Review – Cyber Force #1

Really in the end, no matter what I say in this interview you have no excuse not to pick up Top Cow‘s relaunch of Cyber Force. That’s because it should be free. That’s right, digitally, physical copies, it’s free. A full page comic, for free. This audacious and ballsy move is a brilliant (maybe a bit mad) move by Top Cow to use the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to help get this comic series in the hands of folks.

This is the 20th Anniversary of Top Cow and Image Comics and through Kickstarter the first five issues (the first story arc) will be available for free to anyone who wants a copy. Before I get to the review, lets look at how this happened. Top Cow put a project up with a goal of $75,000. 1,419 backers (myself included) chipped in, raising $117,134. It was a great idea and I fully support it, but I felt like I needed to mention this to be totally honest, transparent and open for the review. I went with the $50 limited edition hardcover if anyone cares. And now, onto that review…

Cyber Force #1 co-written by Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins with pencils by Khoi Pham, inks by Sal Regla, colors by Sunny Gho and lettering by Troy Peteri is a re-imagining of the Cyber Force we knew. I remember reading the series when it first came out so long ago and was reintroduced when I started up again reading Top Cow comics. Forget what you knew, this is a new direction, a new story, with familiar characters.

The story is all set up, a lot of set up. It’s cool for comic book fans, leaving enough mystery to want to come back for. But, if the goal was to hook non-comic readers, I’m not sure it succeeds, but we’ll get back to that.  The first issue has Carin Taylor running from Shoc Troops, teched up cops from what I can tell. She’s running, we’re not quite sure why, but she’s definitely looking for Morgan Stryker, again, we don’t know why. Along that running she runs into Cyber Force, Heatwave, Cyblade, Impact, Ares Prime and Ripclaw, former troops who are now dubbed terrorists. It’s the future, the world looks like it’s gone to shit, but again, we don’t know the details. The teaser text doesn’t shed much more as far as details.

Carin Taylor, codenamed Velocity, has escaped from the CDI-controlled Millennium City and is desperately trying to find the one man she believes can help her prevent the end of the world. When she runs (into) a group of other CDI escapees, will they help her… or turn their backs?

And that’s what works and what doesn’t in this first issue. The set up and way the story is told is engaging to me. The art matches the kinetic story telling, it’s a style I really dig and you see often in Top Cow comics.

I, as a regular comic book reader, don’t mind being teased in the first issue and being forced to come back for more issues to get that first story arc, the expected decompressed story telling of modern comics. But, for folks not used to comic books, there might not be enough there to really hook them, or they may be too frustrated not knowing enough about this world, but I’m not sure that’s who this is intended for. For other comic fans, the comic is free, the next four issues are free. There’s no excuse not to get it when you stop by your shop this week or get it online.

There’s no excuse not to get it no matter what us reviewers think. Here’s a perfect opportunity to check out a comic on your own and make up your own opinion with no risk to your wallet.

Story: Marc Sivestri and Matt Hawkins Art: Khoi Pham

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy