in order to be written by Morrison and Moore.

As long as he's a JL member and worse JLs only token minority character there will be problems because there will be interference from the higher ups and corporate meddling. Essentially like Superman,Batman and other A listers Cyborg is trapped in a vicous circle which makes it hard to create new fresh new stories but Cyborg aint an A lister which makes his situation even more tragic. He's an artificial A lister stuck in circumstances he's in because the bosses have outlined a vision and role for him that they simply need writers to execute. The moment he reverts to his true status and no longer has to deal with the baggage of being the token Black guy in JL is when writers will start doing interesting and unique things with him.

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kgb725

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What ? First off Shazam is like 16 ever since the reboot and Vic is only about 5 years older. Cyborg doesn't even have genitals he shouldn't be with Natasha also why would cyborg hang out with any of those people you named every one but dick is 10 years older than him

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OldBoy93

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@kgb725 said:

What ? First off Shazam is like 16 ever since the reboot and Vic is only about 5 years older. Cyborg doesn't even have genitals he shouldn't be with Natasha also why would cyborg hang out with any of those people you named every one but dick is 10 years older than him

So, the most important black character in DC comics is a freak with no genitals.........

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Outside_85

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Disagree with the overall gripes about Cyborg being a terrible character. His problem is primarily getting used incorrectly. But:

  1. Villains. Granted that is a problem, and it always will be when you take a character born on and had long standing place on a team. Since often you can't just use the same villains without invalidating the team. But it's not helped by DC basically having paraded one tech-threat after another for Vic to fight in his solo. Is the Key a good villain for him? Honestly, no, the Key is actually quite formidable and should remain a team threat. Whats needed is a diverse selection of new villains, with the occasional visit from someone elses villains... like Dr. Cyber for instance.
  2. Support characters. Nothing wrong with Silas, Sarah or the people at STAR Labs. Certainly I dont see it as a trade up to get John Henry and Natasha, they have their own thing going in Metropolis and Vic sticks to Chicago.
  3. Friends... just give him back the Titans, they have a proven track-record with Vic. Then you can add people like Holt.
  4. Looks. Part of Vic's internal struggle has always been that he looks and feels like a freak. In the past when his parts were man-made, it made no sense that they wouldn't even try and hide them, but these days where his appearance is less decided by him or anyone but the machine that powers him, it makes sense that the programming is geared more towards practicality rather than how the finished product looks.
@oldboy93 said:
@kgb725 said:

What ? First off Shazam is like 16 ever since the reboot and Vic is only about 5 years older. Cyborg doesn't even have genitals he shouldn't be with Natasha also why would cyborg hang out with any of those people you named every one but dick is 10 years older than him

So, the most important black character in DC comics is a freak with no genitals.........

Does it surprise you that there is actually very little of Vic's original body left?

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OldBoy93

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#22  Edited By OldBoy93
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midnightdragon18

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#24  Edited By midnightdragon18

send him back to teen titans

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Outside_85

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@oldboy93: In my opinion he should never have had that part taken away from him.

Like the League is for all intents and purposes a merit-based organisation, you get in if are good enough to join. Vic joined the pre-FP League based on his work with the Titans, even if Robinson then buried him in the far end of the R&D department. I would have been fine if the New 52 Cyborg had come to the League from the same route... because Vic is the one character that had to prove why he was on the League, which didn't really happen for one reason or another.

But yeah, in order to improve Vic as he is now, send him back to the Titans or Teen Titans if needed be.

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black_wreath

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#26  Edited By black_wreath

Cyborg is an awesome character, they've just failed to properly establish him as a solo character yet. The fact he's so attached to technology makes him very niche and limits his appeal to a wider audience - he mostly only appeals to fans of that niche and the remaining love he still has from long time Titans fans since JL fans seemingly still refuse to accept him.

Cyborg and Raven are great together, DC should team them up a sci-fi/horror series.

I believe Victor is most endearing as the "big brother" figure and I personally think that comes out best with Rae, as a vulnerable kid trying contain immense power, needs support and though they are in some respects opposites (tech/magic, jock/goth), they are also in other ways the same (daddy issues, both part one thing part another, both see abominations in the mirror) and Rae's God-fearing aunt facing off against Vic's God-playing father would be quite a spectacle.

