Story: Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins
Art: Atilio Rojo
Letterer: Troy Peteri
What They Say:
Morgan Stryker convinces Ripclaw to join Cyber Force, but the organization that created him wants Ripclaw dead. Stryker makes a choice that will turn Cyber Force into fugitives or murderers — or something much, much worse.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
It’s been just over twenty-five years since I first read Cyberforce and I can still vividly remember getting in the various first issues of a lot of the Image Comics launch titles. Cyberforce was one that was certainly stylish and I liked what Marc Silvestri was working with as you could see the passion in it all. It was never a title I kept up for too long afterward as I fell out of comics within a year or so after Image launched and by the time I came back it just felt too convoluted to get into. But this tenth issue landed in my lap as written by Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins and I figured I’d see if I can find the magic again. The book has Atilio Rojo handling the art duties for it and the trio working together has what I’d guess is a fairly standard between the arcs kind of installment.
The central idea is focused on getting everyone into the positions they need to be. We see from the 30,000-foot view that Stryker needs to make sure everyone that they’re dealing with is fully bonded to the program and there are concerns about that with Ripclaw. And rightly so since he’s what you’d call a loose cannon. We’ see him being sedated and hanging in one of the lower basements while ideas are being worked through. It’s during this period that we see how Dominique is handling her new enhancements while Cairin tries to give her the positive side of things. Dom is just not having much of it as she feels less than human with the enhancements, not who she was before at all. It’s an easy contrast with Cairin who just adores what she’s become recently and that a lot of these feelings go away as you get used to what your body is now. And she does make the compelling enough case, for some at least, that with these new abilities you can do some real good in the world.
So, when Ripclaw awakens and activates, his going off on a rampage is no surprise as he needs to have a body count after what’s gone down. What makes it fun in a kind of decompressed way that the issues plays out is just as the security forces are about to take him down, Dom and Cairin show up and attempt to talk him down. They’re actually pretty capable of it considering their relationship with him and even for a moment we get the security forces side easing back to let it unfold. But the tensions run as they do, leading to the reveal of some of Dom’s power and how she basically shakes his head clear so that she can properly help him. While one suspects her position is tenuous, inserting herself in the mix to protect him but also help him navigate the control side of what’s coming for him will reinforce his bond with Dom, which Stryker can easily manipulate.
Cyberforce isn’t bad by any stretch but it just doesn’t feel like it’s achieving anything here that in a past life would have been handled over four or five pages or so. The expanded space to tell it does give it a little more nuance and humanity but it veers close to just dropped in exposition at times as well. While I haven’t read the nine issues prior, it’s fairly accessible and if someone drops in and it clicks for them then the run should work well as there’s decent things in motion here. Rojo’s artwork is decent but my mind (unfortunately) associates Cyberforce with Silvestri’s design work so anything else just feels a little alien. The writing is pretty standard and has a nice moment or two but is otherwise working through the motions of getting these characters where they need to be for what’s next.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics / Top Cow
Release Date: May 22nd, 2019