Victor Stone wanted to have a normal life, years of his scientist parents performing experiments on him were taking its toll. Fate would have different plans for him, however, as normal was not on the agenda.
For episode 8 of the podcast, we talked about Cyborg.
Victor had a gift of abnormally high IQ, although he didn’t see it that way. His parents, Silas and Elinore, had used him as a test subject for experiments all his life. They had boosted not only his IQ but created a wave of bubbling anger towards them. He increasingly tried to engage in other activities, leaving his studies behind, but his parents wouldn’t allow it.
His parents were dealing with world-changing experiments, including inter-dimensional portals. They felt Victor was to follow in their footsteps and continue the work. They saw his hopes to become an athlete a mere distraction.
It would be this work that seals the fate of all three of them.
Victor was visiting the lab one day whilst his mother conducted one of her experiments. To their surprise, this was the day all the hard work seemed to pay off, as a portal to another dimension opened in the lab. Before anybody had time to react, a giant blob appeared, a creature from another dimension. Silas, his father, was able to send the creature back to its dimension and close the portal, but it was too late. Looking at the scene around him, Victor was seriously injured and his mother was dead. The creature being corrosive to human matter.
Panicked and having witnessed the death of his wife, Silas acted quickly. He gathered together prototypes of medical prosthetics and got to work on his son. Victor had lost all his limbs and half of his face, but Silas was not going to lose him.
Regaining consciousness only after the operations were complete, Victor was now fitted with artificial limbs and complex implants. Victor was filled with anger towards his father, this is never something he would have agreed to, he would have rather died.
These feelings would grow more over time; his then-girlfriend rejected him and the public was fearful of him.
However, it was a chance encounter at a baseball field that would lead him to accept this opportunity for what it was. Walking through the park, a young boy shouts out to him to throw their baseball back. As victor did so, the boy notices his robotic arm. Rather than being repulsed, the boy was fascinated. Victor learnt it was a school group who all had prosthetics. Their teacher had taken them to play baseball to show they can still lead normal lives.
Victor realised he had an opportunity, he could use his misfortune to help others and be an inspiration.
This change in outlook led Victor down the path we know today. He started to go out of his way to help others, including thwarting terrorist attacks. This got the attention of a special group, the Teen Titans. He found his purpose and gained some hope. He was able to show his true potential and became such a force for good that he was often called upon to lead the Teen Titans in times of need. This sense of belonging slowly softened his attitudes towards his father, no doubt helped by Silas building their headquarters, Titans Tower.
During the New 52 event where many characters origins changed post-flashpoint, Cyborg got a rare upgrade. His origin was mostly the same, he was severely injured in a lab accident that killed his mother. However, in the new stories, it was the result of an explosion caused by a Mother Box. This enhances Cyborgs powers, giving him an AI component, able to hack any technology in the galaxy. In this new storyline, he no longer joins the Teen Titans. He was, in fact, a founding member of Justice League.
As we mention in the episode, Cyborg is an inspirational character with a lot of potential. He has had short runs of his own comics but also spends a lot of time in other titles. I hope I’ve given you enough of a teaser that you’ll search him out, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Steve‘s suggested reading list.
Original Teen Titans
New 52 Justice League
Justice League Odyssey
Justice League No Justice
New 52 & Rebirth Cyborg