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Review: ‘Cyber Force’ #1

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Cyber Force #1 offers an updated re-imagination of the sci-fi and action team of mutants that dominated during the first wave of Image Comics. With an engaging visual style and the fast-paced story the first issue offers a fun action introduction to the series. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, this launching pad will definitely keep both old and new fans excited. In their welcome homecoming, “Cyber Force” celebrates its own 20th anniversary in style.

WRITTEN BY: Marc Silvestri, Matt Hawkins
ART BY: Khoi Pham
PUBLIHER: Top Comics
PRICE: Free
RELEASE: October 17th, 2012

A fugitive from the law, Carin Taylor, also known as Velocity, has no one to turn to in the oppressed Millennium City. Hiding a secret that could very well kill her, Velocity is the daughter of the most powerful woman in Old Pittsburgh. CDI, a major corporation, has turned neighborhoods into war zones with their techno-biological weapons. With her knowledge of the heavily-guarded Aphrodite Protocol, Velocity must find people who can help her against the CDI, or the entire world will die.

If you remember from the original “Cyber Force” mini-series, the first panel started with Velocity running for her life, being chased by over-sized robots (I happen to have the original series). In a tribute to the original first issue, this one kicks off with Velocity still running. But do not expect a nostalgic recreation of the past. Velocity does not look or behave as she did before. In the original, Velocity was an observer to all the chaos going on around her. Now, Velocity has more of a punkish, free-willed attitude as she throws herself into trouble.

With creator Marc Silvestri back at the helm and Matt Hawkins as co-writer, they keep the readers invested with the mystery surrounding CDI and Morgan Stryker. Silvestri and Hawkins find creative ways of bringing the members of Cyber Force into contemporary times. In the early 90s, the team was portrayed as rebels and anti-heroes against Cyberdata’s world-dominating plans. That theme now might hold more weight and the writers are attuned to this. Nonetheless, some aspects of the story a all too familiar, running similarities with many other sci-fi comics.

Silvestri does a terrific job with the character designs of Ripclaw, Velocity, and Heatwave. From his snarl and poses, Ripclaw originally shared similarities to Wolverine. Now in a completely different design, Ripclaw has spikes running up and down both arms. Each team member – from Heatwave to Impact – has a body part composed of cybernetics, as if they have lost their humanity, due to serving for the CDI military. The Cyber Force team looks like war veterans, who have sacrificed much for the cause.

Artist Khoi Pham’s real skill is facial expressions and close-ups. You can sense the hostility in the room when Velocity meets these CDI escapees. With such angry and intense reactions, you can tell the entire team is ambivalent in helping out Velocity. With a moody vibe, Pham displays a visibly broken team bickering back and forth, always at odds with each other.

If you were a fan of the original “Cyber Force,” definitely pick this issue up. While it is overly modernized in parts, it does justice to the original series. Also the first five issue is free, so there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t give this comic a look.

3.5/5 skulls

Reviewed by Jorge Solis