Victor Stone: 1985 - 2003
The son of renowned scientists Silas and Elinore Stone, Victor's innate genius was nurtured in the best schools of Central City. At thirteen, Victor became frustrated with trying to live up to his parents' expectations and began pursuing athletics, making use of his natural raw athleticism. Suspecting their son was simply going through a phase, Silas and Elinore agreed to allow Vic to play sports as long as he maintained his grades.
Yet Victor's talent for athletics rivaled his intellectual prowess, especially in football. As quarterback, Victor led his city and state championships two years in a row, earning himself many scholarships. Victor chose to attend Metropolis University instead of Midwestern or Ivy (his parents' alma mater) as a way to once again send the message to his parents that he was going to live his own life.
Further revolting against his parents' hopes for him, Victor neglected his studies once out of his parents' home, choosing to enroll himself in the easiest courses he could, thereby allowing him more time to focus on football and hang with his rowdy new teammates. Halfway through Vic's freshman season, the starting quarterback was injured, thereby allowing Victor to finish the season as starting quarterback. Guess what? Victor did not let the team down; in fact, he was a big part in securing the team's place in the 'President's Bowl'... or 'Cereal Bowl' or whatever (I'm not a football fan). Unfortunately for Victor, that game was scheduled for an ill-fated day.
In the middle of the third inning (or quarter, or period, or whatever) aliens attacked the field! No, seriously. Alien corpses from over a dozen planets, outfitted with cybernetic appendages and systems, poured out from Brainiac's starship, terrorizing the highly televised game. Brainiac had hopes to attract the attention of Superman through this heinous act and to that end, Brainiac began to horrifically describe the torture he would inflict upon the team from Metropolis University if Superman did not respond within the hour.
Victor was never a meek lad and so upon hearing what Brainiac intended to do to his teammates, he stood up and defied the alien invader in an attempt to rally his teammates to fight back. But when Victor did not get the support he was expecting, he was overwhelmed and brought before Brainiac. When commanded to submit, Victor still refused and so Brainiac used a tentacle to tear out one of Victor's eyes and then he gave the order once more. Victor took a moment to compose himself and fight through the pain and then he gave his response in the form of spitting blood and spit in Brainiac's face.
Deciding to demonstrate that his threat was very real, Brainiac used Victor as his example and proceeded to draw and quarter Victor on live television, tearing off both legs at the hip and severing each arm at the elbow. Still, Victor refused to submit and as Brainiac prepared to behead him, the Super Friends arrived.
As Superman and Wonder Woman rushed Brainiac, The Flash came upon Victor in the midst of his death throes. Recognizing his hometown hero, Victor asked Flash to tell his parents he was sorry and then black-out. Of course, Barry Allen wasn't about to let that happen and so he picked up the brave quarterback and ran faster than he ever had before, getting Victor from National City to Central City's STAR Labs in about five minutes.
Cyborg: 2004 - 2010
Two months later, Vic awoke to the shock of still being alive and to discover that he was now more machine than man. The minds at STAR Labs (including Vic's own parents) had put Victor into an experimental stasis chamber and after the Super Friends had defeated Brainiac, had the idea to use the nanites and machinery recovered from Brainiac's invasion, as well as technology based on Kryptonian and Rann technology, to create prosthetic and cybernetic enhancements for Victor.
Superman felt responsible for what happened to Victor Stone after learning of Brainiac's Kryptonian origins and how he had come to the planet looking for Kal-El of Krypton. So while Vic was in recovery, Superman and the Martian Manhunter introduced Victor to Garfield Logan who had been living with the Martian. The two young men hit it off quite well and when Vic was able, he moved out of STAR Labs and into the newly built Titans Tower with Garfield Logan and Rachel Roth (with Dick and I Zeta-Beaming in on the weekends for the first few months).
