Cyborg #5 is a valuable and timely issue, tackling many important modern topics effectively and quickly. John Semper Jr.’s writing and storytelling has gotten better in every issue and this issue is a testament to what he can accomplish when he lets art tell the story.
This issue addresses multiple affairs on the forefront of American minds, including terrorism, race, policing, and disability. The story gives quick subplots that start and finish very effectively. In my review of the Cyborg Rebirth one-shot, I explained how it felt like too much was happening at the same time. This issue has more happening yet nothing is forgotten. It features an antiterrorism action sequence that feels timely and immediately pulls the reader in. Following, Semper Jr. offers a discussion of being black in America and specifically black in an urban city. He portrays the fundamental diversity within the black community that’s overlooked by white Americans. The pace shifts to a confrontation with police that’s powerful and hits home. After this, the audience is given more interaction between characters and a quick and interesting look at life as a person with a disability. The issue’s ends with the discussion and creation of a new cyborg. This scene is not particularly interesting, but does keep the reader’s attention. The final page ends on a cliffhanger that offers a genuinely interesting and potentially great future for the series.
The art is split in half in this issue. The series seems to not be able to nail down artists, as we’ve seen switches between artists in previous issues but this issue doesn’t even have one artist all the way through. The change is jarring but both pencillers, Alan Jefferson and Derec Donovan, offer fantastic depictions of Semper Jr.’s story. Jefferson’s art feels much more realistic while Donovan’s feels much more animated. Both do well for the series and the character, but the transition isn’t easy to make.
Semper Jr. seems to realize how important the art is in the storytelling and he lets the visuals tell the story much more. The dialogue has also improved, but at times, feels a little messy.
This is one of the best issues yet and I cannot wait to see what happens next. I really like the art, I just wish it was one artist all the way through the issue. The stories told are powerful and important and of the little action, all of it feels organic.
I loved this issue so much that I am currently working on an essay addressing a very specific scene. Stay tuned!