Friday, June 21, 2013

Who's the Best...Cyborg?


Rip Jagger said...

Well it ain't Victor Stone. I've always been more than a bit bored by him. He was added to the Titans to add some necessary edge, at least in Bronze Age terms but for me has always been a C-grade character.

Deathlok might top my list. The gritty origins and the curious dialogue with his computer give us insights into what it's like to be a man bonded to machine in this weird and bizarre way. He's what the Six-Million Dollar Man might be if he were done right, which is how I mostly always felt about Deathlok.

Robocop hit many of the same notes and offers up a fun entertainment, but I find I rarely gave much of a hoot about his odd condition. It was his world which fascinated, a dystopic America all to familiar alas.

Darth Vader is a wonderful character, vivid and most memorable. But it's not his machinery which makes his truly and awful enemy, it's his demolished spiritual nature which make him compelling.

Others that come to mind are Robotman, his human brain stranded in a mechanical body could be truly horrific when handled properly. Korvac always interested me more than the somewhat mopey Michael he became in those (to my mind anyway) overrated Avengers stories.

Terminator is a splendid display and I really do like how his organic bits seem so susceptible to destruction, making him a vivid monster. I might be on my own on this and it's not properly Bronze Age, but the Marcus Wright version of the Terminator in "Terminator Salvation" was a dandy expression of this classic conundrum.

Rip Off

Edo Bosnar said...

I'm going to have to go with pure aesthetics here, and cast my vote for Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman.

William said...

I've got to go with Steve Austin "The Six Million Dollar Man". Of course today he would be the Six BILLION Dollar Man (at least). He was one of the first and still the best cyborg in fiction. In fact, the novel that the "SMDM" TV show was based on was titled "Cyborg".

You know, with all the movies based on old TV shows they make these days, I can't believe nobody has thought to remake 6-Mil $ Man, into a big budget blockbuster yet. It seems like a no-brainer that is tailo made for a modern update. It could really be a cool movie, if they did it right and kept the 'secret agent with a hidden edge' concept.

david_b said...

Well, if only a mechanical heart is 'cyborg-enough' I'd go with Victor Bergman from Space:1999.

I liked Victor Stone in the first couple dozen NTT issues; after which the novelty wore off, he just didn't seem as mighty, and without much for personality either.

Perhaps I'd go with the pre-Borg Queen Borg. As Karen has mentioned, they were much cooler as a mass collective conscious before the Queen-Hive idea.

Knowing less about a villain makes them ALL the more mysterious and interesting.

Karen said...

At some point I should go back and finish up my solo reviews on Deathlok. I kind of lost interest in the middle of the story, but I know it gets better towards the end. I still love the character -perhaps more the design and concept than the execution.

I thought the first Robocop film was terrific. Peter Weller did a great job with the character -he turned in a touching performance in what was otherwise a bloody satire. The rest of the films were pretty much worthless. I saw the new Robocop and the design is too sleek for me. I prefer the more crunchy look.

Vader's cyborg nature isn't emphasized in the films but it's implied in one of them that he's less capable wielding the force than he would have been, due to the fact that he's "more machine than man now." That's an interesting idea to me. We always think of him as a powerful villain (or did, before those damn prequels) but who knows what the full extent of his power might have been, had he not been so physically damaged?

Garett said...

I started watching 6 Million Dollar Man season 1 recently--really enjoying it again, as I did when I was a kid. I'd never seen the original made-for-TV movies that came before the series...surprising how slow-paced the first one is, more like a straight drama than action plot...then the next two get closer, but present him more like a James Bond character. Plus I'd never heard the original funky theme song by Dusty Springfield-- startling! I prefer the intense "we can rebuild him" intro of the series...still get revved up by that.

Steve Austin starts out as more hot-tempered...but once they get the Oscar Goldman actor in there and establish their friendship, the series is underway. Even the bionic sound effects don't get established until a few episodes in. Forgot how much impact this show had on me as a kid! "Better...stronger...faster!!" : )

Anonymous said...

