In Cyborg #19, our hero finds a meteorite full of jewels. How can it BE? It’s almost like someone WISHED it so! Is it good?
Cyborg should have expected warlords when he booked his trip to the Sudan. Didn’t bother getting his vaccinations, though, which isn’t a problem — unless he becomes human again?!
Technology meets magic, as a rhino horn (that’s actually a monkey paw) causes all sorts of trouble, mainly for the hapless dupes forced into using it. Can a MALARIA-STRICKEN Victor Stone set things right?
Cyborg #19 leans extra hard on the typical conundrum of the character, “Am I more machine than man???” Then Victor get his answer, in super quick fashion. This is the kind of story that seems like it could be pivotal in the character’s history, but the plot point is introduced and implemented almost instantaneously, in an issue without the buildup or marketing that would give it the attention it deserves.
Writer Kevin Grevioux’s “magical lamp” device is more than a little hokey, but it leads to a good, genuinely gut-wrenching twist at the end. The dialogue is fairly rote and sounds more like a golden-age parody than intended. Really, Vic? You NEVER thought that you might miss your cybernetic parts? You never once considered the possible costs against the obvious benefits? That’s the kind of thing you learn to do in high school home ec. Or were you too busy communing with the hand-mixer? Bonus points for emphasizing how important pre-travel vaccines really are, though.
Cliff Richards’ art is striking, but static. There are moments when he seems like another Mike Deodato, with his realistic and strong forms, but the lack of movement brings it down to the best possible Greg Land. I swear that’s a compliment! Colorist Ivan Nunes is the perfect teammate for Richards, enhancing the bright panels and adding grit to the warlords.
Cyborg #19 features beautiful if motionless art, but the story feels like it’s ripped from a newspaper comic strip, with about as much nuance and detail. Well, Victor Stone contracting malaria is a nice bit, but this story should have been saved for a grander stage and not burned through in a random issue, forcing what should be resonant moments to be blown in just a panel or two. The angle of the warlords utilizing the children is a nice and creative twist, but it’s not enough to make this story transcend Cyborg’s own feeling of being caught between two worlds, but truly belonging to neither.
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