The Imitation of Life – Part Three: Nightmare
Writer: John Semper Jr.
Artist: Will Conrad
Cover: Paul Pelletier & Joe Prado
Variant: Carlos D’anda
Vic is dreaming of his first battle as Cyborg, side by side with the Justice League. This time, however, his doubts cause the death of the members of the League. When Cyborg wakes, Sarah is by his side and exclaims that he shouldn’t have been able to dream while she was running diagnostics on him.
Could the confrontation with Kilg%re have caused more problems than they realised?
Vic doesn’t wait to find the answers, eager to try out the new transmogrification program. Amazingly it works. The nanites can mimic human the appearance of flesh. They drain a lot of his processing power to do so and if he loses concentration or over exerts, he reverts to his natural cybernetic appearance.
To help him relax Sarah talks him into a night at another jazz club, The Jazz Jungle. Upon entering Sarah and Vic are surprised that the maître d’ seems to know him. As they sit at a table, the club singer collapses, with Vic only just able to catch her at the last second.
The singer introduces herself as Britton Claire, his ex girlfriend, she begins to cry when Vic professes to not knowing her. Sarah makes excuses and leaves while Vic catches up on the past with Britton. It seems his onboard memory has lost a lot of his past.
Britton reveals that they had been secretly in a relationship since senior year. They had kept the relationship quiet because Vic’s father never showed interest in his life. They split when Vic met someone else, but when Vic disappeared Britton tried to find him and spoke to Silas.
When Vic learns that Silas knew about Britton but kept her away from him his anger hinders the nanites and his cybernetic eye begins to reappear and forces Vic to race away back to S.T.A.R. Labs.
With Silas forced off duty after the Kilg%re attack, Vic is left to take his anger out on Dr. Morrow. Vic discovers that chunks of his memory where forced into dormancy so that the changes he suffered to become Cyborg didn’t drive him insane. Vic demands their restoration but as the process begins Dr. Morrow traps him on a metal gurney and sides with the opinion that Cyborg is a modern Frankenstein’s monster.
When Cyborg breaks free he is shocked to find Superman is there to stop him. The two heroes tussle and Cyborg teleports them to Mars so they don’t jeopardize civilians. The problem is that this is all in his minds and though Sarah and Dr. Morrow are trying hard to reawaken him, he seems trapped in the fantasy smashing up S.T.A.R. as if he’s duking it out with Superman.
Sarah calls Silas unaware she is speaking to his doppelganger. The real Silas Stone watches helplessly as his double swears to destroy his life and his son.
Meanwhile on M,ars the rest of the Justice League appear to kill Cyborg!
To Be Continued…
That Vic’s really a monster and no longer human continues to be a theme and though it is feeling a little tired four chapters in. I know it’s a long battle to repair the damage done to the character in the past but I think its time to move the story along a bit now. Revisiting the League’s past feels a little like overkill – dreams or not.
Saying that the nanite camouflage is an inspired disguise; As much as I like Ben Grimm and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I don’t think Vic suits the same disguise, so its good to see some innovations being made to the character. He was beginning to look a little on the ridiculous side with all the robotics.
There is a hell of a lot of attention to detail here. EVERY panel is intricate and even the League costumes are correct circa 2011. Will Conrad has outdone himself this issue. Fantastic.
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d picked up a back issue here. It’s beautifully done but as it’s a flashback it feels a tad misleading.
This cover is another fantasy fight. It is disappointing considering the wealth of story such as the human disguise that could have been tapped into. It looks great, but again, feels like I’m being sold a story that I’m not really getting.