Friday, October 24, 2008

Cyblade #1 Review

Cyblade #1
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Pencils by Rick Mays
Inks by Sal Regla
Colors by Guru-eFX
Letters by Troy Peteri
Edited by Rob Levin
Published by Top Cow

Cyblade was one of two books fans voted for in Pilot Season 2007 to get its own series. The creative team who worked on the Pilot issue, writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Rick Mays, return to work on the series. French born Dominique Thiebault is a former team member of Cyberforce and was once a blatant rip-off of Psylocke. The new series, however, is a prequel to her adventures on that team. Now we meet nineteen year old Dominique, whose ability to generate electromagnetic blades manifests during an armed attack on her school. After some years pass, Dominique becomes a "Special Hazardous Operations Cyborg" or S.H.O.C. trooper for the malevolent corporation known as "Cyberdata", who provides her with the cybernetic upgrades that turn her into assassin/warrior Cyblade. It isn't until she leaves Cyberdata to join Cyberforce that she realizes the extent of the crimes she has committed in Cyberdata's name. Fialkov's series is set in the beginning of Dominique's career as a S.H.O.C., as the hero gradually becomes aware of her employer's choosing. With the help of a spy sent to infiltrate the company, Cyblade has broken free from Cyberdata's control. She must find a way to escape from their clutches for good, while trying to discover who she really is beneath and choose her own destiny.

If any of this sounds familiar, it's because it should. The assassin with amnesia bit has been slightly played out through the years. From Wolverine to Jason Bourne, and with Christian Slater's new gig on "My Own Worst Enemy" added to the list, it seems a tad passe. The obvious main difference is that this time it's a young girl who is the killer/weapon instead of some middle-aged male. I never got around to reading the one-shot last year since the name "Cyblade" brought back bad memories of the oh so gritty 90's. I recently tracked it down in one of my local shops, in the $1.50 bin, so there wasn't much to lose. To be honest, I surprised myself and rather enjoyed it, though I kept reminding myself I paid what was basically half-price for it.

I digress. Cyblade: Agent of Cyberdata is just so-so. It's definitely not the best, nor is it the worst out there. The dialogue is well-written, even if it's not the most original concept on the market. Mays' pencils are solid. . . most of the time. There are times where his figures look awkward and uncomfortable. The coloring is hit and miss as well. The laser blast and shower effects look spectacular. However, when it comes to Steven Rashall (the agent helping Dominique plan her escape) and his shirt, it looks as if he is sealed inside of it.

The book has plenty of room for potential and improvement, though I admit I'm intrigued on where they plan to take Dominique from here. While reading one thought kept crossing my mind-- of all the characters, why do just one, and so one-dimensional? It is clear that even the smallest characters can have the biggest fans. And hey, at least it's not a Bloodwulf spin-off.

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