Review by Ian Keogh
Over two volumes so far John Semper Jr’s version of Cyborg has been resolutely disappointing, more resembling an ordinary 1980s superhero series than a 21st century cyborg with state of the art technology. Singularity, however, is a step forward, as what at times has appeared aimless page filling in the previous books is revealed to have a purpose. This is still low on originality, but there are at last some answers and Semper Jr finishes off his story.
The opening sequence picks up from Danger in Detroit, with Cyborg and several others transported to a world that’s in effect run by Terminators, with a few small pockets of human resistance. This world can be saved, but needs Cyborg for a very specific task. That’s the starting point, and there are good ideas in the remainder, making it the best of Semper Jr’s efforts on Cyborg, but those good ideas are swamped by the usual excess of words and artificial attempts to prolong the plot. Beyond a few bangs and flashes in the earlier volumes, this is finally a story that could only have been written in the 21st century, making use of an imagined virtual reality and how the technology that created it can be subverted and modified. Having come up with that, however, Semper Jr over-eggs the idea and we have an irritatingly smug omnipotent Cyborg. Other characters swither and change according to the needs of the plot as well, with little consistency to them. This is the end of Semper Jr’s work on Cyborg, in effect one long continuing story over three volumes, and overall it’s unsatisfactory. Cutting down the excess verbiage and unnecessary plot diversions would have left a far tidier and more compact story, and possibly one that might have been remembered, rather than one that definitely won’t be.
Will Conrad (sample art), Cliff Richards and Allan Jefferson are all decent enough artists who tell the story well and produce the occasional very decorative page, with Richards’ rate being higher. It’s a shame that two consecutive episodes is the best any of them can manage.
A compellingly strange story completes the book, Kevin Grevioux and Richards turning in a two part variation on the three wishes of a fairy tale. What would Vic Stone wish for? As predictable as that answer is, Grevioux twists matters very nicely, the conflict being generated by an African warlord distressingly drawn from real life, the type who arms children and teaches them to kill via brutality. Grevioux also addresses Vic’s somewhat whiny personality, and in two chapters offers more fun, thought and entertainment than can be found in the eighteen written over three books by Semper Jr. Cyborg’s co-creator Marv Wolfman writes the next collection.