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Comic book lore will always feel like a complete web to the uninitiated. Each character has his or her own deep pool of allies and villains -- not to mention iconic stories. However, some newer heroes don't have quite as deep of a pool for filmmakers to adapt. As DC film fans, many of you would likely be hard pressed to even think of a single Cyborg villain who could show up in Ray Fisher's solo movie. The folks behind DC Rebirth seem to have recognized that problem, and have made some serious additions to the lore that could potentially have a major impact on the character's silver screen debut.
During a recent DC Rebirth panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Cyborg writer John Semper teased the arrival of a new Cyborg villain named Malware, as well as another, bigger threat looming in the shadows. He said:
Malware isn't the master criminal. There is one that we've created that I've kind of spearheaded. We will get a glimpse of him at the end of Rebirth issue. It will be personal; it will be a big deal. I look forward to creating a pantheon of evil bad guys for Cyborg to fight. I think that's something that the character has been missing. Every major character that you can think of has their opposite; they're Moriarty... I'm especially interested in giving him his own kind of Joker.
The panel also featured unfinished artwork of Malware to sell the sort of threat that we can expect for Vic Stone. Although he had no color yet, the character appeared to take the form of a hulking beast rivaling the size of an entire city block. He will represent a primal, physical threat for Cyborg, while the mysterious behind-the-scenes presence will give the tragically high tech hero a more cerebral challenge.
This sort of system has worked well for DC's other heroes for years. Superman has Doomsday and Lex Luthor; Batman has Killer Croc and The Joker. Readers always love to see heroes face off against brains and brawn so it would make plenty of sense for Warner Bros to hit Cyborg with the one-two punch of Cyborg and the mystery character when his movie finally debuts. Likening this villain to someone as sinister and generally nasty as Joker opens up a world of possibility for a nemesis who represents a dark, personal inversion of the title's central hero.
Of course, we have to note that this is all conjecture. However, even if these two new villains don't make their way to the silver screen in the near future, it would still behoove fans of the DCEU to get caught up on Cyborg's literary adventures. His cameo in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice prominently featured a Mother Box, meaning that his involvement in Justice League will likely be pivotal to the narrative when Steppenwolf (and possibly Darkseid) arrive on the scene. Additionally he already has a solo movie lined up on the DC slate to hit theaters in a few years, so fans will want to make sure that they have more intimate knowledge of his intricacies by the time he takes center stage.
We will just have to wait and see how this whole villain situation pans out. Cyborg will officially hit the DCEU when he debuts in Justice League on November 17, 2017.