As Cyborg, Victor became a key member of the Titans. He built the first team vehicle (the T-Car, which he still owns) and was the team's unofficial leader whenever Robin was not around and since Robin rarely stayed overnight at the Tower, that meant Victor was the team's true leader more often than not. It was a position which Victor excelled at due to being respected by Beast Boy, Starfire, and Raven.
When Red Tornado was assigned by the JLA to serve as the chaperone and protector of the Titans, Victor and Red Tornado would quickly develop a friendship. Victor also became instrumental in Red Tornado's own interest in becoming more human-like. As time went on, Victor would convince Red Tornado to allow him to unlock more and more of Red Tornado's subroutines to enable features which Red Tornado's creator had locked away.
Victor had always been a fan of heavy metal and after the Titans journeyed to Azarath to confront Trigon, Victor became even more obsessed with that culture due to having seen the similarities between Azarathian landmarks and some iconic album covers from that genre. In particular, Victor had encountered three wisemen in Azarath who had once been an obscure metal band in the eighties but had immigrated to Azarath to seek enlightenment. When Victor helped banish Trigon back behind the dimensional barrier, the wisemen, collectively known by their initials, B.E.R., gave Victor an old demo tape of theirs to thank him for his service and asked Victor to use their music for good back on Earth.
Eventually Victor was invited to be inducted into the Justice League of America with his fellow Titans, but before the Founders' meeting could be held, the Titans went on a mission that resulted in the death of Terra which soured the joyous moment of joining the JLA. Despite that sour note, among the only five members of the Titans to be inducted into the Justice League of America, Cyborg was the one who embraced the JLA the most. Victor was a good fit in the JLA, for the short time he was in it, with his tech skills and gear a vital asset to the League.
When an investigation into a travelling music festival caught Victor's ear, Victor decided to step back in with the Titans as a mentor. He put together a band among the Titans, with Mal Duncan on vocals, Carter Hall on lead guitar, Shiera Sanders on keyboard, Jason Todd on bass, and Roy Harper on drums. Victor himself used holographic tech to go undercover as the band's manager. Together, they were 'Great Frog' and became a sensation using the music given to Victor by the Azarathian songsmiths.
After the musical hijinks, Victor returned to Titans Tower full-time as a mentor and he even kept the program running even in the absence of the JLA through financial support from Queen Consolidated, Wayne Enterprises, and Kord Omniversal, before he eventually asked by Bruce and Ollie to be the team's official headmaster. Victor accepted the role, taking it very seriously.
Victor was present at the Tower when Dr. Morrow arrived to take back his 'property': Red Tornado. Victor was defeated by Red Inferno and was forced to watch as Morrow and his two mechanical servants disabled Red Tornado and took the remaining Titans hostage. However, Red Tornado utilized some of the subroutines that Victor had helped decode and unlock to override the deactivation trigger Morrow had given it and came to the protection of its friends, knocking Morrow out and tearing Red Inferno and Red Torpedo into mere scrap; but at the cost of its own structural integrity. Red Tornado would then 'die' in Victor's arms. Due to the damage of the Tower, and the loss of Red Tornado, Victor was then forced to shut the Titans down.
Still, ever resourceful and resolute, Victor decided that the world still needed a team of heroes (as did Victor himself), so he repurposed the old Super Friends' secret sanctuary to maintain the Titans program as a covert operation. Victor recruited Wally West, Cassie Sandsmark, and Kaldur'ahm as his new programs' students and secured assistance from Beast Boy and Raven to help him teach his small class.
Victor also brought with him what he could salvage of Red Tornado's memory processor and began repairing that and uploading it to the now state-of-the-art computer network he had personally installed in the sanctuary. Without the burden of a physical body, Red Tornado (or RT as it began calling itself) was free to explore its own true identity and would engage in long philosophical conversations with Victor to that end, ultimately deciding that it was now a 'she'. It is possible that Victor and RT began a quasi-romantic relationship during this time but it ultimately went nowhere beyond friendly flirtation.
When RT created her own unique 'voice', Victor became curious as to how the mechanical lifeform had developed the creativity to come up with such a thing and when he analyzed her code, he discovered that RT had been experiencing what he could only classify as digital dreams.
Victor's class project soon grew when the three students in his program discovered Kon-El and decided to shelter him from Cadmus in their mountain lair. Fearing Cadmus' programming, Victor recruited M'gann M'orzz to help Kon-El fight his mental programming, bringing her into the team as Kon-El's telepathic handler. With "mini-versions" of The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Superman, and the Martian Manhunter on board this new team, Wally commented that they're like the "Young Justice League" and Victor took that name to heart, labeling his experiment as "Young Justice."
Victor earned some serious kudos from Batman, Nightwing, and myself for the operation when we were brought in after the Cataclysm to observe the project which had helped monitor threats with the JLA gone. Bruce was so impressed that not only did he eventually send Tim and Cassandra to take part in the program, but he also gave Dick the funding needed to have Dick, Victor, and Roy Harper create a similar team to track down Jason Todd and bring him back to Gotham.
As one of the three Founding Fathers of the Outsiders, Victor crafted Roy Harper's cybernetic arm and unintentionally inspired that cranky ginger to adopt the name 'Arsenal'.
After recruiting a few more of Jason's old friends, Victor helped set up the Outsiders in a bunker that Bruce had Harold build to use as a Batcave in Blüdhaven, but in those early days they didn't use it much as their pursuit of Jason kept them pretty mobile. When they finally managed to find Jason and bring him back, there was a lot of tension between Jason and Dick from their last encounter and so Dick turned command of the Outsiders over to Victor, who in turn gave leadership to Roy as Victor had been asked to reboot the Titans program now that the Justice League was once again operational.
Cyborg: 2010 - Present
At first, Victor ran this new batch of Titans much like he had Young Justice, which made sense as the team was mostly made up of same teens and young adults. But with the likes of Kaldur'ahm and Tim Drake as the team's leadership, Victor's role as a mentor was mostly an empty title with little actual responsibility, often just reading field reports and giving mission assignments. As the team was more or less on auto-pilot, Victor spent a lot of time in his workshop, tinkering and inventing.
This pastime put Victor back in touch with his often neglected genius to such a degree that he spent a lot of time taking trips back home to reconnect with his parents and spend time at STAR Labs, reacquainting himself with the newest cutting-edge tech and research. Not only did this rekindle the strained relationship between Victor and his parents, it also allowed Victor to give himself some much needed upgrades, most of which required Victor to collaborate with Sarah Charles who was an expert in cybernetic augmentation.
Sarah and Victor began to share more than a professional interest in cybernetics and before long the two became entwined in a romantic relationship that quickly led to a marriage in Vegas. Their marriage hit a bit of a rocky situation in 2013 when Sarah discovered Victor had been secretly repairing Brainiac 8.0 while tasked with investigating the debris of Brainiac's starship to verify Brainiac's own destruction. Sarah mistook Victor's intentions, believing that his interest in the gynoid's reconstruction was romantic or sexual and the two separated for over a year, with Sarah quitting STAR Labs and taking a job in Fawcett City.
In truth, Victor's interest in rebuilding Brainiac-8 was out of his longing to provide Red Tornado with a new physical body and shortly after reassembling Brainiac-8 and helping her renamed herself Indigo, Victor partnered with his parents and other STAR Labs' researchers to create a female chassis for Red Tornado to utilize which matched her new identity as a female.
As Red Tornado began exploring more creative and artistic endeavors and became much more personable, Victor reached out to his estranged wife to help him discover what was happening with RT. Victor and Sarah then discovered the dark secret hidden deep in RT's coding and fully unlocked her previous life as Maxine Hunkel, a teenage metahuman girl who had been kidnapped by Morrow and 'digitized'. Discovering this, Victor and STAR Labs created yet a new body for Maxine, one that would allow her to shift from the tactical needs of Red Tornado and the synthetic but convincing look of Maxine. After this development, Victor now views himself as an older brother figure to Maxine in an odd role reversal.
