Three Main Cyborgs and Comics

Lester D. Stone, EL 65, The Cyborg Self, Brown University, 2006

Comic books represent the most prevalent medium in which children and adults form impressions of the cyborg. Even though the first superheroes at least American were Batman and Superman, the first cyborgian superhero in 1941 called Captain America and Human Torch in that same year followed. Captain America embodies the genetic cyborg. The super-soldier serum given to Captain America altered his DNA. This plus his service to the army gave him a cyborgish identity. Marvel Comics, the publisher of Captain America, has a surplus of cyborgish characters. These characters group into three types according to Chris Gray, simple controllers, bio-tech integrators and genetic cyborgs. Wolverine represents the simple controllers group. His cyborg system is surgically attached metal.. Wolverine's implants are admantium metal grafted onto his skeletal structure with very long admantium claws implanted in his hands. The adamantium is fictional. He also has almost instantaneous healing and sharp senses with a berserker rage. Another character that exemplifies the simple controller cyborg is Omega Red. Red has a cyborg structure crafted with an artificial metal known as carbonadium in order to prevent his death spore affliction from killing him. Omega Red in return has to drain the life force from others in order to live. He possess cables that are grafted onto and into his nervous system and are controlled by his thoughts which is a common cyborgian system. Bio-tech integrators show an even more complex systemthan the simple controllers. Their systems are usually ingrained and can not be removed. Cable is a prime example. With Cable, his body can become either a machine or an organic state. Cable and his cybernetic system have a symbiotic relationship. Part of his body happens to be machine oriented. Basically, Cable has a techno-organic body that can be altered. In addition to this comes the topic of violence in the cyborgish world of comics. One side shows the cyborg heroes fighting the terrorists but with this comes no mercy for the opponent. The cyborg hero does not negotiate but attacks and kills. The other side comes from the violence of the cyborg. Many times the cyborg heroes are the very villians they are fighting against. Wolverine and many other Weapon x have been both villians and heroes. Another topic concerning this genre of fiction questions humanity. The Vision of Marvel Comics is known as a synthoid, which is a combination of both mechanical parts and an unknown material that mimics or simulates the properties of human tissue, Vision supposedly does not have human feelings but later develops romantic feelings for a super heroine Scarlet Witch. Multi-national corporations represent the evil threat in the world. In video games, Metal Gear Solid represents a nongovernmental organization pitted against a multinational corporation. Final Fantasy 7 brings out this same conflict.

Lester D. Stone, EL 65, The Cyborg Self, Brown University, 2006

History of the Cyborg: Index

Course Website cyborg Body & Self

Last modified 30 December 2006