that's him on the bottom leftWhen the character known as Vibe showed up in a teaser image last year for the DC event Trinity War, the response from fans was pretty extreme.
Extremely surprised, that is. The character is one of the least-respected heroes from the pre-New 52 universe.
But this year, Vibe is taking a central role in the DC Universe, guarding the gateway to the DC multiverse and stopping invasions from other dimensions.In fact, DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns intends to make Vibe one of the most important and beloved characters in the DC Universe by putting the hero in his new Justice League of America title, as well as co-writing the character's new solo title, Justice League of America's Vibe.
So just who is Vibe? And why is he so important?
As Johns and artist David Finch kick off Justice League of America this week with a new #1, Newsarama is finishing up our spotlights of the heroes who make up this "other" Justice League. As we turn the spotlight on Vibe, we talked to Johns and Finch about the character, as well as current (although temporary) Vibe co-writer Andrew Kreisberg.
The BasicsVibe's alter ego is Cisco Ramone (although his brothers teasingly call him "Paco"). He's an 18-year-old in Detroit who grew up with two brothers: Dante and Armando.
When Darkseid attacked the DC Universe (depicted in Justice League #1), the villain started his invasion in Detroit. The three Ramone brothers were caught in the crossfire, and Armando, the oldest, sacrificed himself to save the youngest, Cisco. And the experience gave Cisco superpowers.
After Cisco gets the attention of A.R.G.U.S. Agent Dale Gunn and Amanda Waller, he finds out that his powers allow him to sense incursions from other dimensions into Detroit. And because of these unique powers, Vibe ends up guarding the gateway to the multiverse."Since the Darkseid invasion began in Detroit, this is where the membrane is weakest between the dimensions, because this is where they punched through," Kreisberg told Newsarama. "And this left a crack in the fabric of reality between all the dimensions of all the Earths.
"Things kind of fall through, and people sneak through, and if there's going to be another invasion, this is where it will begin," he said. "Since Cisco draws his powers from the energy of these vibrational cracks, he's also able to sense these incursions. He knows when things are here that shouldn't be, or when things come through.
"He's essentially become an inter-dimensional border cop," Kreisberg said.That means readers will see Vibe encounter familiar faces from other DC "Earths" as they come through the gateway, although Cisco will be conflicted about how to handle these visitors. (His handlers at A.R.G.U.S. may not always have the his best interests in mind — or the interests of innocent people who come through the gateway.)
"Our hope is that, by the time we're through, you won't be able to imagine the DC Universe without Vibe," Kreisberg said.
Because Vibe's vibrational frequency is slightly different from the rest of the universe, he always appears slightly blurry in photographs or videotapes.According to Johns, this "out-of-sync" feeling extends to his personality as well. "The whole idea is that he feels a little bit out of step with everyone else because [Vibe] literally is out of step with everyone else,," Johns told MTV. "That ties into not only him as a hero... to find the confidence and the control to stand up and stand alongside everyone, but also how he can tie into the very fabric of what the DC Universe is on a big cosmic scale."
And although the character is all about "vibrations," he's not happy that his superhero name is "Vibe."
"He's essentially assigned the name by Dale Gunn," Kreisberg said, "[but] Cisco is actually not going to like his name. So we're acknowledging that the name 'Vibe' does have the potential to be a little cheesy. We're owning the cheese."
Team RoleVibe's recruitment onto the Justice League of America is still a bit of a mystery, although it's probably related to his ability to sense incursions from other dimensions.
But Johns also pointed out that Vibe is a manifestation of the theme behind the Justice League of America title: "living up to your potential."
"With Justice League of America, it's about unlocking potential. And that goes from both in-story — what the character's mission is — and then what our creative goals are," Johns told Newsarama. "Other people in the book might have a different idea of what the JLA is built for, and what the team is supposed to do, and why they exist. But Steve Trevor is the heart of the book, and he's the one saying, 'These people are overlooked. These people have potential that others don't realize, including themselves.'"
When Cisco is offered the chance to join the Justice League of America, he definitely doesn't realize his own potential."Cisco, when he's asked to join the Justice League, he's immediately saying, 'How am I going to go into battle with Superman and Batman and think that I'm going to come out of that alive?'" Kreisberg said. "He's almost ready to put a Star Trek red shirt on himself, because he's convinced he's the one guy on the team who won't walk away from the fight."
But Finch pointed out that the character's story arc will change people's opinion of him — as well as his confidence in himself.
"He really doesn't have a lot of confidence in his position. He feels like he doesn't belong with the other members of the team," Finch told Newsarama. "He really doesn't know why he's there. And he doesn't have the support from his family to give him that confidence."I think it's possible he might have the best story of all the characters in the book. I think he might be the most interesting," the artist added.
Johns has promised the Justice League of America will clash with the other Justice League within the next year, and the teaser image for Trinity War shows Vibe right in the middle of that conflict.
"Vibe is going to play a very big part in the upcoming storylines of both the Justice League and the JLA," Kreisberg said.Check back with Newsarama until the launch of Justice League of America on Feb. 20th for more character profiles from the JLA team. And see our recent profiles below.
- JLA Profiles: GL SIMON BAZ Ready to Make His Mark in DCU
- JLA Profiles: Johns on 'Most Dangerous' MARTIAN MANHUNTER
- JLA Profiles: Johns Approaching HAWKMAN In a New Way
- JLA Profiles: CATWOMAN Brings Villainous Slant To Team
- JLA Profiles: KATANA - Death, Honor, & Soultaking Sword
- Who's Who in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA