It’s the final week of my personal Indie Comics Month and I have so many new guides to share with Patrons of CK! Of course, I’ll still be posting guides to indie and licensed comics in the future, but I set a personal goal for guides to launch this month which should reveal itself in full by the end of the week. This new guide is a massive step towards completing that goal, because it means I have now made at least one guide for each of Image Comics six launch imprints! That’s right, it’s my first Top Cow Productions guide for their original flagship title: Guide to Cyberforce!
Cyberforce was the original creation of Marc Silvestri for his Top Cow imprint at Image Comics. It holds the unique distinction of being the flagship title of an original Image imprint that is definitely not the most popular title from that imprint.
That’s because Top Cow’s Witchblade and The Darkness, launched in 1995 and 1996, would prove to be much longer-lasting titles with more enduring fan bases. Both titles shared Top Cow continuity with Cyberforce, and even briefly crossed over in the Devil’s Reign event shortly before its cancellation- but both would run much longer and contribute more lasting concepts to the Top Cow shared universe.
Why didn’t Cyberforce having the staying power of other Image launch books like Spawn or WildCATs? It wasn’t for lack of professionalism from Silvestri. Although Cyberforce experienced the same initial delays that plagued all of Image’s launch titles, it was also the title that got onto a schedule the quickest and maintained it the best through the mid-90s. After its second issue there was never more than two months between issues.
With 30 years of hindsight, I think Cyberforce suffered from being an original concept that was very much a product of its times. Though the team were ostensibly mutants, the focus was on their ongoing struggle against the Cyberdata corporation. That meant all of the guns, metallic limbs, and pouches of the extreme early 90s were justified by the story. The plot had shades of Silvestri’s introduction of Genosha on his Uncanny X-Men run with Chris Claremont, but it developed into a unique direction from the start that felt like it had as much in common with Terminator 2 as it did with any familiar Marvel comics.
That made Cyberforce at hit at its introduction, but as the tone (and art) of comics changes throughout the 90s it didn’t feel as though Cyberforce was adapting, nor was its own brand indelible enough to stand alone (as was the case with Spawn). Once the book was cancelled, there was no reason to revive due to popularity (as with WildCATs) or desperation (as with Youngblood).
I think Cyberforce reads well to this day – and I should know, since I own every issue in this guide (although I have not read every issue at length… sometimes figuring out if I should read everything first or create a guide first is a chicken-and-the-egg situation). Top Cow was a much tighter line than either WildStorm or Extreme, which means the story was more coherent and easy to follow through this single title along with its one main spinoff, Codename: Strykeforce.
(Hmm, I suppose we need a guide for that too…)
Want instant access to this Guide to Cyberforce as well to my guides to all of the other Image Comics launch titles in my Crushing Comics Guide to Indie & Licensed Comics? Become a Patron of CK for as little as $1 a month or $10.20 a year to gain access to this exclusive guide and over 70 others months before the general public gains access!
Exclusives for Crushing Cadets ($1/month): 41 Guides!
DC Guides (6): Batman – Index of Ongoing Titles, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: Hal Jordan, Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner, Omega Men
Marvel Guides (27): Adam Warlock, Alpha Flight, Angela, Beta Ray Bill, Black Cat, Blade, Captain Britain, Dazzler, Domino, Dracula, Drax the Destroyer, Elsa Bloodstone, Emma Frost – White Queen, Gamora, Heroes For Hire, Legion, Marvel Era: Marvel Legacy, Mister Sinister, Sabretooth, Spider-Ham, Star-Lord, Thunderstrike, Valkyrie, Vision, Weapon X, Werewolf by Night, X-Man – Nate Grey
Indie & Licensed Comics (8): Brigade, Lumberjanes, Cyberforce, Princeless & Raven The Pirate Princess, Savage Dragon, ShadowHawk, WildCATs, WildStorm Events
Exclusives For Pledgeonauts ($1.99+/month): 72 Guides!
All of the 41 guides above, plus 31 more…
DC Guides (16): Animal Man, Aquaman, Books of Magic, Catwoman, Doctor Fate, Flash, Harley Quinn, Houses & Horrors, Infinity Inc., Justice League, Justice Society of America, Mister Miracle, Nightwing, Outsiders, Suicide Squad, Swamp Thing
Marvel Guides (13): Darkhawk, Falcon, Gwenpool, Hellcat – Patsy Walker, Kang the Conqueror, Loki, Power Pack, Red She-Hulk, Sentry, Silk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Venom
Indie & Licensed Comics (2): Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – IDW Continuity, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Mirage Studios Continuity
Leave a Reply