Cyborg & The Family Stone
Victor Stone grew up surrounded by science. As the only son of research scientists Silas and Elinore Stone, Victor was pushed and trained to follow in his parents’ footsteps. While experimenting on ways to boost human intelligence, they used Vic as a subject, which bestowed him with an IQ of 170. Silas and Elinore Stone’s pursuit of science unfortunately blinded them to their son’s need for a normal childhood.
Young Vic got into trouble when he began hanging around with the wrong crowd, which included a youth named Ron Evers, who got Vic into trouble several times. Victor remained Ron’s friend because he had no one else, his actions stimulated by his loneliness and lack of attention from his father.
Thanks to Elinore’s persuasion, Silas allowed Vic to attend public high school, where he immediately began making friends and showing great athletic potential. Vic met his first girlfriend, Marcy Reynolds, and trained very hard in the hopes of going to the Olympics. Silas was angered by Victor’s athletic plans because he wanted his son to pursue a career in the sciences; he did not think in terms of what Victor might want. This disagreement created a large rift between Vic and Silas and laid the groundwork for future tensions.
Cyborg’s origin is retold in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS mini series #1 .
One day Vic happened to visit his parents at S.T.A.R. Labs. They were working on two projects: a long-range inter-dimensional study and observation project, and the development of cybernetic body parts for physically disabled soldiers. While observing another dimension, Silas accidentally let a blob-like creature slither through the dimensional barrier. The entity killed Elinore and critically wounded Vic before Silas could activate the recall button and send it back.
Determined not to let his son meet the same fate his wife did, a desperate and unauthorized Silas used the untested cybernetic technology to rebuild Vic’s body with a frame of enforced molybdenum steel, special polymers and plastics. Vic survived, and Cyborg was born.
Raven recruits a bitter Cyborg in NEW TEEN TITANS #1 .
New Teen Titans
Angry at his father and bitter about his fate, Vic ostracized himself from society by moving to Hell’s Kitchen, a bad part of town where he felt a freak such as himself would fit in. It was here that Raven found Vic and asked him to join the New Teen Titans.
In appreciation of Vic’s new friends and the feeling of purpose they gave to his son, Silas Stone built Titans’ Tower. Several months later, Silas died of radiation poisoning, but Vic, having reconciled with his father, stayed with Silas until the end.
During his time on the team, Cyborg forged a close friendship with Garfield Logan (a.k.a. Beast Boy). He also met Sarah Simms, who works with handicapped children with prosthetics. The children looked up to Vic, who had his own ‘metal prosthetics,’ of a sort. Vic and Sarah Simms remained close friends. Although each of them danced around the idea of a romantic relationship, this would never come to pass.
ABOVE: The new Teen Titans gather in TEEN TITANS #1 .
BELOW: Vic Stone meets Sarah Simms in NEW TEEN TITANS #8 .
There have been a few attempts to upgrade Cyborg’s body using Promethium, and one project even attempted to cover his metallic parts with an artificial skin; unfortunately, Victor’s body rejected the new additions. It was at this time, however that Vic met Dr. Sarah Charles of S.T.A.R. Labs. There was an instant attraction between the two, and it soon blossomed into a full-blown romance.
It was also at this time that Vic’s estranged grandparents, Tucker and Maude Stone, reentered his life. Vic harbored some resentment towards them, as their traveling vaudeville career caused them to be absent during his formative years and even miss their own son’s funeral. After a long talk, old wounds were healed and Vic’s grandparents became a strong, supportive element in his life.
Soon, Dr. Sarah Charles received a job offer to work in S.T.A.R. Labs’ West Coast branch. This put a major strain on her relationship with Vic. Regardless, she took the job as she and Vic continued a long-distance relationship.
ABOVE: Victor’s larger-than-life grandparents reenter his life in TALES OF TEEN TITANS #46 .
BELOW: Sarah Charles’ impending move to San Francisco puts a strain on her relationship
with Vic – as seen in NEW TEEN TITANS (second series) #45 .
