Cyborg #6 is a solid issue. It’s an easy read that doesn’t take chances but doesn’t fall flat. John Semper Jr. seems to use some issues to set up more major issues, with the set-up usually not being as interesting. This one, however, keeps us interested.
The reader gains a new protagonist to empathize with and we like her as a character. She isn’t developed deeply but does evolve as the story evolves. Over time, we become attached to her and the plot twist at the end is both unexpected and well-placed.
Semper Jr. has gotten very good at internal dialogue and this issue is his inner monologue at its best. The contrast between what’s thought and said is timed incredibly well and the pacing just feels much more organic for the most part. There are a few jumps in the story that leave the reader wishing we knew more about what happened, but it picks up where it left off and fills in gaps well.
Will Conrad’s art is extraordinary, with great blends of dynamic and static scenes. The panel layout is well-structured and feels natural to read. The flow of the text and art is some of the best yet. Conrad’s art, however, does seem to unnecessarily sexualize Variant. It distracts from the importance of the story and characters by, at times, focusing on her to assure the reader that she has breasts and can still have sex. The minutia in Conrad’s art is brilliant, with very subtle facial expressions conveying moods that foreshadow and portray inner thoughts without requiring text.
It’s apparent that John Semper Jr. is writing this for the long haul. He has brilliant stories that span several issues and take their time building up. Readers can’t enjoy his work in individual issues as much as trades, in my opinion. It allows the reader to see the development occur slowly and organically, while keeping us interested. I can’t wait to see where he takes us next, I just hope we get an artist who stays on the series for a long time. The art is almost always great, it just switches too often to be as enjoyable as it could be.