Review: ‘Cyber Force’ #2

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More than just a blast from the past, Cyber Force #2 has plenty for both old and new fans of this re-imagination of the sci-fi and action team of rebel mutants. With engaging visuals and a fast-paced story, readers are definitely going to be thrilled. And, it’s free!

WRITTEN BY: Marc Silvestri, Matt Hawkins
ART BY: Khoi Pham
PUBLISHER: Top Cow Productions
PRICE: Free
RELEASE: December 5th, 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 looking for a mysterious stranger named Stryker. In the nonstop manhunt for Velocity, a major corporation, known as CDI, has decimated neighborhoods and killed innocent civilians with their techno-biological weapons. If she can just find Stryker, Velocity might hold the very key to saving her city from doomsday.

If you fondly remember the original “Cyber Force”, this reboot isn’t a nostalgic visit to the past. With creator Marc Silvestri at the helm, his team of characters have not only changed their looks, but also their personalities. Originally, Stryker was a proud ladies’ man, a nod to the X-Men’s Gambit, with a license to kill. In this update, Stryker is a brooding ex-soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress. Past his prime, Stryker truly believes he still has one last good fight in him. Marc Silvestri and co-writer Matt Merhoff have turned this once rebellious character into a seriously depressed loner and layered him with back-story.

Even if you are familiar with the characters, Silvestri and Hawkins treat readers with tons of surprises and plot twists. Major characters die in this issue, which I always consider to be a risky gamble. Those that do survive aren’t exactly the ones you expect to form Cyber Force. Silvestri and Hawkins are taking out fan-favorite characters, but they’re also tightening the relationships of the survivors. Though I wanted to see the old team back together, I’m still interested in seeing how the story develops.

Silvestri has done a fantastic job rejuvenating the character designs of Stryker and Ballistic. Originally, Stryker had long locks of blonde hair and a steel arm, which looked straight out of X-Force; most notably like Cable’s. In this modern twist, Stryker has a robotic arm with gold tones, which can easily come off the shoulder anytime he wants. This is a really smart metaphor for war veterans who have lost a limb and replaced them with a prosthetic. Ballistic still has one eye missing but her uniform, which resembles a horse rider’s apparel, is more conservative.

Artist Khoi Pham makes the character designs look impressive in the action-packed sequences. During an intense shootout, Ripclaw throws spikes from his arms; something that wasn’t done in the past. In a splash page, Pham captures the intensity of the battle as Cyblade jumps over explosions, dodges lasers, and tackles robotic soldiers. Pham focuses on the facial expressions when a laser shoots through a character’s chest.

If you were a fan of the original “Cyber Force,” you’re going to enjoy seeing these characters back. If you’re new, “Cyber Force” #2 is free, which is a really good reason to take a look.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis