Comic Review: DC Cybernetic Summer #1 (DC Comics)

It’s summer, and time to sit back on our rolled spines and carefully unwrap a copy of DC’s Cybernetic Summer! This 80 page Summer Special has 10 tales, all revolving […]

It’s summer, and time to sit back on our rolled spines and carefully unwrap a copy of DC’s Cybernetic Summer!

This 80 page Summer Special has 10 tales, all revolving around the theme of hot times in the summertime. Many of the stories take place on a beach near a large city, sort of your Coney Island/ California Coast kind of thing, Your Archie comic scenes on the beach, your Gidgit-Meets-Romeo, your day in the sun, your beach blanket full of sand and sunscreen.

But there are also some interesting strays off the wooded path, some dips into more innovative waters, some outer space places to summerize. And perhaps those are the more interesting, as they rely less on the sun and seashore to tell the tale, to swing the bat. Killer robots, killer smiles, come on in, the killer whales seem fine.

And some of the stories fare better than others. Some start off frosty and quickly melt in your fingers. The Boys of Summer, with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle is simply jammed to the gunnels with small panels, overlapping graphics, zany dialogue. It’s a strong but over-dialogued story in a small space, pushing and shoving its way to the hot dog stand, spilling its contents on the passersby. Likewise. Red Tornado in Summer Camp is essentially a pastiche of cliches; the workaholic, the cave, the lessons learned about being kind. Not a Picnic on Hanging Rock, to be sure.

However, there are some nice moments that redeem and anchor this Special: Robotman in Summer Bummer, by Max Bemis, and art by Greg Smallwood is a great example of how a simple premise (‘feeling left out’) can be the basis of a strong, touching story. This one is excellent in pacing, dialogue, story beats, and illustration.

Likewise, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes in Summer Lovin’, by Liz Erickson, Nik Virella, and Romulo Fajardo Jr is a beautifully realized story of young crushes, wrapped in Silver Age nostalgia. The visuals match the storyline, the tongue is just slightly in cheek, the story is on a parallel with our favourite childhood silly 60’s summer stuff.

A mixed bag, a bit of bologna and a lot of cotton candy, some great vegan and dairy-free treats, a whole lotta summer reading in this one comic!

Cybernetic Summer #1, DC, $9.99 for 80 pages, Teen

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!