Given the wealth of recent announcements that are of interest to comic book fans - from Marvel's cinematic Civil War to DC's two-part Justice League movie - it's a safe bet that the inclusion of Cyborg, set to receive his own solo movie in 2020, may have gone over some casual fans' heads. The superhero may be known by name but little else to even veteran DC Comics readers, making the notion of a starring role in Warner Bros. planned Justice League universe seem truly suspect.
In the past, we've offered brief summaries of the reasons why DC heroes like Aquaman, Shazam, or The Flash all deserve shots at big screen success. And when Man of Steel star Henry Cavill first singled out Cyborg as a League member he'd love to see onscreen, we offered an explanation of how it could - and why it would - work. But now that his recurring role is guaranteed - and even a standalone film is in the cards - we thought it time to consider the 5 Reasons why Cyborg could be the next big DC superhero.
5. The Story
The basic tale of Victor Stone's rise to the role of 'Cyborg' is not too dissimilar from most other young heroes (on the surface), but does call upon some less fantastic or 'heightened' themes. As the son of the brilliant Dr. Silas Stone - a top mind at S.T.A.R. Labs - Vic's love of not just academia, but sports too, put a serious strain on the pair's relationship. While Vic's prowess at football (or track, or basketball) makes him a lock for a college scholarship and professional career, his consistently-absent genius father proves that the life of a star isn't always what it seems.
But Vic's future plans are blown apart when a horrific accident damages most of his body, leaving him just inches from death. Silas makes the decision that saving his son is all that matters, infusing his broken body with artificial limbs and all the experimental technology he can get a hold of. And thus, Cyborg is born.
Given the age of actor Ray Fisher, it seems likely that Vic Stone as a collegiate star preparing for a professional career is most likely to occur in Batman V Superman (backed up by reports of an extremely brief college football game appearing in the film). The exact cause of Vic's injuries has varied, with the most recent reboot in DC's New 52 tying the damage to Darkseid's invasion of Earth; an event not likely to appear until a later Justice League movie.
But with plenty of destruction expected to take place in Batman V Superman and Justice League, there will be ample opportunity to link Vic's origins to the larger story without much effort. How Vic struggles to accept his new abilities in a world of superhumans is the kind of internal conflict Snyder seems to be embracing for his universe, but where WB and DC could choose to take Vic in the future... well, that will be discussed a bit later.
4. The Trauma
It really can't be overstated: the experience that turned Vic Stone into a full-fledged member of the Justice League is one that nobody should ever have to experience. In a world where comic book movie heroes take pleasure in their powers, a 'hero' who awakens to find himself transformed by his father's hand and asks, "Why he didn't he just let me die," is something entirely new.
True, many superheroes are forged by tragedy; in fact, it's usually what makes the best ones so memorable. Superman owes his mission to the death of his people, Batman to the murder of his parents, Spider-Man to the death of his uncle... you get the idea. But for those heroes, their powers come from something else entirely - it's personal tragedy that helps define their mission. In Vic Stone's case, he owes his 'powers' to the single worst event of his life.
Vic has his hopes and dreams for the future shattered, his body broken and reformed into something else (in his own words, "a monster"), by a father who 'only cared about himself.' To say Vic has some issues to deal with would be an understatement.
In Geoff Johns' "Justice League" reboot, it was this trauma (and its origin) that placed Vic at the very heart of the League's first victory, with his character eventually saving the day. Whether or not that story is adapted for film, the overall message was clear: in a group of truly scarred individuals, Cyborg embodied their past quite literally. Together or apart, Vic's mastery of his new fate and mission proved the old saying that while some heroes are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them - and it's not always a pretty sight.