Titans Hunt: Some Assembly Required
As the Titans celebrated the anniversary of their team’s formation, individual members were hunted and captured by the mysterious Wildebeest Society. Deathstroke, Nightwing, Pantha, Phantasm and Arella joined forces to track them down. Upon locating the captured Titans, the heroes were shocked to learn the identity of the leader of the Wildebeests was their own teammate, Jericho, who had been possessed by evil Azarathian entities. During the conflict, Jericho launched a rocket containing Victor Stone..
The Titans tracked the rocket to Russia, discovering their teammate was badly injured in the crash. Old Titans’ ally Red Star welcomed the team to Science City, where a group of scientists did their best to restore Cyborg’s damaged mind and body. The Russian government had their own reasons for doing so – they saw Cyborg as an extremely effective living weapon. Seeking to protect Russia’s new asset, scientist Pytor Raskov programmed the brain-dead Cyborg to use his robotic enhancements to contain his former friends. Red Star pleaded with Raskov to allow the Titans to retrieve Cyborg. Raskov eventually complied, allowing Red Star and the Titans to travel back to the United States to find a cure for Victor.
Although the Titans were successful in bringing down the Wildebeest Society, they were unable to return Victor to his true form.
The Titans reunite with Red Star and find a brain-dead ,
rebuilt Cyborg in Russia – it all happened in NEW TITANS #77 .
The Technis Imperitive
The Titans later encountered an alien race called Technis, a cyber-alien collective that explored and cataloged data throughout the galaxy. The race was dying and in need of a humanness – a soul – to survive. After the Technis restored Cyborg’s humanity, he elected to be the one to save the dying race, and he merged his consciousness with the Technis.
In exchange, the techno-aliens gave Victor a new body and a new name: Cyberion. In this form, Cyberion became their protector as they traveled throughout the galaxy. Some time later, Cyberion was reunited with his former teammates and engaged in an interstellar conflict which resulted in the destruction of Tamaran. But there was triumph to be found in tragedy: The Titans were able to restore Raven, who was reborn in a golden spirit form.
In the wake of these events, Minion and Garfield Logan elected to remain in space as traveling companions to Cyberion. Frightened by Cyberion’s total embrace of technology, Gar left his friend and returned to earth. Jarras Minion also had doubts about Cyberion’s new attitude and decided to leave as well. Jarras, a sworn pacifist, made Victor a gift of his Omegadrome war suit before he left. Unknown to Minion, the Omegadrome allowed Victor to try to carry out his dangerous Technis Imperative: To recreate the planet Technis at all costs.
Vic Stone – as Cyberion – is reunited with Sarah Charles
in NEW TITANS #128 
Having collected a planet-size assortment of technological debris, Cyberion journeyed to Earth to turn its moon into a new Technis world and populate it with his Titans allies. The JLA and the Titans first clashed, then united, to prevent Cyberion from destroying the planet while saving Vic’s soul and downloading it into Minion’s morphing battlesuit, the Omegadrome. The original five Titans then decided to re-form the team. Cyborg – sporting a new golden body – readily accepted.
Vic’s time with the new team was fraught with bad luck. He reacquainted himself with his girlfriend Dr. Sarah Charles only to learn she had begun a relationship with fellow lab technician, DeShaun. During a battle with Tartarus and the H.I.V.E., Vic was offered a human body if he would help Vandal Savage harvest Addie Kane’s immortal blood. Before he could make a decision, Starfire destroyed Addie’s body, thus robbing Vic of the chance to make a choice. Also, Vic had to remain a member of the team under Nightwing’s watchful eye, because the Justice League feared he could fall under alien influence again.
Vic is reborn with the help of the Omegadrome in JLA/TITANS #3 .
Feeling like he owed his old friend a debt, Dick Grayson worked feverishly to find a cure for Vic’s condition. With Jesse Quick’s help, his idea was successful. Victor was given a new lease on organic life with a new body – one cloned from cell samples harvested by the Russian scientists who once spared him.
Though his mind and cybernetic abilities were still encapsulated in the Omegadrome, Victor inhabited a truly biological body. And for the first time in years, Cyborg knew what it is to live and feel and breathe unaided by mechanized parts. Embarking on a new life, Victor Stone left the Titans for the West Coast.
Vic is human at last in TITANS #20 .