Shortly after this, Victor called for a full divorce from Sarah when he discovered that she had been using data gained from her research into Victor and Maxine to help Sivana Industries create the cybernetic lifeforms known as 'Grid' and 'Upgrade'.
During the Reach Invasion of 2014, Victor would be captured by a Reach controlled Jaime Reyes. The Reach were fascinated by the fusion of human and alien technology contained in Victor and had planned to dissect him to learn more precisely how he achieved such perfect fusion. Victor's old students from 'Young Justice' came to his rescue.
Also during the Reach invasion, Victor encountered Steppenwolf who present on Earth to subvert the Reach's conquest of Earth, no doubt as it interfered with Apokalyptan's plans for our planet, but at the time Victor assumed Steppenwolf was in league with the Reach and the two did battle. Impressively, Victor proved to more capable than Steppenwolf initially expected and Steppenwolf attempted to flee, resulting in Victor assimilating the alien general's Fatherbox. However the shock of the introduction of Apokalyptan tech into his systems proved more debilitating than Victor's expected and thus Steppenwolf was able to decimate Victor in attempt to retrieve his Fatherbox. However, before Steppenwolf could do so, the Justice League arrived and he was forced to flee with the aid of one of his minions, most likely his daughter Fury.
As Victor seemingly died before the eyes of his comrades, his systems displayed a new capability and began to repair not just his technological components but also his damaged biology, resurrecting him from the brink of death... or possibly even from true death itself, we're a little fuzzy on the exact degree of damage Steppenwolf had rendered upon Victor.Today, Victor continues to serve as Headmaster of the Titans with Garfield and Raven as his assistants, where he oversees a large roster of former alumni who frequent the Tower as guest teachers and the largest team of Titans ever assembled. He also commands the West Coast Outsiders. To quote Victor himself: "Booya!"
- Cybernetic Enhancement: Victor possesses cybernetic enhancements that provide superhuman strength, endurance and durability. Victor can also interface with computers. Built into his body-armor were an infrared eye, computer generator, sound amplifier/white noise cannon, and special programming adapters that allowed him to interface with other body extensions.
- Energy Resistance: The nature of Victor's body provides him with natural body armor offering resistance versus energy attacks.
- Sensory Systems: Victor has optic, thermal and motion sensors just to name a few
- Durability: His bones are reinforced with molybdenum-steel while his outer body is laden with Promethium skin grafts.
- Superhuman Stamina: Thanks to his cybernetic enhancements, Victor is able to perform at high levels with little need for physical rest. His cybernetic enhancements also give him considerable resistance to mental fatigue and he can continue functioning for over three days with little decrease to his performance provided he has ample charge for his components or access to an alternative power source.
- Superhuman Speed
- Superhuman Strength: Vic's cybernetics afford him greater strength than the average human and in some cases metahumans and extraterrestrials. Initially able to bench 5 tons at his peak, constant upgrades to his system has caused it to fluctuate over time. Currently, Victor's usual load out is classified as a Class III Enhanced Strength by ARGUS and thus can lift somewhere in the range of a dozen to three dozen tons.
- Jump Jets: Though he does have access to VTOL flight capability with an external attachment, Victor usually prefers to make do with his integrated Jump Jets which provide him the ability to jump to great heights and over large distances.
- Superhuman Sensory Array: Due cybernetic enhancements, all of Victor's mundane senses were increased to superhuman levels.
- Enhanced Hearing
- Enhanced Vision
- Tracking/Homing Systems
- Physiological/Medical Scanners
- Technopathy/Cybermorphing: Unlike most technopaths, Victor doesn't just simply manipulate the technology he focuses on, he can actually assimilate it into himself as well as casts his own will into it enabling him to control and alter nearly any form of machinery he comes in contact with. However, Victor prefers not to do this as he has past experiences where sentient machinery was able to use this to assert control over his mind.
- Computer Interfacing
- Interactive Holographic Projector
- Cyberspace Immersion: Cyborg can download his consciousness into cyberspace, or as he calls it, "digiverse."
- Shape-Shifting: Victor can use the nanomachinery incorporated into his chassis to reshape parts of his body into various weapons and technological equipment. His arsenal includes a finger laser attachment, telescopic eyepiece, sonic disruptor, electric shockers, grappling hooks, winches and EMP pulse cannons.
- Teleportation: During the invasion of the Reach, Victor encountered a being we have since identified as Steppenwolf and in an attempt to prevent Steppenwolf from escaping, Victor assimilated an alien device which we now know is a 'Fatherbox'. Using this technology, Victor now has the ability to open boom-tubes to and from most any point towards anywhere, be it in the universe or the multiverse, but it isn't perfect however due to compatibility issues with the rest of his tech and as a result he uses this sparingly for fear of accidentally winding up in somewhere like Apokalypse.
- Technomorphic Evolution: Alarmingly, Victor has confided in me that he has learned recently that his xeno-tech is in a constant state of evolution subtly upgrading on its own without outside assistance.
- Technorganic Restoration: Cyborg showcases self-regenerative capabilities as not only are his technological parts able to reintegrate after destruction but recently, his damaged flesh has also been shown regenerating beneath and around his cybernetic systems.
- Resurrection: Once, during the invasion of the Reach, Cyborg's body was viciously ripped apart. Then a new systems function kicked in, restoring him to life again and even reintegrating old flesh with the new circuitry on his being.
- Genius Level Intellect: In addition to his mechanical enhancements, Victor possesses an incredible level of intelligence.
- Athletics: Vic was an accomplished football player and more than likely would have been a professional football player if not for Brainiac's invasion.
- Driving/Piloting: Victor is an expert operator of vehicles on land and in flight.
- Leadership: With his charisma, intellect, and knack for tactical assessment, Victor Stone is an excellent leader and has demonstrated as much with his years of leading the Titans and Outsiders.
- T-Car: A vehicle of Victor's own design that is fitted with tech that is networked to his own mind and body. Armored and able to shift its form to suit Victor's needs, the T-Car is an incredible asset in the Titans' fleet of vehicles.
- Electromagnetic Pulse: Victor has taken precautions to shield his components from EMPs but despite his efforts, he still has shown a vulnerability to such attacks. Though unlikely to knock him fully offline, EMPs has shown the capability of disabling and interfering with some his systems to the point of compromising his tactical ability.
- Humanity: Victor is in a constant struggle to retain his humanity as his mechanical components have increasingly threaten to erode what is left of his biology and personality. On occasion, Victor's cybernetic programming have override his anatomical brain's impulses, transforming him into a cold and calculating being.
Trivia and Notes
- Cyborg joined the Justice League of America in 2006 nominated by Superman.
- Victor is a big heavy metal fan, but I think more accurately he loves music of all kinds as I have totally caught him dancing in his room to pop diva songs, lip syncing to Mucus Membrane, belting out country western ballads in the T-Car, and whistling old crooning tunes from my dad's time when he's tinkering in his workshop.
- Victor is a big fan of exclaiming "Booya!" when he is excited.
- With Roy Harper currently on the run, Victor has taken custody of Lian Harper.
- Victor is proud of his mechanical look and is not ashamed of it.
- Victor assimilating Apokalyptan tech is a nod to his New 52 origins.
- His Titan costume is more or less based of his appearance from the Teen Titans TV series.
- Victor meeting B.E.R. is a reference to Teen Titans Go! where their song The Night Begins to Shine is used as a throwaway joke, and was later given a four part special.