Cyberforce #8

60%
60%
Good, But Could Be Better

The kernel of deeper currents appears in Cyber Force #8, but isn’t effectively covered. A lot of space is given to a three-way brawl that other than inching that side of the plot along, doesn’t provide much narrative juice to the reader. Dominque’s trauma is much better handled and deservedly so, with the writing and art coming together to depict an anguished person struggling to come to terms with their new status. Overall, though, there is a feeling of going through the motions with this issue, which is a pity.

  • Writing
    6
  • Art
    6
  • Coloring
    6
  • User Ratings (1 Votes)
    9.8

A reimagining of Marc Silvestri’s 1990s comic, Cyber Force sees cybernetically enhanced humans facing off against each other, while the seemingly benign Cyberdata hovers ominously in the background, awaiting its moment to strike.  With the online world slowly coming back online after a devastating electromagnetic attack, what secret protocols within the enhancements will come to life, affecting this new cyborg?

Cyber Force #8 ReviewCYBER FORCE #8

Writers:  Bryan Hill & Matt Hawkings
Artist: Atilio Rojo
Letters: Troy Peteri
Editor: Elena Salcedo
Publisher: Top Cow Productions, Inc. & Image Comics, Inc.
Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 30th, 2019

Previously in Cyber Force: A devastating electromagnetic attack has destroyed communication systems worldwide.  In the ensuing confusion, cybernetically enhanced humans battle in the shadows for supremacy.  In the background, the sinister designs of the Cyberdata company take shape.  While Ripclaw and Stryker hunt for Leviathan, Aph saves Dominique’s life.  But the cybernetic enhancements come at a towering mental cost – will Dominique adapt to her new, changed circumstances?

BACK TO THE FUTURE

During your reviewer’s heyday, when he had more hair and less paunch, he worked at a large comic book store for a couple of years in the mid-1990s. Amidst the boom and bust of a deluge of new titles, Deaths of Supermen and broken-backed Bats, he saw the launch of Image Comics, a brash, ragtag collection of creators seriously annoyed with the two majors, itching to strike out on their own and make big dollars from big titles.

Cyber Force was one of those titles, from creator Marc Silvestri.  While the brooding Spawn or the Hulk-like activities of Savage Dragon entranced me, Cyber Force slipped by me entirely.  And now, in the bright present day of the 21st century, we have this new version of it.

I’m not entirely sure why, though.

Cyber Force #8 is a twin story lined issue that spends half its time showing Ripclaw and Stryker duking it out with Leviathan in a no-holds-barred UFC inspired fight to the death.  If this storyline taught me anything it is a)don’t go into a fight with your hair in a ponytail because you’ll come off second best, face first in the dirt and b)extended fight scenes, no matter how dynamic looking, are about as filling and nutritional as a Big Mac.  Ripclaw spends most of this segment looking menacing, while Stryker comes across confused and unsure.  Overall, it doesn’t make for a great reading experience as the imagery is so fleeting without being anchored by dialogue or actual plot.

THE GIRLS ARE BACK IN TOWN

The second strand of Cyber Force #8 is a little better.  It’s striking how the genders are divided in this issue, with the boys beating each other up, and the girls standing/sitting around talking about their feelings.  Perfectly fine, of course, but rather limiting, if you look at it from a certain angle.  Anyway, we have several women, in an encampment.  One of them, Dominique, is recovering from surgery after suffering a massive trauma.  She has been fitted with cybernetic augmentation – her upper torso is metal, as is the back of her skull.  Understandably, on awakening, she is severely traumatised by this.  On the one hand, we have the woman, Aph, who saved her life, arguing that she will be grateful simply to be alive, while Dominque, understandably, has some emotional reactions to the quality of her life, and indeed, if she is really human anymore.

I suppose that question is at the core of what a good Cyber Force story could be.  Cyber Force #8 touches on this and it is during this section that the topics raised, and the artwork, come together.  Some of it is amusing – Dominique’s cry of distress is depicted with a word balloon over a long shot of the camp, bringing to mind the famous reaction shots in The Godfather when the studio head wakes to find a horse’s head in his bed.  Much better is Dominque’s appearance on the last page, in full panel, stumbling towards the reader, her pleading refusal to live as a cyborg heart wrenching to see.

BOTTOM LINE:  GOOD, BUT COULD BE BETTER

The kernel of deeper currents appears in Cyber Force #8, but isn’t effectively covered.  A lot of space is given to a three-way brawl that other than inching that side of the plot along, doesn’t provide much narrative juice to the reader.  Dominque’s trauma is much better handled and deservedly so, with the writing and art coming together to depict an anguished person struggling to come to terms with their new status.  Overall, though, there is a feeling of going through the motions with this issue, which is a pity.


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About Author

Romantic. Raconteur. Kangaroo rustler. Sadly, Rob is none of these. Rob has been a follower of genre since at least the mid-1970s. Book collector, Doctor Who fan, semi-retired podcaster, comic book shop counter jockey, writer (once!) in Doctor Who Magazine and with pretensions to writing fantasy and horror, Rob is the sort of fellow you can happily embrace while wondering why you're doing it. More of his maudlin thoughts can be found at his ill-tended blog https://robertmammone.wordpress.com/

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