Back To Basics
Vic Stone later aided the Flash during the “Our Worlds At War” crisis. At that time, Vic started using the golden Omegadrome to morph into this classic half-human/half-robot form. Cyborg decided to return to adventuring and settled in Keystone City, home of the Flash. But when Vic Stone linked with the evil computerized Thinker in an attempt to stop him from taking over the city, his body became mechanically paralyzed – reverting him to his silver cyborg form.
Shortly afterward, a mysterious android from the future known as Indigo attacked the Titans and Young Justice, resulting in the apparent deaths of Troia and Omen. At Troia’s funeral, Nightwing disbanded this version of the Titans. Meanwhile, members of Young Justice, especially Wonder Girl, felt responsible for the tragic deaths. This led Wonder Girl, Robin, Impulse and Superboy to form a new group of Teen Titans under the guidance of the more experienced Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy. Cyborg, who was damaged in the battle caused by Indigo, has since received an upgrade in his cybernetic parts.
Cyborg sets some ground rules in
TEEN TITANS (third series) #6 .
After reclaiming Titans Island on the East River, Cyborg set out to create an East Coast Titans team. But the team was brutally massacred by an unseen evil force. Soon, Titans members past and present were attacked by demonic entities across the globe. Raven, sensing Trigon’s presence once again, called upon her former Titans allies to defeat her fiendish father.
But after investigating, the Titans learned that Trigon himself was not behind the attacks. The bestial assaults were actually orchestrated by Raven’s three half brothers – Jacob, Jared and Jesse. Working together as a team, the Titans thwarted the Sons of Trigon and prevented Trigon’s invasion plan. Following this adventure, Cyborg decided to join his former teammates – and the Titans were together as a team once again!
The reunion was short lived, as personal problems forced each member to drift away from the team. At this time, Cyborg found a new calling with the Justice League – where he fought alongside former Titans Starfire, Donan Troy and Dick Grayson (who had temporarily assumed the identity of Batman).
Powers & Abilities
Cyborg possesses cybernetic enhancements that provide superhuman strength, endurance and durability. Cyborg can also interface with computers. Cyborg also still controls the Omegadrome, which can morph into different shapes and constructs.
A 2003 commission by Carlos D’Anda.
DC Comics Presents #26 : featuring a 16-page preview to New Teen Titans! The mysterious empath Raven invades Dick Grayson’s dreams and shows him a glimpse of his near-future as part of the Teen Titans. First appearances of Raven, Cyborg & Starfire. Beast Boy now known as Changeling.
New Teen Titans #1 : After invading his dreams, the mysterious empath Raven incites Dick Grayson to form the New Teen Titans for the eventual purpose of defeating her demonic father, Trigon; Kid Flash joins only after Raven uses her powers to make him fall in love with her; Raven, Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Changeling (formerly Beast Boy) and Victor “Cyborg” Stone unite to save Princess Koriand’r (soon to be known as Starfire) from Gordanian slavers.
New Teen Titans #7 : Titans’ Tower is unveiled. The Fearsome Five renew their assault on the Titans, using Silas Stone, Cyborg’s father, and the dimensional transmitter in Titans’ Tower to bring Psimon back; Once the Fearsome Five is defeated, Silas reveals that he is dying of cancer; After two months of reconciliation between himself and his son, Silas dies. Death of Silas Stone.
New Teen Titans #8 : Classic “Day in the Life” issue. Victor goes to see his old girlfriend, Marcy Reynolds, but she cannot accept Vic’s Cyborg identity; Victor befriends Sarah Simms, a teacher of handicapped children. First appearance of Sarah Simms.
Tales of the New Teen Titans #1 : 4-issue mini series. As the Titans take a break on a camping trip, the new members reveal their origins. The origin of Cyborg.
Tales of the Teen Titans #56-58 : The Fearsome Five, without Dr. Light, invade S.T.A.R. Labs and take Neutron and Jinx to be their new teammates; Cyborg’s refit is completed, but his body rejects the parts; The Fearsome Five are defeated; Cyborg is brought back to health and meets Dr. Sarah Charles; Jericho is made a full-fledged Titan. First appearances of Sarah Charles.
New Titans #77-78 : Nightwing, Deathstroke, Dayton, Pantha, Phantasm and Arella travel to Russia to locate the rocket, which they discover contained Vic Stone. Vic has been rebuilt by Russian scientists as a brain-dead robotic storm-trooper. Old Titans ally Red Star aids the Titans in reclaiming Vic and they travel back to the United States.
