28 years ago - Victor Stone is born.
26 years ago - 2-year-old Vic is subjected to neurological learning experiments by his parents.
13 years ago - 15-year-old Vic begins his high school sports career.
11 years ago - 17-year-old Vic suffers massive tissue damage in an explosion in his father's lab, ultimately losing 60% of his body before the damage can be contained, forcing him to use his father's experimental bio-prosthesis to replace most of his body.
10 years ago - 18-year-old Vic finishes the worst of his rehabilitation, and finds that much of his past life is gone. Raven finds him a recruits him for her new Teen Titans.
8 years ago - when the Teen Titans are infiltrated and destroyed, 20-year-old Vic goes to college, focusing on his own work in bio-prosthesis.
5 years ago - 23-year-old Vic gets his bachelors degree in biotechnology. he helps Will Magnus revitalize his Metal Men programming and rebuild them.
3 years ago - 25-year-old Vic earns a masters degree in bio-cybernetics. He starts a new Titans team in San Francisco after the battle that kills Donna Troy.
1 years ago - 27-year-old Vic joins all the surviving Titans in space to save Donna Troy, & hands over leadership of the Titans to Tim Drake.
now - 28-year-old Vic joins Dick Greyson's Watchtower. He builds himself new sleeker cybernetics that incorporate the Watchtower's advanced alien technology
Cyborg wasn't the first black superhero in mainstream comics, or the first black DC character, even the first black Teen Titan. However, he managed to be the first one to transcend the role of 'black superhero' and be a complex heroic character in his own right. (There's probably an entire book waiting to be written about the fact that the first truly successful black comic character was basically a stylized Frankenstein's Monster whose natural athletic prowess and virility was stripped from him... but I'm not the guy to write that book.) He was a mainstay member of one of the greatest super teams in comics, and even wound up joining the Justice League in the Challenge of the Superfriends. In modern post 52 continuity, he's actually a FOUNDING member of the Justice League. It's impossible for him to have a higher profile. However, the best thing about this character is his backstory, experience and relationships, and it's really important that we work to maintain those.
Cyborg's Comic History
Cyborg was an original character when Marv Wolfman & George Perez re-imagined the Teen Titans in 1980, a book full of young, innovative, exciting new characters, DC's most popular book for most of the decade, holding it's own against the X-Men juggernaut. He was an accident victim that had been rebuilt by his scientist father that was fighting to accept his loss of humanity. This is the character that was featured in the 80's era Challenge of the Superfriends.
Like many of the characters from that era, he faded into the background for several years, having the nature of his mechanical body change a few times before he returned as the leader of the Geoff Johns Teen Titans with a modernized version of his classic look, which also included elements of his appearance in the insanely popular animated Teen Titans series.
When the New 52 happened in 2011, Cyborg actually became a founding member of the Justice League. His origins were altered slightly, incorporating the alien super-computer mother-box in his cybornetics. He was now able to hack anything and everything, teleport the team, his technology so advanced it functioned more like magic... powers he took with him as he starred in his own series.
Our Cyborg Story
Vic is actually surprisingly easy to get right. we stayed away from his revamped post-new 52 origins, deciding to avoid incorporating any alien technology into his design (at first). Instead, we wanted to focus his early life on the classic and easily recognizable version of his story as he struggles to regain a sense of self in the face of having lost so much of his humanity. Even more importantly, it's HOW he finds that sense of self; it's because of the circle of friends that he surrounds himself with. Being a Titan is just more important than being in the Justice League. Titans are family.
One thing that was very important to us was to see to it that Vic was able to take ownership of his own cybernetics. He needs to be an expert in biotechnology, and so me made sure to make his post-Titan years feature him perusing an advanced degree and updating his own armor. He has the same role in our story that he had in Geoff John's Titans, as a mentor and leader to a new generation of heroes. Then, of course, he joins the Watchtower. We want to reflect his membership in the League, but do it in a way that honors his history with the Titans as well. He's not just one of the biggest heroes in DC, but he's firmly a part of the new generation of heroes.
Plus, they're bound to have a mother-box in their trophy room.
There are, more or less, five different versions of Vic's cyborg body. (six if you count the weird liquid metal body he had for a bit, which we don't). There's his original body, which featured a lot of what looked like arm straps, and which we're not opposed to using as his original look. That was eventually updated into a much bulkier, much more robotic body. This, as well as the updated version of his original body you saw in Geoff John's Titans... both influenced the look that might be his most popular... the blue-shouldered full-robot body from the animated series.
This might be one of the only times we really start to like costumes done as part of the New 52; when he had his origin retold and joined the Justice League, he had a huge, powerful, awesome-looking cybornetic body, and it was pretty killer. That body died (only to be taken over by a rogue AI to become the villain Grid, which was cool), and he came back with a new, sleeker, cooler body that we actually really like that he carried into his own series.
So how is this going to work? We like the idea that his body is slowly changing over time, so we can slowly build up his cybernetics as the years pass. Then we come to THIS year, and he joins the Watchtower and has access to all the cool alien tech. At this point, I imagine his whole body is pretty modular, so it makes sense that he'd finally build his sleek new tech, and have access to all his cool super-hacking and teleportation powers.
This is one case where it's not so much about picking one or two costumes, but allowing that he slowly changes over time. If nothing else, I'm personally really jazzed that he finally has his own chest logo now.
The idea that Vic is starting to really master his cybernetics presents a lot of cool possibilities, and not just for cool new applications of his tech powers.
He's had love interests in the past, but the nature of the character meant he was always sort of trapped in his own body, and that made any sort of meaningful relationship feel forced. Also... you can't really help but question how that would work. Now that he is the person developing and advancing his own cybernetics, however, it introduces an idea that perhaps he has a greater degree of control over his own body, and his life, and perhaps he could have a more human relationship in his future.
In fact, he's now in the Watchtower, and so is Kendra Saunders. When the animated series Batman Beyond depicted a future Justice League, one member, Warhawk, turned out to be the son of Hawkgirl and John Stewart. It's not possible in our story for Jon to be Warhawk's father... buuuuuuuuuut.... is it possible that a romance between Kendra and Vic might happen? We've certainly proposed stranger things.
Even without that, Vic is one of the biggest superheroes in the world right now, and as he slowly gains the ability to adapt his body even further, there's no limit to what he might become.