My favorite is ROM, but I'd have to say Deathlok is "best."

J.A. Morris said...

I'd go with Steve Austin, even if the show hasn't aged that well.

Anonymous said...

Me!...wait, I've said too much...

Seriously though, Steve Austin was always my favourite...I still have the lunchbox!

Mike W.

William Preston said...

Those original Deathlok comics, with Buckler's cinematic approach, changed my view of comics, made me see them as a mature medium. The letters pages in those issues contributed to that feeling. Great stuff.

Anonymous said...

Deathlok I guess...But Darth Vader was a great character, and let's face it, the only reason most of us liked those movies (except for maybe Carrie Fisher, who I had a schoolboy crush on). Most of those movies were pretty awful otherwise. Especially the last four.
I kind of wanted to be Darth Vader when I was a kid, but I'm not tall enough and even I wasn't that obnoxious when I was a teenager.

Anonymous said...

I loved Deathlok (both the Luther Manning and Michael Collins versions) and Darth Vader also, but my all time favourite has to be the original cyborg himself, Lee Majors aka the Six Million Dollar Man. It was here that a lot of people first heard the term 'cyborg'.

Yes, the later episodes veered away from sci-fi and became more fantasy (Bigfoot!) oriented but it's still one of my favourites. The fashions scream 1970s, but the stories, especially in the earlier seasons stand up well in my opinion. Like Garrett, I'm amazed how some of the earlier episodes differ greatly from later seasons in terms of character development and how they depicted Steve's bionics, e.g. the 1st season has none of the signature bionic sound effects most people associate with the series.

As Lee disclosed in an interview, he was talking to the Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger (hope I spelled that right!) and Arnie pointed his finger at Lee and said in that unique accent only Arnie has : "You, you are the ORIGINAL Terminator!". Nuff said!

- Mike 'still sad I never got that SMDM doll as a kid" from Trinidad & Tobago.

Humanbelly said...

Whoooo-- latter Anonymous up there is just COURTIN' foul play at the hands of rabid, loyal StarWarvians! I'm not saying that I'm actually disagreeing, mind you, but geeze, NOBODY wants to admit to seeing the Emperor (or Dark Sith Lord) with no cloths on.


I think the Luther Manning Deathlok is definitely my favorite 'borg, largely because it didn't "pretty up" his condition or situation at all. His was a maddening and truly tragic fate. I did love Steve Austin as much as everyone else, though. It was a dependably watchable, engaging show even in those later seasons-- although I never, ever bought into the biophysics of his abilities even from the first episodes-- which was when I was in Junior High, I'm pretty sure. Stopping a falling 3-ton I-beam with a raised bionic arm is all well and good, except that arm is still connected to and supported by a completely flesh & blood spine and attached muscles. The beam would, of course, plow that undamaged arm right into the vulnerable skull as it was torn from the shoulder socket. Yicch.

Hey, so--- was Rom indeed a cyborg? I never followed him closely-- I thought he was, like, a sentient robot or something.


Anonymous said...

Humanbelly, yes indeed Rom was a cyborg - he was a human-looking alien who voluntarily underwent surgery to become a Spaceknight! Sentient robot? Hmm isn't that called an android? :)

Yes, those implausible action scenes in SMDM were stretching credibility all the time, but it hardly mattered to millions of TV watching kids!

- Mike 'never bothered with the Rom toys 'cause I was older then' from Trinidad & Tobago

Anonymous said...

Hah...Seven Austin was pretty cool. Mind you, we only had two channels on the T.V. back then.
The epic battle between the Six-Million Dollar Man and Sasquatch was inevitable...Bigfoot was a big deal back in the 70's, and as a young boy I was very mindful about staying away from windows at night, for fear he might grab me. Now I'm more worried about my blood pressure and cholesterol level.
When it comes down to things to be worried about, I prefer Sasquatch.

Anonymous said...

Deathlok. A really underrated character. Seeing him go up against the Thing (Ben Grimm) a couple of times...those were good stories.

Related Posts with Thumbnails