New Titans #103-107 [1993-1994]: “Terminus: The Fate of Cyborg” – Cyborg merges with Technis Planet.
New Titans #127-130 : First appearance of Vic as Cyberion in issue #127. Cyberion is reunited with the Titans for their final adventure.
JLA/Titans: the Technis Imperative #1-3 [December 1998 to February 1999]: Former Titan Vic Stone threatens to carry out his Technis Imperative and turn the earth’s moon into a new Technis world. The JLA and Titans first clashed, then united to save the earth and Vic Stone. Cyborg morphs with Minion’s Omegadrome and assumes a golden shape-shifting form.
Titans #10-12 [1999-2000]: Cyborg faces the ultimate test of his loyalty when the immortal Vandal Savage offers him a human body to call his own.
Titans #20 : After so many years of being in mechanized bodies, it looks like Victor Stone is about to achieve his dream of having a real body. Using a DNA sample and new cloning technology, Vic’s Omegadrome consciousness is downloaded into a new human form. Vic Stone quits the Titans this issue. Flash quits the Titans and persuades Jesse Quick to rejoin.
The Flash: Our Worlds At War #1 : Guest-starring Wally’s former Titans teammate, Cyborg. Now using the golden Omegadrome to morph into a cybernetic form, Vic returns to adventuring and decides to settle in Keystone City, home of the Flash.
Flash #184-188 : “Crossfire” The Thinker attempts to take over Keystone City. Cyborg interfaces with the Thinker.
Flash #189 : Cyborg reveals his encounter with the Thinker has reverted his body back to it’s Cyborg form. Last appearance of Cyborg as supporting cast in The Flash series.
Teen Titans (third series) #1-2 : Cyborg reforms the team and debuts his upgraded armor.
Teen Titans East Special : A flashback reveals an untold tale of the New Teen Titans saving a pop star from Joker and Bizarro. Flash to the present: Cyborg seeks out his old Titans allies to become Titans once again. All the elder Titans (Nightwing, Flash, Troia, Raven, Starfire, Red Arrow and Beast Boy) turn him down. Undaunted, Cyborg gathers a Titans East composed of Hawk & Dove, Power Boy, Little Barda, Anima, Lagoon Boy and Son of Vulcan. During a routine training exercise, Cyborg orders the rest of the team to take down Power Boy. Power Boy holds his own against the heroes, until Dove takes a leadership role and starts using teamwork to reign in Power Boy. The team is then shocked to discover Power Boy’s lifeless, burned body hanging from a tree. Before the team can react, they are savagely attacked by an unseen foe shooting laser blasts from the sky. Continued in Titans #1. Cyborg, Hawk & Dove, Power Boy, Little Barda, Anima, Lagoon Boy and Son of Vulcan form Titans East in this issue; the team is also massacred in this issue. Death of Power Boy.
Titans #1-4 : After Cyborg’s Titans East team is brutally massacred by an unseen evil force, Titans members are attacked by demonic entities around the globe. Raven, sensing Trigon’s presence once again, calls upon her former Titans allies to defeat her fiendish father. But the Titans discover that the bestial assaults were actually orchestrated by Raven’s three demon half brothers – Jacob, Jared and Jesse. Using Raven as a doorway, the Sons of Trigon open a portal to the desolate realm where a weakened Trigon awaited. The brothers then betray their own father by siphoning whatever small power was left within him. In the wake of this battle, the Titans – Nightwing, Troia, Flash, Red Arrow, Raven, Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy – decide to become a team again.
A 2009 commission by George Pérez.
George Pérez on Cyborg
George Pérez, from Amazing Heroes #50
“Victor,” Pérez begins. “is probably the closest to my own history, because of the fact that he’s a ghetto youth. He had the disadvantage of being a smart kid in a dumb society. He ended up becoming a very warm person even though he’s very big, and very strong. He’s not afraid to be warm. He’s got a big heart.
