For every “The Outsider,” it seems that events and their relative tie-ins give us a “Legion of Doom.” This book means well, wants to play nicely with others, but ultimately fails to deliver anything of substance.
Adam Glass’ story is heaped in clichés and thick with apathy-inducing inconsequential (mind you, this is a universe where anything can and should happen) scenes that just don’t deliver on an emotional level.
One point that really bothered me about the story and Cyborg’s artillery was the fact that his suit declared a 0% power supply during his fight with Heatwave. Really? Cyborg is supposed to be this world’s greatest American hero, right? Yet he’s dumb enough to have a system that declares its failure during battle?
I really want to like this version of Cyborg, but nothing in this issue makes him any more interesting or enjoyable than what I’ve seen of the character in the main “Flashpoint” series. There, Geoff Johns established Cyborg as a hero of Detroit. While Glass sees fit to bring the fight to Detroit – and does so with modest alternate universe-based accuracy – his Cyborg is half man, half machine, and three-quarters cliché. I don’t think it’s asking for a whole lot to give Vic Stone the chance to really shine, especially given that this is new universe where Vic hasn’t had (only) a dozen solo tales.
Glass does use a unique maneuver in having Cyborg fight Heatwave via remote controlled detached arm, but Rodney Buchemi doesn’t play that scene up for all it is worth. The attack of the arm is lost in some odd panel layout choices, including one that makes it appear as though this version of Cyborg lists teleportation in his arsenal.
The “Legion of Doom” title is a bit of a misnomer, clearly playing upon the subconscious knowledge of the older fan, as this book only features a handful of characters. The series should have either been titled “Cyborg” and opened up to really let that character shine. Or call it “Heatwave” and play it up for the story of revenge that this wound up featuring.
Looking forward from here, I’m hopeful that some notes will be taken on what works and doesn’t work for this character. I applaud DC for finally giving Detroit a character that doesn’t induce groans from readers. I just hope they decide to keep Cyborg grounded in the Motor City. It just makes too much sense.