In October of 1980, Marv Wolfman and legendary artist George Perez introduced the world to Victor “Vic” Stone, AKA Cyborg, a high schooler with cybernetic enhancements and a penchant for shouting “booyah!” Like any comic book character that’s been around as long as Cyborg has, he has seen many iterations over the years, beginning in 1980 in issue #26 of DC Comics Presents. Initially the son of scientists, Silas and Elinore Stone, Victor spent most of his early years as a test subject for his parents and was kept from public schooling. After his inability to properly socialize leads him into the wrong kind of crowd, Silas and Elinore enroll him in public school where a resentment will begin to grow toward his parents. During an experiment gone wrong in which a creature from an alternate dimension is brought into our world, Elinore is killed and Victor is left on the brink of death. Utilizing developing technology, Silas revives Victor through cybernetics, leaving him half human and half cyborg. Feeling like a guinea pig again, Victor leads the life of a loner, that is, until Raven introduces him to the Teen Titans, giving him a newfound purpose.
Though the character had been around since the 80’s, it wasn’t until 2003 when audiences on a wider scale were introduced to the character via Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans. Based primarily on Wolfman and Perez’s original run, the heavily anime influenced cartoon series featured a simpler origin story and a more lighthearted Cyborg, this iteration being the most recognizable. Cyborg and his best friend Beast Boy quickly became fan favorites, with much of the series humor coming from the two. However, while this was undeniably a more lightened Cyborg than his initial comic book run, the series was famous for its ability to tell his origin and the struggles that come with it with a surprising level of thought and maturity. For many, this is the Cyborg people hope to see on the big screen.
In 2011, DC Comics boldly rebooted almost their entire universe via the Flashpoint crossover. In the wake of this, Cyborg emerged a much more pivotal character. His origin was updated, though remains similar in most important aspects. The key difference is instead of meeting Raven and subsequently the Teen Titans, Cyborg integrates Boom Tube technology into cybernetic body and is transported into the middle of a city wide battle between the Justice League and Darkseid and his army of parademons. In the aftermath of the battle, Cyborg joins the Justice League and has remained an integral part in most comics and animated adaptations since, including beyond DC’s relaunch with Rebirth in 2016.
As for Ray Fisher’s upcoming performance as Cyborg in Justice League many questions still remain. What iteration will be drawn from the most? Based on what we know, it seems as if his post 2011 story will serve as the primary inspiration, but the extent of which that material will be adapted is unknown. What we do know from his origin briefly shown in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is that, unlike his typical origin stories, Cyborg is not created through human machinery, but through the Mother Boxes. According to an interview with Zack Snyder, Cyborg’s origin will be explored more thoroughly than just what we saw in the previous film, and that in a lot of ways, his story is the heart of the film.
Regardless of what aspects of his character in previous iterations are adapted here, I’m sure I speak on behalf of many when I say I can’t wait to see what Snyder has in store for us.