“Since Marv was doing the majority of the plotting for the first year, and I was helping after the fact, he had more of an idea of what Victor would be. I was honing it up via body language and other character aspects, directing Marv into his interpretation. Marv always intended, from the very beginning, that those first issues where he came off as the stereotyped angry Black man was just the fact that he had a legitimate reason to be angry, which had nothing to do with being Black. Once he got rid of the reason-namely the resentment of his father over the death of his mother-he became a very warm individual. That was the first sequence that showed the warm side of the Titans, the death of [Silas] Stone, which led immediately into issue #8, ‘A Day in the Lives.’ We really were cooking by that point.”
Since then, the only anger Victor has shown has been borne from a point of insecurity, like the dilemma with Sarah Simms which culminated in issue #33. It would have been so easy to present the close White female friend of a Black male as the classic liberal fluff, and cop out on all sides. Wolfman and Pérez have avoided that, and have made the young instructor a very three-dimensional person, and her friendship with Victor a warm, straightforward, honest camaraderie.
“Also,” Pérez says, “we didn’t want to go into a valid criticism we heard about the usual Black-White relationship. Some use the cliche that, in order for a Black character to be legitimate, he must prove it by loving a White person. They could very well be lovers at any given time. But the fact is that they’re just very good friends. It’s not very often, and particularly the young fans don’t understand it, that we just have the concept of a man and a woman being very good friends without being lovers.
George Pérez, from Amazing Heroes #156
There are certain things we want so spin off from, such as his hold on humanity. There’s a possibility that with science progressing, his cyborg body will be modified. Who knows, Victor may look totally different in a couple of years. One thing STAR. may suggest so him is that they’d like to replace more of his human flesh wish robotic parts. Victor starts dealing with a problem that he’s never had so deal with before; not just she loss of his humanity, but the loss of his being Black! Because writers don’t want to deal with race, Black characters are sometimes not dealt with appropriately. But Victor is Black, there’s no getting around is. He wants so hold onto his Blackness; he’s proud of it, he was born with it, and he’s not going so run away from is.
Part of this also will explain why he lives in Hell’s Kitchen, in a predominately Black neighborhood, despite the fact he could afford to live someplace else. I want to establish that he’s like the “Shane” of his neighborhood. He’s the local hero here. I’m also establishing little things he does to hold onto his humanity, like wearing an eye patch sometimes over his cybernetic eye so that his human eye does not get weak because there’s a better eye he can rely on. He’s holding onto his humanity and his Blackness.
A lot of the edge that Marv and I felt Victor had has been missing from him lately, and we’ll go hack to honing down on what makes him unique and on the elements of his personality that were always from what I knew of the character rather than what Marv knew of him. Marv was never raised in that type of neighborhood, and I was. I understand his personality better. We’re using that so bring back the edge to Victor Stone.
A 2004 convention sketch by Tom Grummett.
Marv Wolfman on Cyborg
“Cyborg: I always like Cyborg because I knew he was going to get the most negative comments because of the way we began him. He was very negative and embittered and all that, but I knew we were going to change him. The mail went exactly the way I expected it to, so he is a personal favorite for that reason.” – Marv Wolfman
DECKER: I guess not. Moving along, it seems like you’re possibly kind of edging toward an interracial romance with Cyborg and What ‘semame the girl who…
WOLFMAN: Sarah Simms.
WOLFMAN: Not necessarily. At first I thought of it. And then decided there was nothing wrong with a good healthy friendship that is nor based on a sexual background between them. I received a letter that sort of helped me change my mind, from a black leader who felt that we had seen a lot of interracial relationships, but we haven’t seen that many good, solid black-black relationships to show that a black hero doesn’t always go together with a white heroine and vice-versa. And that sort of got me thinking. That came very early in the relationship, that it made a lot more sense in terms of their needs to be very good friends. He has no girl friend who he is totally in love with in a sexual way at this time. He’s just very good friends with her, And that in itself is a slightly different relationship.
DECKER: I think that the scene where he was strolling through the park, and the little kid Lame up to him and asked for his ball back, and it turned out the kid had a prosthetic hand. I thought that was very touching.
WOLFMAN: Thank you. I have to give credit where credit is due. George and I worked out most of the scene to where he would come together with these kids and such, but George is the one who devised that particular scene. That’s what I mean about George adding so much. Obviously that came out of what we had discussed and worked out together but the fact that we can work in tandem) like that adds to the book. And I thought the lack of copy in that particular scene made a lot of it work as well.
