Each Friday, we'll be letting a different DC.com writer share what they'll be reading over the weekend and why you might want to check it out. Here's this week's suggestion for a perfect Weekend Escape!

Throughout Black History Month, Weekend Escape has spotlighted some of the best storylines featuring DC’s Black heroes or written/illustrated by Black creators. With that in mind, this week we’re highlighting the 2023 limited series Cyborg. As always, you can check this one out in print or on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE. Before you start, I recommend reading Morgan Hampton and Valentine De Landro’s story in 2023’s DC Power: A Celebration #1, which serves as an unofficial prologue to the six-issue series.

The Premise:

It’s a new day for Victor Stone. The Justice League has disbanded, leaving the Titans to lead the charge as the DC Universe’s premier superhero team. Since then, Cyborg has been spending more time in his hometown of Detroit, reconnecting with his roots. Victor should be on top of the world, but underneath he’s struggling to keep it together.

When Cyborg’s father Silas Stone suffers a fatal heart attack, Victor is forced to confront his unresolved feelings towards him. However, his grieving process is interrupted when he’s confronted by an android that has his father’s brainwaves. This raises some uncomfortable questions about what Silas Stone was up to before his death.

Meanwhile, a tech company known as Solace is using AI to improve the lives of its customers. However, unbeknownst to the users, Solace has a more sinister purpose. Can Cyborg put his father’s ghosts to rest in time to stop Solace’s AI takeover?

Let’s Talk Talent:

This limited series is written by Morgan Hampton, a rising star in the comic book industry. Hampton is a graduate of the Milestone Initiative Talent Development Program—a project designed to find and train DC’s next generation of underrepresented talent. When you read Hampton’s script, it’s easy to see why he was selected for the program. Hampton can write heart-wrenching drama (Silas’ funeral), laugh-out-loud comedy (the comment section in the “Do Better Detroit” livestream), and exciting action sequences (the Fearsome Five battle). This is a wide spectrum of tones for a script, but Hampton is able to do it flawlessly without the book feeling disjointed.

Plus, the script contains some truly unforgettable dialogue. As Victor processes his mental health, he says, “One thing that’s easy to forget about growth is that it’s not linear.” That line spoke to my soul, and it’s an important platitude for anyone that has ever struggled with their mental health.

Hampton is a lifelong Cyborg fan, and his love for the character shines through with each page. (And, on a personal note, he was a fun creator to interview.)

Tom Raney pencils the bulk of the issues here, and his work is nothing short of breathtaking. With his exceptional talent and dynamic style, Raney brings Cyborg and Detroit to life in vivid and captivating ways. The AI androids look creepy, the action is visually exciting, and each face is filled with fountains of emotion. Just look at the way Raney pencils Estelle Green during her livestreams. Her mood is evident before we read the dialogue. Raney’s artwork enhances Hampton’s script, making Cyborg an unforgettable visual experience.

A Few Reasons to Read:

  • This limited series raises some ethical questions about AI and the power tech companies have over our lives. In many ways, it almost feels like it’s ripped from the headlines. Cyborg is topical, but in a way that feels natural and not heavy-handed.
  • Whether you’re a longtime Cyborg fan, or a new reader who likes the character, this limited series will entertain you. For new readers, it tells you everything you need to know about the character and what drives him. For longtime fans, this storyline is a celebration of Victor Stone’s legacy as the character enters the next phase of his life.
  • One of my favorite things about this series is the way it tackles mental health. Victor Stone is seen attending therapy, and I think it’s important to normalize that. If a superhero can go to therapy without feeling stigmatized, then so can you. Victor’s therapist also gives him important mental health tips, such as journaling. In our fast-paced society, self-care and mental health are often overlooked, and I’m glad Cyborg is bringing these themes front and center.
  • There are lots of cool Easter eggs. For example, look at some of the usernames that post comments during Estelle Green’s livestream and you might recognize one of Victor’s first enemies. This storyline also contains some fun references to the 2003 Teen Titans animated series, including an appearance by A.T.L.A.S., a villain that had never been seen in the mainstream DC Universe before.

Why It’s Worth Your Time:

We see Victor go on an emotional journey, growing as a hero in the process. We see Cyborg make peace with his father, giving readers resolution to one of the character’s longest plot threads. Plus, we get to see some new abilities, like Cyborg’s mallet-arm. That was fun to look at.

Victor Stone has been an important part of the DC Universe since his debut in 1980’s DC Comics Presents #26. Cyborg deconstructs the classic hero as he explores the traumas of his past and builds towards a bright future. Simply put, 2023’s Cyborg is a wonderful character study of one of the most important players in the DC Universe.

Cyborg by Morgan Hampton, Tom Raney, Sean Damien Hill, Travis Mercer, Bruno Abdias and Michael Atiyeh can currently be read in print as individual issues or on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE. Look for it in stores as a paperback graphic novel on April 2, 2024.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DC.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.