Where's CYBORG? Why DC Might Switch Vic from JUSTICE LEAGUE To TEEN TITANS

Cyborg #21
Credit: Sam Lotfi (DC Comics)
Credit: DC Comics

DC's DC Nation #0 cover portended Scott Snyder's Justice League team coming this summer - and with what could be a surprise. The image (at right) features Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, and the Flash.

The image seems to indicate that these six characters will comprise the team as Scott Snyder takes over Justice League this summer - a run that's being previewed in the DC Nation book.

That's a change from the team's current line-up, which doesn't have Martian Manhunter but instead includes Cyborg and two Green Lanterns (with Cyborg currently situated as Justice League's leader, no less).

Does this mean Cyborg doesn't have a team anymore? Or might the hero become part of the Titans or Teen Titans, the team(s) with which he's most often been associated?

In May's Justice League: No Justice, the four-issue weekly mini-series that precedes Snyder's run, Earth's heroes are splitting up into several groups. Cyborg is slated on a team with Damian Wayne, the founder of the modern Teen Titans.

With Cyborg missing from promo art for Snyder's new Justice League, could Damian recruit Cyborg to be part of the new Teen Titans post-No Justice?

Or maybe the Titans, who just got in trouble with the Justice League for their emotion-driven decisions, might be forced to take on the Cyborg as a team member - but also as a former Justice League member who can sort of oversee the heroes.

Two weeks ago, DC obliquely teased Cyborg being a Titans alum once again in a blink-and-you'll-miss it panel from The Flash Annual #1... but more on that in a second.

There are a few other reasons to think DC could be switching Cyborg to either Titans or Teen Titans:

Credit: Warner Bros. Animation


Feature Film

Whether it was calculated or not, Cyborg's presence on the "New 52" Justice League helped support the team make-up in the Justice League film. Cyborg was a founder of the Justice League in the "New 52" version of the team's initial outing, and his role was similar in the 2017 film.

But now the character is going to be part of a different team in the upcoming Teen Titans GO! to the Movies film, set to release July 27, 2018. The movie features the same characters as the TV series Teen Titans GO! - Beast Boy, Robin, Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire.

So if the character's presence in the Justice League film was any influence at all, his role in Teen Titans GO! might similarly be at play in what's coming this summer.

Of course, Warner may still develop a Cyborg solo film for 2020 (nothing is certain with Warner Bros.'s DCEU these days) but that project has been described by its star as a more intimate look at the character that doesn't necessary involve other characters in the DCU.
 

Credit: Angel Unzueta (DC Comics)

Writer's Choice

It's no secret that Cyborg is one of Geoff Johns' early favorites. Most fans credit Johns with fixing the changes that had been made to Cyborg's body (over his convoluted continuity) in 2001's Flash: Our Worlds At War. The story cleverly returned Cyborg to a form resembling his classic Titans look.

Johns also made Cyborg a central part of his Teen Titans revival in the mid-2000's, and the hero played an important role in the writer's event series Flashpoint.

Credit: Jim Lee (DC Comics)

Then when Johns launched a new Justice League title for DC's 2011 reboot, he decided to make a significant change to the team's original make-up: Cyborg was now a founding member of the Justice League and thus no longer a Teen Titan.

But with new writers come new ideas, and incoming Justice League writer Scott Snyder appears to have enough pull at DC to revamp the Justice League to include Martian Manhunter, who just showed up in his Metal event.

And besides writer sensibilities, it's also the era of "Rebirth," which in many ways decidedly undoes the more drastic changes from the "New 52."

With Marv Wolfman writing a series of stories that feature his Titans characters - including reviving the Cyborg ongoing series - there's a sense that DC is honoring the roots of the Teen Titans.

At the very least, the "Rebirth" initiative has re-established relationships that fans expect and love.

And with Martian Manhunter having been the actual co-founder of the Justice League (in classic continuity), it's very much in keeping with the theme of "Rebirth" to return him to his status as friend and colleague to the rest of the Justice League.

And this same idea - returning relationships - also supports Cyborg being re-established on as part of a Titans team. Readers - and modern viewers of Teen Titans GO! - are used to seeing his friendship with characters like Beast Boy, Raven, and Starfire. And his former continuity would make him feel comfortable to fans on either the Teen Titans or Titans teams.

Speaking of former continuity, the post-Crisis Wally West who returned in "Rebirth" had a flashback in January 31's The Flash Annual #1 to better days as part of the Titans - mentioning Magenta by name as a member, but also showing, definitively, Cyborg.

Credit: Howard Porter/Christian Duce (DC Comics)

 

That Vic is, in fact, part of that Titans family and Wally's lost past dynamic - and that its being emphasized here - seems important, especially since Wally and his past is such a big part of the "Rebirth" mythos as a whole.

And although the current Titans all remember their time together as younger heroes - a memory that hasn't yet appeared to include Cyborg by anyone but Wally - DC maybe setting up a reunion that will bring Vic back into that particular fold.


Oversee The Kids

Credit: Sam Lotfi (DC Comics)

One of the reasons that DC touted Cyborg as an ideal addition to the modern Justice League was that he's both young and filled with tech.

But those criteria aren't exclusive to the Justice League, and in fact they might fit better with a younger team.

Plus, there's been a movement in-continuity to oversee the Justice League's younger counterparts, with the current Titans team being recently forced to disband by the Justice League.

If DC keeps the continuity where Cyborg helped found the Justice League (and yes, that's an "if" in this era of Dr. Manhattan's continuity-morphing), then it might make sense for him to be stationed with the Titans or Teen Titans to oversee their activities.

After all, if anyone can communicate instantly to the Justice League that the "kids" need help, it's Cyborg.

But whatever Cyborg's role in the upcoming DCU - after all, we don't definitively know what he'll be doing - the thrill of seeing Martian Manhunter back on the Justice League doesn't negate the fact that Cyborg deserves a meaningful role somewhere as well.

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