For villains they could face haunted technology, android demons, Lovecraftian types... Mecha-Trigon? Characters like Psimon used science to make contact with the demon's realm....

Also it brings to mind Andrew and Alison from the Breakfast Club except please god don't make them a couple, that and the makeover were the dumbest parts of that otherwise perfect movie!

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kgb725

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@oldboy93: in the world of dc he's not a freak

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ITouchedTheBoat

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@oldboy93: 100%, he was a titan since the 80's iirc.

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#29  Edited By Najee12

Hello, OldBoy93.

I've been familiar with Cyborg since he debuted with The Teen Titans during the George Perez days. His biggest problem is that the basis of his creation is as a member of an ensemble cast (The Titans, now The Justice League) and not with the idea that he could be self-sufficient. Until now, he's never had any defining villains dedicated to him or his skill set so it's not surprising that he is somewhat of a blank slate.

In terms of use, what I have seen is that Cyborg's role in The JLA is really not that different from what he did in The Titans. He's basically the robotic weaponry person, except thanks to Boom Tube technology he also acts as The Justice League's transport service. As Tomkatie said, the writers need to show more subtle, nuances of what Cyborg brings to the table such as being a virtual communications system. If anything, he should be an embodiment of the digital age, a character in perpetual connectivity.

As for villains, I am familiar with The Key, but Cyborg doesn't need yet another tech-based opposite number. He needs a mixture of villains who are tech-based and non-tech-based people who can challenge him. A good idea is to reintroduce some villains from his Titans days (such as The Fearsome Five, The Brotherhood of Evil), some new characters and maybe The Key with some buildup for later.

As for a supporting cast, I do like the idea of introducing John Henry Irons and Natasha Irons into Cyborg's universe. They are well established characters who would provide a change of pace. It may be a good point to relocate them to Chicago as part of some transition team, as a reason for them to work together. Or better yet, get him away from S.T.A.R. Labs and let him go to Metropolis. Sometimes, it seems like Cyborg is too tied to being around S.T.A.R. Labs.

Regarding friends, this is where the absence of Garfield Logan impacts Cyborg. Ideally, DC needs to restore Logan back to being close to Cyborg's age and they can be friends again. I can see Mr. Terrific being some mentor or sounding board to Cyborg (although John Henry Irons also can play that role), but it may not be bad to introduce some new characters from his high school days who can make that connection with his past and present (if it has not happened already; I have not looked at his title recently).

Anyway, you presented some solid ideas.

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@oldboy93 said:

So, we can all agree Cyborg should return with the Titans

Better yet, why don't you move Captain Marvel out of The JLA? He's incredibly redundant on a team with Superman and Wonder Woman.

Why is there a bigger push to move Cyborg out of The JLA, when Captain Marvel is even less experienced and qualified, in my opinion? If there is going to be a battle cry to return Cyborg to the Titans, then have a battle cry to bring back the Justice Society of America and place Captain Marvel there (or even move Captain Marvel to the Titans).

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stormshadow_x

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#31 stormshadow_x  Online
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OrangeBat

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I'm going to be a contrarian and say that moving Cyborg back to the Teen Titans would be a step back for him and does nothing to fix his fundamental character flaw, which is that he has none beyond whining about being half-man, half-machine - and which he has, in fact, been doing way before he joined the Justice League. A lot of people for some reason have nostalgia glasses regarding Cyborg's time among the Titans, forgetting that there's a reason that he was never as popular as many of the other members and that is because he was stuck in a rut as a character with the same goddamn pathos for over two decades. Cyborg could work in the Justice League just fine, just give him to writers who actually want to expand his character.

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Step 1: get rid if the idiotic half haircut design so that the character can maybe look "cool (yes, it's still important)". In superhero genre, a visual appeal is pivotal.

Step 2: give the title to a top talent creative team that is passionate about making him work.

Step 3: explore actual transhumanism (as opposed to tired and half assed "am I a man or a machine?") as the ongoing societal addiction and dependence on technology might very much lead into it one day.

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OldBoy93

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@najee12 said:
@oldboy93 said:

So, we can all agree Cyborg should return with the Titans

Better yet, why don't you move Captain Marvel out of The JLA? He's incredibly redundant on a team with Superman and Wonder Woman.

Why is there a bigger push to move Cyborg out of The JLA, when Captain Marvel is even less experienced and qualified, in my opinion? If there is going to be a battle cry to return Cyborg to the Titans, then have a battle cry to bring back the Justice Society of America and place Captain Marvel there (or even move Captain Marvel to the Titans).

Captain Marvel is not a founding member

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HandOfPrometheus

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#35  Edited By HandOfPrometheus

DC has to give a shit about their black characters first which they obviously don't.

He needs to go back to showing his skin, the full body armor looks terrible which is why the movie version looked terrible. Whatever idiot thought abandoning his DC You look was a good idea should get fired.

That moment in Metal with Cyborg and Raven was beautiful. He really does need to go back to the Titans.

A writer like Morrison would push Cyborg to become better or be used how he's supposed to be used.

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OldBoy93

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DC has to give a shit about their black characters first which they obviously don't.

He needs to go back to showing his skin, the full body armor looks terrible which is why the movie version looked terrible. Whatever idiot thought abandoning his DC You look was a good idea should get fired.

That moment in Metal with Cyborg and Raven was beautiful. He really does need to go back to the Titans.

A writer like Morrison would push Cyborg to become better or be used how he's supposed to be used.

Every idiot in charge of DCEU should get fired

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@oldboy93: @kgb725: Cyborg has genitals...wasn't it established not to long ago that he can now shift between his "Cyborg" form and a "human" form now?

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@oldboy93: @kgb725: Cyborg has genitals...wasn't it established not to long ago that he can now shift between his "Cyborg" form and a "human" form now?

A human appearance... not a human body.

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@oldboy93 said:

Captain Marvel is not a founding member

I'm not following: You want to get rid of Cyborg because he is a founding member of The Justice League? You make it sound like that is an indignity.

How about getting rid of the lesser experienced teenager who is another Superman analog on a team with the actual Superman and the female equivalent of Superman (who also has mythological roots)?

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#42  Edited By OldBoy93

@najee12 said:
@oldboy93 said:

Captain Marvel is not a founding member

I'm not following: You want to get rid of Cyborg because he is a founding member of The Justice League? You make it sound like that is an indignity.

How about getting rid of the lesser experienced teenager who is another Superman analog on a team with the actual Superman and the female equivalent of Superman (who also has mythological roots)?

I agree with you on Shazam but we're talking about Cyborg here. Many fans think he's not an iconic character, so he shouldn't be a founding member of the Justice League. Cyborg is like Ben Grimm or Hank McCoy, he works well in a team, he was created to be part of a team, but he's not interesting enough to become an A-List character. Raven, Starfire and Beast Boy have the same problem IMO. Why should kids be impressed by Cyborg? he's on the same team with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman.

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@outside_85: oh, well I knew that part but that's good enough for me

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#44  Edited By OldBoy93
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@oldboy93 said:
@avenging_x_bolt said:

@outside_85: oh, well I knew that part but that's good enough for me

I think that's ridiculous

Well, if Vic is more nano-tech than the old cartoon Centurions, at least he can have something that looks more natural, rather than an attachment he otherwise keeps in his nightstand. :)

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@oldboy93: to each their own. If he can stick it in and feel it then why should one care if it's a real dick or robodick?

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Good suggestions. Especially with the villain

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They could be funny again. That was always my favorite aspect of the character in his various portrayals outside of comics.

I'm not sure if he is a character that could a solo tho and there's nothing wrong with that to be honest. He just seemed to function better in the context of a team. He's like the glue that holds everything together. Just my op

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@oldboy93: you should write stories or even comics

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@au_141 said:

They could be funny again. That was always my favorite aspect of the character in his various portrayals outside of comics.

I'm not sure if he is a character that could a solo tho and there's nothing wrong with that to be honest. He just seemed to function better in the context of a team. He's like the glue that holds everything together. Just my op

That is the general problem many characters created for teams have, they are created for a specific environment where certain parts of their personality are highlighted to bounce off the other characters. And with characters that are part of the team long enough... or for too long, it's not just part of their personality any more, it's all their personality.