In the early ’90s, Cyber Force was one of those grim, X-Men derivatives that never quite pulled away from a packed genre. I owned the first issue back in the day, but never opened it. Probably because I thought I was rich. I’d forever ruin my fortunes if I ever smudged the cover with my grimy, mortal fingers. Twenty years later, I really have no clue what happened to that comic. Looking at the price guides, should I ever find it, I could possibly cash it in and for a foot-long sub and a soda.
Now that the get-rich-quick, collector phase of comics is merely a laughable side-note in history, many series born from that era are getting much deserved reboots. This past summer, Matt Hawkins conducted a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to resurrect and re-imagine Cyber Force. He also promised to release the first five-issue story arc for FREE. That’s zero dollars. $0! This innovative utilization of crowd-funding is a concept that every comic fan should embrace. It’s like a movie theater letting you sit in on the first 30 minutes of a movie before asking you to pay to see the rest.
In the future, an evil transnational corporation known as CDI engineers cybernetically enhanced humans. And it’s also bent on world domination. The CDI chairwoman’s daughter, Carin, is a prototype series V, which means her cybernetic enhancements are much farther advanced than the other measly series IIs and IIIs. Think Terminator’s T-800 versus its more antiquated predecessors. Carin has special knowledge of the exact date that the world will end. To prevent the apocalypse she ran away to track down Stryker. She instead stumbles into a group of sewer-dwelling resistance fighters who view her as a valuable hostage””a golden-ticket out of their meager existence.
After a brief flashback, Cyber Force #2 picks up where the first issue left off with the SHOC trooper attack that decimated the small clan of resistance fighters. The story introduces Stryker and several villains such as Dolorossa, who looks to be a cruel nemesis for the team. This issue also provides more background on CDI’s capabilities and motivations. The story is still setting the stage for the team to come together and putting the pieces in place for huge showdown.
Cyber Force is a slow starting comic series. The first issue was loaded with flashbacks, information dumps, and some heavy-handed narration. In other words, it wasn’t exactly my can of Red Bull. The second issue still has a few flashbacks and jumps around the timeline, but Marc Silvestri‘s storyline has begun to settle into an interesting plot. There is plenty of action in this issue and certain events clearly highlight the roles that characters such as Ripclaw, Stryker, Velocity, and Dolorossa will play in this series.
The art in this series is an improvement over my memories of the Cyber Force‘s previous runs. Characters still grimace and pose in a few panels, but there’s usually a reason for it””how would you react if you saw SHOC troops shooting little kids in the face? Khoi Pham‘s pencils are detailed, but not overly scratchy or textured; his believably proportioned characters and fluid line-work portray a story and don’t ever dominate the scene.
After reading the first two issues, would I throw down some money for the next issue? Probably not. The good news is that I definitely like Cyber Force better now than I did after issue #1. And we still have three more free issues before Top Cow starts charging for admission. There’s still plenty of space to establish the characters and ramp up a good story arc. This Cyber Force reboot has definite potential. I’m enjoying the near-future, dystopian, corporate-ruled theme; the characters are becoming more compelling as they are given more room to interact in the story. This series is definitely worthy of your time and seems to be gaining momentum as the story progresses.