Why did they replace Manhunter with Cyborg?

#1 Posted by TheCannon (18249 posts) - - Show Bio

I am not trying to start an argument here, I am not here to debate who deserves to be the founder, or anything. I am only asking a simple question. Why did they replace Manhunter with Cyborg as a founder? Did anyone who works in DC ever give a reason why? This is simply out of curiosity, I am not trying to start an argument or anything.

#2 Posted by TheCrowbar (4286 posts) - - Show Bio

Diversity.

Jon Steward would've been a better choice.

#3 Posted by TheCannon (18249 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheCrowbar said:

Diversity.

Jon Steward would've been a better choice.

That's all? They only put Cyborg on there because they wanted someone black?

#4 Posted by TheCrowbar (4286 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheCannon: Nothing about how the character is written says otherwise

#5 Edited by Captain13 (3314 posts) - - Show Bio

DC have decided to focus the Green Lantern franchise around Hal and the Flash franchise around Barry to streamline both franchises allowing for easier translation to other storytelling mediums because of less complicated origins. Comic book companies have become IP farms for their parent companies. DC didn't realize how well known and popular John Stewart was before the Green Lantern film came out. So now they know that if they show the world a less diverse Justice League than many people are used to (DCAU/BruceTimmverse), then a lot of people would be pissed. Unwilling to backtrack on Hal and further confuse audiences about the race of Green Lantern, DC has started pushing Cyborg as a compromise--which is fine with me as long as they write him as well as John Stewart was written in the DCAU. I'm tired of all the "my-Green-Lantern-your-Green-Lantern" fighting.

Steel wasn't chosen due to his similarity to Iron Man. Black Lightning wasn't chosen due to his name. Vixen wasn't chosen because her back story resembles Storm's back story.

I'm still waiting for good Cyborg stories--it's only been 1 year. He is given hardly any lines in Justice League, and he doesn't resemble his easy-going cartoon counterpart yet. He needs to appear in other DC books or a back up feature. Maybe he will post-Trinity War. He really has a lot of potential that I want to see met.

#6 Posted by chalkshark (1187 posts) - - Show Bio

Geoff Johns has been pushing for Cyborg to gain greater prominence in the DC Universe, believing it to be "his time". It's the reason why Cyborg was the main hero of the Flashpoint universe.

#7 Edited by Captain13 (3314 posts) - - Show Bio

@chalkshark said:

Geoff Johns has been pushing for Cyborg to gain greater prominence in the DC Universe, believing it to be "his time". It's the reason why Cyborg was the main hero of the Flashpoint universe.

It sound like you saw Cyborg: His Time Has Come. If true, can you list Geoff Johns' reasons?

#8 Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt (12841 posts) - - Show Bio

Racial/Thematic/Power Diversity.

#9 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

MM hasn't been able to gain an audience after all this time in the big 7.

He isn't a very relatable character and wouldn't likely to be able to get a solo ongoing moving.

Cyborg otoh could be the next big thing.

#10 Posted by chalkshark (1187 posts) - - Show Bio

@Captain13: Actually, I haven't seen that. In fact, I've never even heard of it. I just remember early interviews with Johns, when the new 52 was initiated, where the author was heavily pushing Cyborg. Wasn't aware that he actually put together some kind of video making a case for Cyborg.

#11 Edited by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheCannon said:

I am not trying to start an argument here, I am not here to debate who deserves to be the founder, or anything. I am only asking a simple question. Why did they replace Manhunter with Cyborg as a founder? Did anyone who works in DC ever give a reason why? This is simply out of curiosity, I am not trying to start an argument or anything.

The core reasons given for the change were:

  1. Martian Manhunter has overlapping themes with Superman, and they're not about to cut Superman.
  2. Cyborg is a very modern character thematically (tech & transhumanism) and fills role other founding JL members don't.

Of course diversity was a part of it, but to imply it was the only reason is ridiculous. If that were the case, they could have just thrown John Stewart in the GL slot or made Martian Manhunter's civilian ID black, but instead they went with Cyborg for the reasons given above.

I think it was a smart move and honestly, I wish they'd done more of it. They should have mixed the various "generations" of heroes during the revamp so fans from each could feel included. Instead, they went pretty much straight Silver Age except they threw Cyborg on there.

#12 Posted by Twentyfive (2845 posts) - - Show Bio

@Captain13: Well worded. Yes he needs back-up features fast. Or his own series. His character needs to be expanded fast, and that won't happen in the pages of JL. Not saying that it's bad, but there is just too much going on. His own arc in JL would be cool too.

#13 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

@Captain13 said:

I'm still waiting for good Cyborg stories--it's only been 1 year.

Ouch. Hurts because it's true. If the relaunch wasn't such a rushed mess they would've realized Cyborg needed a launch title to begin with.

#14 Posted by Bulk88 (11 posts) - - Show Bio

I would like to think that this is actually a chance for MM to get out of the shadow of the Justice League. With his assumed prominence in the upcoming JLA book, recent interviews with (Finch or Johns?) that have stressed role of MM as both one of the most powerful and influential characters in the DCU, and the double page spread showing him taking on the entire JL solo, I think that Johns may be setting him up to be a big character outside the shadow of the Big 6.

Of course I may be lacking in my natural cynicism in that statement and this all could be as a result of the initial impetus to add diversity to the justice league.

#15 Posted by Wboy (442 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah the whole not gaining an audience thing is true.

#16 Posted by matchesmalone21 (8587 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheCannon: Because Geoff Johns said during Flashpoint,That Cybor is one of his favourite characters and he deserve a spotlight,but I prefeer MM and the best tech hero for the Justice League is Steel,Cyborg doesn't demonstrate knowledge on science fields

#17 Posted by Lvenger (19019 posts) - - Show Bio

As it has previously been stated, MM being a founding member no longer means he has his time to shine on his own. He's too powerful and too smart to be on the main League team so I'm glad he's on the secret JLA team. That way, the fact he's more powerful than Superman doesn't reduce Superman's uselessness on the team.

#18 Edited by Funrush (1369 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheCrowbar said:

Diversity.

Jon Steward would've been a better choice.

They want him on the team for racial diversity for when the movie rolls around.

Yeah, I would've loved if they kept MM and replaced Hal with John. They could do a reboot of the GL movies where Hal is killed, and John becomes the new GL.

They could somehow give MM the technology skill that Cyborg has, or make the big tech guy Batman.

#19 Posted by Reignmaker (2235 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheCannon said:

@TheCrowbar said:

Diversity.

Jon Steward would've been a better choice.

That's all? They only put Cyborg on there because they wanted someone black?

Might seem shallow, but that's the reality of the times we live in.

#20 Posted by xybernauts (858 posts) - - Show Bio

First off, adding diversity to the DCU is not shallow. More important the real reason seems to be lost to all of you because your too busy hatin'. Yes diversity had something to do with it, but it wasnt the main reason. For those of you who never figured it out, it's because they want everyone of the founding members to be a character from the Superfriends cartoon. Martian Manhunter wasn't in the Superfriends cartoon, but Cyborg was. In fact, I think he was the only black member of the Superfriends who was also a part of the DCU. That's what makes Cyborg a perfect addition to the team. If you remember, after the Alien invasion the team was getting a lot of good publicity and some of the media in the comic was refering to the group as Superfriends. They did this more then once. It was alluding to this point.

#21 Edited by Reignmaker (2235 posts) - - Show Bio

@xybernauts said:

adding diversity to the DCU is not shallow.

I'll agree with you there. But what kind of impact has Cyborg made in the past year? He opens boom tubes and looks up information. Johns hasn't made Cyborg a significant part of anything outside of his origin. Now granted, the jury is still out because Johns isn't finished. But adding a character purely for diversity's sake, while not exploring what makes the character important or interesting is a pretty shallow move in my opinion.

#22 Edited by Wboy (442 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't say it's for diversity sake actually, I think that's secondary and just a plus.

I mean everyone on the Justice League has been able to garner a pretty big audience...medium for Flash and Aquaman at least. Martian Manhunter failed at that and the amount of time he's been on the JL is long enough if he can't get an audience. I don't know much about Cyborg but I think he has a better chance of accomplishing that than MM.

Plus MM was unnecessary considering his abilities :p...also sometimes even redundant like "why don't you just phase?" "why don't villains just carry around a lighter?" "there's already enough powerhouses" etc.

#23 Posted by confirukia (219 posts) - - Show Bio

Rather cyborg(seriously when jon died i really didn't have a speck of affliction for him)

#24 Posted by Sovereign91001 (4175 posts) - - Show Bio

@fodigg said:

@TheCannon said:

I am not trying to start an argument here, I am not here to debate who deserves to be the founder, or anything. I am only asking a simple question. Why did they replace Manhunter with Cyborg as a founder? Did anyone who works in DC ever give a reason why? This is simply out of curiosity, I am not trying to start an argument or anything.

The core reasons given for the change were:

  1. Martian Manhunter has overlapping themes with Superman, and they're not about to cut Superman.
  2. Cyborg is a very modern character thematically (tech & transhumanism) and fills role other founding JL members don't.

Of course diversity was a part of it, but to imply it was the only reason is ridiculous. If that were the case, they could have just thrown John Stewart in the GL slot or made Martian Manhunter's civilian ID black, but instead they went with Cyborg for the reasons given above.

I think it was a smart move and honestly, I wish they'd done more of it. They should have mixed the various "generations" of heroes during the revamp so fans from each could feel included. Instead, they went pretty much straight Silver Age except they threw Cyborg on there.

I agree.

#25 Posted by xybernauts (858 posts) - - Show Bio

@Reignmaker said:

@xybernauts said:

adding diversity to the DCU is not shallow.

I'll agree with you there. But what kind of impact has Cyborg made in the past year? He opens boom tubes and looks up information. Johns hasn't made Cyborg a significant part of anything outside of his origin. Now granted, the jury is still out because Johns isn't finished. But adding a character purely for diversity's sake, while not exploring what makes the character important or interesting is a pretty shallow move in my opinion.

That's true, when you put it that way. In the book, they have done more exploration with Captain Marvel, and technically he's not in the JL yet. Personally I'd like to think their investing in Cyborg for the long haul and so they are treading lightly with his character development trying to avoid any missteps that might cause the editors to abandon his character altogether. They don't want to go all in and find out their hand is too weak. What I mean is they don't want to develop his character too quickly and then find out that the story isn't popular. Plus with the MM fan backlash, it's possible they want to give the character a low profile for now, just until the heat dies down. At least that's what I hope.

#26 Posted by Reignmaker (2235 posts) - - Show Bio

@xybernauts: Interesting. That could be. Perhaps Cyborg's big moment is waiting for Trinity War.

#27 Posted by OmegaTheDestroyer (1009 posts) - - Show Bio

I saw it for two reasons:

1.) racial diversity, Jon Stewart could have served this role as well but I think they wanted Hal as the GL to start with

2.) power diversity, his powers gave them an Iron Man type person

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