DECKER: One last word on Cyborg, I’ve noticed that you’ve gotten letters thanking you for not making him a heavy-duty black stereotype.
WOLFMAN: Yeah. Intentional. All the white guys don’t run around saying “Hey, I’m white. And I’m happy” or “I’m boring because I’m white.” So why should every black character run around saying “I’m black and I’m angry.” This person was raised in a very scientific area, his anger was at his specific situation, not the fact that he was black. He’s highly intelligent in terms of I.Q. And bigotry tends to fall apart when seen through an intellectual gaze. I just wanted a straightforward character who was raised in a specific way, who views the world through his eyes and not through stereotyped eyes because he’s black. The fact that he’s black obviously has to have some bearing on him because it’s the way other people may treat him. But it has nor affected his outlook on other people. He wasn’t taught bigotry by his parents, so there would be no reason for him necessarily to believe in it.
DECKER: And of course you deliberately changed him over a period of issues, you evolved his character. You didn’t make certain qualities be his funny hat.
WOLFMAN: That was again very intentional since I knew what was going to happen, with his father coming in, and I knew where it was going to go. I wanted him to start in one way and to progress. People do progress in reality when they realize certain situations. What had happened to him was very mind-jarring in many ways. Having his body destroyed and everything else, he would naturally have some antagonism. The mini-series story showed many cases why because he wasn’t given the freedom to do what he wanted or didn’t understand what freedoms his father was giving him. And what finally had to result was the knowledge of why his father was doing things. There is a feeling among everybody I think, that just because their parents are parents they should be perfect. You look up at them, they’re people. I’m a parent now, and I’m no different than I was before my daughter was born. She probably looks up at me thinking I could do everything perfectly, and that’s false because I can’t, and no one else can. And to think of your parents as people who have to be idealized and that every flaw you see in them makes you dislike that, or cringe or get embarrassed is really silly because everyone has flaws. They’re people. No one goes to Parent College. [Laughter]
A Cyborg commission by Mike McKone.
Creators on Cyborg
Jonathan Peterson, Titans Hunt editor: “Victor…well, I wanted Cyborg to stay. Good character, and Tom liked him…but wanted to redo the costume. Which I agreed with. I thought a change was in order there. The good thing about a mechanical guy: he always needs new parts. Perfect reason for a perpetual redesign till you find one you like. [laughs]”
Devin Grayson: “Vic has been trying so hard to be a good sport, but the truth is, he’s less human than ever, and none too pleased about it. But whom can he go to confess his unhappiness…?”
Jay Faerber: “Cyborg is another one of my favorites. There’s just something about the scientific genius who pretends to be a hoodlum that I find fascinating. Plus, there’s the massive amount of tragedy he’s suffered in his short life. Tragedy always makes for good comics.”
Geoff Johns: ”Will there be any bumps in the road between the old and new? There will be entire sections of the road missing. This is not an easy transition for these guys. Cyborg and Starfire aren’t used to giving orders or being remodels. Starfire is there to help, but even if she thinks she’s a role model – she’s not. She’s a warrior with a violent streak underneath. And though Cyborg has created the Titans Tower as a place teenage super-heroes can come and be themselves on the weekends – he’s missing the point a bit. He’s a little stern and cold, but that could be because of what’s been bothering him on his off-hours.”
“Cyborg, to me, is the central mentor of this team. He’s the guy who brought them all together and plans on keeping them together. Starfire is more of a loose cannon, trying to act as an older sister to some but falling short of being able to in some respects. Gar, to me, is right there with the newer Titans. His role, a new friend.”
Mike McKone: McKone, who admits that the Mary Wolfman/George Pérez run of the 1980s was one of the only comics he read as a kid, adopted his predecessor’s initial design with a few tweaks. “Cyborg will be pretty close to the Pérez design, with a couple of modifications,” hinted McKone. “We’re giving him little LED battery indicators all over his body. And we decided to get rid of the garter belt.”
Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Series, DC Who’s Who Binder Series, The Official Teen Titans Index [published byICG in 1985], The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], DC Universe Role-Playing Games: Sourcebooks and Manuals [ West End Games], DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com.